Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season? The new 2016 Nebraska Project calendar is now on our store. Support The Nebraska Project by checking out the calendar and the new prints for sale. Beginning 12:01 a.m. on Black Friday through the end of Cyber Monday, use promo code MERRY at the check out to receive 20% off of calendar and print orders. Shop today!



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Last summer my daughter Havana and I were driving along Highway 20 — one of the prettiest stretches of Blue Highway in America — across the top of Nebraska.

Approaching Cody — A Town Too Tough To Die — we saw a small football field nestled between hills just outside of town.

It pulled me straight in like a visual magnet.

As I stepped out of the car, I was mesmerized. The air was so fresh. That giant crystal clear blue sky was littered with puffy white clouds. Gentle prairie sounds hummed all around. I walked across the field and stooped to pick a blade of the sweet long grass.

I knew I had to come back in autumn. As it has been my entire life, a good chunk of my focus this fall would be football — in Nebraska.

It’s about the game, but more about community.  Life in a little Nebraska town.

My story and film about the Cody-Kilgore six-man football team is now on ESPN.com.

Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of working once again with the talented Rachel Price in her hometown of O’Neill, Nebraska.

We were all going to be in the state at the same time. Bill and Laura were working on a continuation of the Nebraska Project. Rachel was home for some tour dates.

We were able to assemble a great team last month for our continued work out there. Roy Rossovich came to town from Stockholm, Tricia Coyne flew in from North Carolina, and Kyle Henderson joined from Indiana.

In the middle of our various work schedules, we were able to get everyone together for an afternoon to shoot this cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ain’t No Grave.”

Our good friends, Katie and Kevin Morrow, chipped in with some pre-scouting help. No one knows that area better than Kevin, and he found an old graveyard between farms outside of O’Neill.

We got lucky on the weather. Overcast was exactly what we needed for the mood. We worked quickly, shooting everything on the Red Dragon using three Nikkor lenses – the 24mm PL, the 45mm PL and the new 300mm f/4.

Rachel Price on set/

Rachel Price on set.


It was windy that day and Rachel couldn't here the portable speaker, so we attached an iPhone to her back with some tape.

It was windy that day and Rachel couldn’t here the portable speaker, so we attached an iPhone to her back with some tape.


DOP Roy Rossovich runs the Red.

DOP Roy Rossovich runs the Red.


Bill gives direction on a jib shot for the opening scene.

Bill gives direction on a jib shot for the opening scene.

We wanted the perspective control lenses to give the video a dreamy feel. We coupled that with some motion employed by the Cinevate Atlas 200 slider and an EZ-FX jib.

We hope you enjoy the video. You can watch it now. And Happy Halloween!

Amine Khoury, my great friend, is a man with a huge brain and an even bigger heart.

I was sitting in his office at Eastwood schools in Beirut when he turned to me with tears flowing down his face, he said you must see this, and handed me an essay written by a young child at the school.

One forced by circumstance to be wise well beyond her years. Her story resonated strongly with me and I asked to meet her.

Fifteen seconds into our conversation I knew I needed to share her story with as many people as possible.

Her voice is quiet but strong, her words measured but powerful.

She had to leave her home, and her life there, behind. For a reason she can’t understand.

It’s time for all of us to pay attention, and to help.

On August 31st, the Jacksonville Jaguars made sports news by trading Josh Scobee, their kicker for 11 seasons, to the Pittsburg Steelers.

Jacksonville fans took to social media. Most of them angry and upset the Jags had traded away the team’s most recognizable player.

Laura with her family at the first Jaguar game in 1995. She was 9.

Laura with her family at the first Jaguar game in 1995. She was 9.

As a Jacksonville native and long-time Jaguars fan, I understand. Only in Jacksonville is a kicker the most recognizable name on the roster. I’ve watched in pain over the last few years as the offense continually stalled. But there was a saving grace. There was #10 warming up on the sidelines. Our last lifeline. Our most consistent player. The only player who has created any memorable moments over the last 5 years of football hell here in Jacksonville. Josh Scobee.

Josh Scobee, for much of his career, has been considered one of the best, most consistent kickers in football. But more importantly, he’s a really great guy.

Jacksonville fans are as worried about losing their all-time leading scorer as they are about losing the city’s biggest advocate. Josh Scobee is a community icon down here. He visits hospitals and schools, holds charity golf tournaments and is always up for a chat or a joke.

He was never too busy. Never too cool. Scobee was always available.

It was fall of 2013 when I met Josh Scobee. Bill and I had been tasked to tell the stories of the four NFL kickers who had kicked 63 yard field goals. At that time, 63 yards was the longest field goal ever recorded in a game. But Sports Illustrated writer Tim Layden knew the record would fall, and soon. Several longer field goals had been attempted, but none had yet been made.

Bill and I were flying to Atlanta. I can’t remember what our final destination was. I can tell you it was one of three places: New Orleans, San Francisco or Anchorage. Those were the three places we were visiting to meet up with the kickers themselves: Tom Dempsey, Jason Elam, Sebastian Janikowsky and David Akers.

I boarded the plane and sat down. I looked across the aisle and saw a very tall and surprisingly familiar man sit down next to me. I noticed his very official looking Jaguars backpack and realized I was sitting across from Josh Scobee.

I said hello by telling him it was an honor to be flying next to the best football player in Jacksonville. He smiled and held his hand out in introduction. We started talking football and fishing. He asked where we were headed and we told him about the story. He was exceedingly interested. He wondered what old Tom Dempsey was like and where Jason Elam had retired to.

Bill mentioned casually that the only thing we were missing for the video was a foot kicking a ball in slow motion. Something to put over narration.

“I’ll do it,” Scobee said.

He told us to stop by after practice next week. He’d kick the ball as many times as we needed.

We had expected to hunt down a high school kicker and make it look as professional as possible. But now, we had one of the best kickers in the National Football League offering us his talents.

That’s the Josh Scobee that Jacksonville is sad to see go. He wasn’t in the story and likely never will be, but he was willing to lend a helping hand, or foot in this case.

We went to EverBank Field the next week and waited as the team hit the locker room. Before long, Josh Scobee and rookie punter Bryan Anger came out to the field with several balls.

Scobee kicked the ball about 10 times for us. All the while talking and telling jokes. When we were finished he stayed and chatted a little longer.

Before he went back inside he gave us his email address and told us to send him the link when it was finished.

That is Josh Scobee: the most approachable man in football.

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