By Ryan Peterson
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - As the Lufkin Panthers took the football field for the first day of practice, it looked like a scene from HBO's Hard Knocks with the Dallas Cowboys. A few cameras were around the field, one constantly around coach John Outlaw. The reason? The Lufkin Panthers may be hitting the big screen.
Movie and documentary maker Jamie Patricof is putting his focus on the Lufkin community. Living in Los Angeles, Patricof happened to read the recent New Tork Times article on Lufkin's Jemarkus McFarland. Patricof was amazed by McFarland's success on the field and in the classroom. He decided it would make a great story line for a documentary.
"Basically the goal is to create a documentary about the Lufkin Panthers and the town of Lufkin," Patricof says. "Jamarkus ultimately plays a major role in the film and other characters are other players on the team and Coach Outlaw. People from the town will be a part of it."
Camera crews will be following the Panthers and be around town for the next six months. Patricof says documentaries take time and you never know where your storylines will come from. The filmmaker works for Hunting Lane Films production company. He's released three documentaries at the Sundance Film Festival. He's worked on documentaries for ESPN and VH1. His most well known work was "Confessions of a Superhero."
Patricof says the Lufkin film could be seen in movie theatres or an ESPN documentary. But a lot of work remains before it's a finished product. The next six months will tell the story.
"The goal is to really create a great film about a small town in Texas and looking at that town through it's football team."