Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Nike "Dance"

Click here to watch. 

Credits (director, writer, DP, producer, etc.)

Director; DP; Producer: Jacob Migicovsky
Writer: Michael Richardson
Editor: Michael Freedman
Grader: Jonny Tully
Post Production Sound: Will Thomas; Dan Bodsworth
Production Assistant: Lucy Williams
Basketball Player: Josh Burdett

Why this script/concept? How does it reflect your vision as a commercial director?

Michael's script instantly struck a chord with me. As we all do, I was making my way through the hundreds of script on the site, and when I read 'Dance' it was clear I had to make this. I've never felt such drama and poetry in a commercial script, only ever in features, and even that's pretty rare. It was perfect, and I was already looking to direct a very visual piece, so I'm just lucky it was still available and very grateful that Michael trusted me with the script.

What was the casting process like?

I made sure we got a Nike basketball...that was about it.

How did you search for/lock a location?

The community centre around the corner gave me a two hour booking. It was cheap, and it was close.

How did you select your DP, crew?

I hadn't shot my own thing in a while, and I figured I'd get behind the camera since there weren't any actors to worry about. Although, both my assistants were actor friends of mine, so there's some irony for you.

How did shooting go? Any challenges?

Slo-mo was the bane of my existence for weeks, it was the one wild card in the shoot. I thought, I've got this great script, it takes place in a gym without any actors, a few lights, easy. But this footage had to be very slow or else it just wouldn't work. I soon realized that it wasn't so simple, going for extreme slo-mo meant renting a Phantom, amazing but hardly affordable on our budget. Then we thought we could shoot on a 5D and ramp it up with software, but we learned that close ups of netting and dust weren't gonna fly. I ended up doing everything in camera with a Sony FS700, after doing a crash course the night before with the rental house. We still needed software for two shots, but mostly we stuck to the 240fps we shot on.

The icing on the cake was that my buddy wasn't the best basketball player. I live in London after all. It was all looking great except we weren't getting any swooshes cause the ball was bouncing all over the place. But luckily the gym had a giant step ladder, so we put him up there and just dropped the balls in.

Tell us about editing and finishing.

Editing turned out to be very difficult. We wanted to do the script justice and find a way to present a poetic energy in the piece, but I'd never done anything this atmospheric before. We started with the music since it was already in the script, it worked, and the rights were available. We tried a few different approaches, but it really came together when we started thinking of the net as a ballerina. It was actually pretty similar when you compared the two: a lone figure on stage, one spotlight, moving to the music, kicking, jumping, and that brought us through to the final edit. I'd be lying if I said I didn't dance around in our office.

The dreamlike grade worked like a charm, and then we were done, the ad was sent to the writer and we hoped to start sharing it in the new year. Michael (the writer) loved it, and we could rest easy. Then about a week after Christmas, Michael came back with some new notes, the biggest was proposing an arena sound design under the music, which wasn't in the script. We weren't sure at first, but we applied a quick test to the edit and thought it was a good idea, it could probably fill it out well. We had to wait a few months to get some great sound designers on board, but it was well worth it and we're so thankful that Michael came up with that idea, now we all think it's even better for it.

In retrospect, is there anything you would have done differently?

Two hours was a bit tight for filming, would have been good to have another few hours to really take our time. Getting kicked out by a bunch of middle schoolers wasn't the best experience.

Any other thoughts.

I never would have found this script without Spec Bank, so thanks for being the best source around! Hope you guys enjoy Nike 'Dance.'

No comments:

Post a Comment