Rare look behind the scenes at NFL Films

Begun in 1962, NFL Films has collected more than 100 Emmy Awards for its coverage of pro football. CBS

Eight years ago, Ed and Steve Sabol told Charlie Rose in a "60 Minutes II" interview that everything went wrong while filming the NFL championship game in 1962.

But the founding family of NFL Films obviously did something right. The Sabols wowed viewers by turning football into art.

Fifty years later, "CBS This Morning" got to go behind-the-scenes at NFL Films, which has taken and often brutal sport and turned it into a ballet, ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl.

Special section: Super Bowl XLVI

The Sabol family, father (Ed) and son (Steve), started NFL Films, which has always seen football as more than a game. It was an all-encompassing, emotional experience.

"They were," says NFL Films Senior Producer Ross Ketover, "trying to mirror what went on in Hollywood, not what went on in sports TV." Hollywood documentarians, to be more precise, says Ketover.

Every reel of film the company owns is still preserved, in a massive vault that is always kept at 45 degrees.

Also housed at the company's New Jersey headquarters: Emmys, 105 of them - gold testaments to photography that became the gold standard, from low angles to slow-motion and, of course, going "tight on the spiral."

NFL Films was the first, famously, to put microphones on players and coaches on the sidelines.

"Steve Sabol has built something here that I don't think will ever be matched again," said NFL Films Director of Photography Hank McElwee.

It is material so unmatched that NFL Films shares it with 21 shows across nine television networks - among them, the historic "Inside the NFL."

As for this weekend's Super Bowl, NFL Films has every angle covered.

Says Ketover, "We're actually producing both DVDs for both the Giants and the Patriots."

To see Jeff Glor's profile of NFL Films at 50, including classic NFL Films scenes, click on the video in the player above.

  • Jeff Glor

    Jeff Glor was named anchor of the Sunday edition of the "CBS Evening News" in January 2012 and Special Correspondent for "CBS This Morning" in November 2011.

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