The brief for this project was to produce a short film and photography series at Athlete Movement in Hampshire that emphasises the mood, the focus, the mental state of those individuals at the absolute physical limit when doing sports.
This wasn’t to be an advertisement for an independent gym. What we were looking to create was a series that stoked genuine emotion from those that are already keen gym-goers and have perhaps lost focus on being at the absolute limit and need to remember why they do what they do. The limit of human ability is one of the clearest states of mind. A kind of meditative state—and this is what we wanted to express through visuals.
What we created was a photography series, Move—which split away from the traditional soft and ‘sexy’ visual style used by many sports brands and instead, edged further towards creating a stylised set of content that encompasses the passion, the grit and determination that drives people to be at that absolute physical limit.
It’s about so much more than just looking and feeling good while standing in front of the mirror. What this series of content aims to do is touch on the spiritual side of sport, when you push through all mental and physical barriers.
The film was initially aimed to be part of a wider project, but due to Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown, we ended up having to shrink the scope of the film down. While this did complicate the editing process, it also allowed for the project to grow organically from what we had already shot. This meant that the film was simplified, with all noise and distraction removed.
In terms of lighting, we used a relatively minimal setup of just two hard fresnels to isolate the subject from the background and set quite a distinctive mood that we could pull-down later to create the black and white filmic final look. The entire film was shot on a gimbal using dynamic movements and high frame rates to provide us with plenty of dynamics to play around with in the edit.
As for photography, we continued the same mood throughout in terms of styling, although we opted for a colour set and incorporated a careful balance of blue hues and chestnut skin tones. The imagery doesn’t glamorise the concept of the gym, with that light and bright (almost clinical) feel that become popular with this type of photography. Instead, it compliments and supports the mood and purpose of the content series.