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Hollywood Lights Pique Odrick's Interest

Posted Mar 4, 2013

Dolphins DE exploring film as an avenue for post-football.

Having already paid homage to one iconic movie with his trademark Pee Wee Herman sack dance, it only makes sense the Miami Dolphins defensive end Jared Odrick has an interest in the Hollywood lifestyle.

One year after initially showing interest, Odrick was chosen along with 21 other current and former NFL players in the second annual NFL Hollywood Boot Camp at Universal Studios in Universal City, California. It’s a four-day program running from March 11-15 and two former Dolphins also are participating – wide receiver Derek Hagan and offensive tackle L.J. Shelton.

In order to be selected for the boot camp, which is being run by NFL Player Engagement and Film Life Inc., the New York-based film production company, candidates had to write a series of essays on the subject of film. Odrick wasn’t ready to do that at the end of the 2011 season so Kaleb Thornill, Director of Player Engagement, helped him get focuses this time around.

“This year Kaleb and I made it a point of emphasis to really get my essays done,” said Odrick, who holds a degree in sociology from Penn State University. “So he hounded me and encouraged me to continue to write and stay up with all of the criteria that was called for in order for me to get accepted. I guess there were a lot of applicants and I heard back and I was accepted this year so I’m glad to be a part of it and I think it’s a great program that the NFL offers for people who are interested in film.”

By the end of the boot camp the participants will have been given a comprehensive overview of the film industry, with sessions being conducted on screen writing, producing, directing and film financing. Session leaders will be selected from among top industry executives and filmmakers and include Legendary Pictures partner/producer and member of the Pittsburgh Steelers ownership group Thomas Tull (The Dark Knight, Inception, We Are Marshall), director/producer Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights), and writer/actor/director Robert Townsend (The Five Heartbeats, Hollywood Shuffle).

Success stories like those of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jim Brown and Fred Dryer have inspired other football players to give the Hollywood route a try. Those three made the transition to the acting side of the film industry, but Odrick is interested in learning about the other facets and how to succeed behind the camera as well.

“From what I gather they try to cram everything about the film industry into a four-day crash course,” he said. “So I’m looking forward to it and I’m just really trying to grasp what part of the film industry that I think I maybe could be successful at. Of course you read and here about some of those other guys making the transition from football player to movie star but that’s not my expectation. This is something on the back burner that hopefully I can get involved with later on as a career and if not then it’s still going to be an interest of mine and perhaps something I can fall back on off of just pure interest or as a hobby.”