I directed two spots in this series - Wrestling and Swimming. These were fun ones to shoot, especially the underwater photography. And as many of our projects at studio m are, the budget was tight and turnaround was fast. But I wanted to produce something solid that looked and sounded cinematic.
It was a pleasure working with Erica Wiebe. She was certainly fun to be around and a total pro, definitely someone I'd like to grab a couple drinks with (but I definitely wouldn't want to pick a fight with her)! Both girls' sport teams were excellent and it was really inspiring to see these young athletes kick ass!
This was my first time working with DOP Chris Lew, and it certainly isn't going be the last! As soon as we discussed and references were exchanged, we were on track! Chris instantly got what I was going for and nailed it. We shot with a RED-Epic Dragon and my trusty RED Scarlet-MX for some shots (I've since sold this Scarlet and upgraded to an EPIC-MX). We used Arri Master Prime Anamorphics and they were gorgeous. The one thing I didn't realize until we used them was the fact that these lenses are so well made that the anamorphic flare that everyone knows and loves didn't exist anymore with these guys. You have to get a front and/or rear anamorphic flare adapter to obtain these lens flares. Underwater photography was shot with the Sony A7sii with Canon 16-35mm with a pretty basic underwater rig. I wish we were able to use an external recorder to squeeze out a higher bitrate from this camera, but it still did a pretty good job. Does this footage match with the REDs and Master Primes. No. But after grading, it works pretty well.
Along the post-production process some sacrifices had to be made in order to adhere to certain requirements that were out of my control, which is why my director's cut exists for both spots. They're in final stages of post at the moment and I'll post them here as soon as they're ready so you can make your own comparison. I'm very proud of both versions but prefer the director's cuts.
Here are the spots: