The clock on the bedside table read 12:12 as Bobby Wagner, in full uniform—minus a helmet—lay under a quilt in a 1990s-themed bedroom.
It was actually closer to 1 p.m., but the 12:12 on the clock was just one of several little Seahawks-themed easter eggs in the 90s house built to film a video used to announce the throwback uniforms the Seahawks will wear during the 2023 season.
"I'm waking up at 12:12?" Wagner said between takes. "That's a very late morning."
Wagner was just one of several Seahawks players to show up last month to a top-secret shoot at Fremont Studios, a group that also included Tyler Lockett, Geno Smith, Dre'Mont Jones, Kenneth Walker III, Coby Bryant, Charles Cross and rookies Devon Witherspoon and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, as well as Seahawks Legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Walter Jones.
Throughout the afternoon, each player went through a single-shot video in a three-room set designed to look like a 90s house, complete with garage band, and a house number, 1997, that is a nod to the year Paul Allen bought the franchise.
That video shoot, along with multiple photoshoots and a greenscreen video shoot that were going at the same time, were used to put together the images and videos used to announce the arrival of throwback jerseys, which can now be purchased at Seahawks Pro Shops and online.
For the video shoot, Seahawks creative director John Weaver and managing director of production and entertainment Madeline Down began kicking ideas back and forth last September. Down, who directed the shoot, liked the idea of a 90s house that was a nod to the sitcoms from that era, with the idea being that the viewers "are seeing the 90s in a current day," which aligns with the throwbacks themselves, which are 90s era but with a more current fit and look.
The day-long shoot took place on a set designed by local set designer Lisa Hammond, whose credits include movies, television shows and commercials. And from the work done by the video team itself to the other departments that chipped in on the day of the shoot, to the efforts of the equipment department to get the uniforms on set and looking good on the players, it was the largest and most ambitious video production the Seahawks video team has taken on.
"It's definitely the biggest thing we've done, for sure," Down said. "The biggest difference is that normally we hire somebody from a production company: 'Hey we want to do this thing, here's an idea. Come back and we'll work together on stuff.' This was different because it was truly us putting it together, us hiring the individual talent. It was definitely the biggest scale thing we've ever done, but for good reason; it's a big announcement."
After Wagner went through the shot the first time, he was shown playback of his efforts, and was impressed not so much by his own acting skills, but by the Steadicam work of Aaron Castillo, who given the weight of the device strapped to his body all afternoon, might have been the hardest working person on set that day.
"That's a dope pan," Wagner told Castillo, who later noted how rare it is for any on-camera talent to show appreciation for a shot the way Wagner did.
Other than a few complaints about the 90s music being played—"I could go for a little Lauryn Hill," Wagner said—the veteran linebacker was enthusiastic about the shoot and the throwback uniforms, and more than willing to take direction from Down, who talked players through the shot as it was unfolding.
Over and over again, players nailed the shot in one take, though most wanted to give it a few tries. Some also did a bit of adlibbing on second and third takes to show a little more personality, including some quick bicep curls and a spin move through a doorway from Lockett, or Smith-Njigba trying on headphones attached to a Walkman, a device that was completely foreign to Smith-Njigba, who was born in 2002, prior to the shoot.
"They were great," Down said. "I'm going to be honest, I planned for none of them to make it through the oner, but they all nailed it. That's just different than what we're usually asking of them on camera. I was very surprised and excited about how well they did."
"I'm ready to be an actor, man," Lockett said. "They need to get me a gig or something. There are too many shows in Seattle for me to not go out there and do something."
As for the throwbacks themselves, Lockett said, "I love it. I know everybody has been asking for it, everybody has been waiting for it, and now the wait is over. And they look amazing."
While the first room in the shot featured players "waking up" surprised to be in a throwback uniform—some of the best outtakes came from players getting tangled up in the quilt as they got out of bed—the second room featured a 90s-era kitchen, complete with small TV playing an old local news broadcast, breakfast of Eggo waffles, and the player's "mom," played by digital design manager Sydney Noland—who is way too young for the role, by the way—doing dishes in the background. More than 40 Eggos were toasted throughout the day, with some players getting more into the role than others.
"I had a lot of waffles today," Bryant said after his third take.
Players then moved on to a garage set where a flannel-clad band was jamming, then exited the house to a greenscreen that was turned into the Kingdome.
"This was cool," Jones said after being filmed and photographed. "That's probably one of the coolest uniforms I've ever seen on an NFL team, across the league. I've always liked Seattle's colors, now I finally get to wear it."
While every player was enthused about their acting and modeling roles, the level of excitement was even higher for the uniforms themselves, which the Seahawks will debut in their Week 8 home game against Cleveland.
"I've always been a big fan of these jersey just seeing pictures around the building, so to put this on is pretty cool," Smith said. "I think fans are going to love it, they really will.
"It's cool that they're bringing it back, and it's cool that we get to be the team that brings them back. Hopefully the fans will love it, and we're going to go out there and kick a lot of butt in these things."
Seahawks players and legends took part in a 90s themed photoshoot to announce the throwback uniforms that will be worn in 2023.