Two years ago, Philadelphians came together hoping their home team could win their first football championship since 1960.
After four history-making quarters, the Philadelphia Eagles prevailed, winning 41-33 over the New England Patriots on Feb. 4, in the 2018 Super Bowl.
But for Colin Langan, Philadelphia native and a 2018 film and media studies alumnus, the moment was bittersweet. A few days prior to watching the game, one of his best friends died.
“I remember, leading up to the game it was such an event, it was an amazing and exciting moment, and then my friend passed and the game didn’t feel like a priority with me anymore,” Langan said.
To commemorate the night, Langan is producing a film based on his experience celebrating the triumph of the Eagles’ Superbowl win without his best friend. He’s teaming up with Mohab Abou-Elalla, a 2018 media studies and production alumnus, to produce a 12-15 minute narrative short film centered around a Super Bowl watch party.
“It comes personal to me, and I think it will be relatable to everybody, not just people watching that game, but just any monumental moment you experience and you don’t have somebody with you there, that is something you can take from this story,” Langan said.
The film is intended to bring football and Eagles fans in to experience the win again. But the filmmakers want viewers to visualize not having a friend to share these moments with, and how special it is to connect with them, they said.
Braydon Kline, a junior journalism major and Eagles fan, can relate to that feeling when he remembers the win feeling historic for himself and his dad, he said.
“I look at it more like, I will forever remember the game but I will more remember the reaction,” Kline added.
Langan and Abou-Elalla, who met during Klein GO’s Los Angeles Study Away program, both moved to Los Angeles, California, after graduating from Temple to work in film.
The idea for the Eagles film project came from a script Abou-Elalla had written, exploring grief and loss. While Abou-Elalla’s script didn’t include sports, Langan noticed that the Eagles screenplay he created shared the same themes, so Langan thought he should share his, too.
“I remember reading it and thinking, ‘Forget my script. This one is amazing,’” Abou-Elalla said.
Abou-Elalla reached out to former professors and faculty at Temple for project guidance, since the filmmakers plan on having video and audio from the Super Bowl game itself, and the footage would have to go through the necessary copyright regulations.
“It is an attractive project, and we talked about how the project might be able to find financing,” said Paul Gluck, general manager of Temple University Television and a media studies and production professor.
Together, Langan and Abou-Elalla created a Kickstarter fundraising page in February to raise $5,600. They reached their fundraising goal earlier this month.
Though their filming process is placed on hold because of travel restrictions and social distancing policies related to the COVID-19 outbreak, the filmmakers are hopeful and pledge to not take shortcuts on the film.
“We could make this in [Los Angeles], but the more we talked about it we were like no if we are gonna make this right we are gonna do this is Philly because there is nothing that looks like Philly,” Langan said.