Monday, 11 February 2013

Time in Motion

The ability to capture sport in a way that either conveys what an athlete experiences, or shows their specific movements or actions has been a goal of film-makers since the ability to record a moving image began. From the early experiments of Muybridge, to the ultra-slow motion shot of the Olympic velodrome starting pistol that was repeatedly shown in the BBC’s London 2012 montage.

Muybridge study and Olympic starting pistol in slow motion

The now ubiquitous miniCAMs such as the GoPro and Drift are brilliant in that they allow us to witness the perspective of a skier tearing down a mountain, or a surfer traversing a tube. However, they are not the only way to capture the drama of action sports. When I saw a "knife’s eye view" of a TV chef preparing vegetables no doubt shot on a GoPro I knew that I had witnessed their saturation point. These otherwise excellent devices, when used to excess, without clever placement or any other stimuli become one dimensional and repetitious.

A film-maker, either as a director or as a screenwriter will try to convey an emotion by manipulating or representing their cast to evoke an emotion in their audience. Using a rhythm of highs and lows, and introducing spectacle to put their audience ‘in the moment’. Sometimes this spectacle is transient or slight and often goes unseen in the normal timeframe. It’s the beating of the hummingbird’s wings. The bullet the moment it exits the smoking muzzle. Or the droplet as it hits the surface of water. This perception of the elongation of time was the subject of this recent article.

Research has found that by fixing the mind on the present moment our perception is that time slows down. My aim was to show a selection of sports in a different way. Using slow motion to add drama to an action. To create spectacle and to put the audience ‘in the moment’. Allowing them time to think. Drink in the experience. Rather than using miniCAMs as a gimmick, my intention was to use them as a tool to augment and complete the narrative. To capture the unseen. The intricate motion of a gear change. The concentration or elation on an athlete’s face. The result is Animus.

David Jinks
Producer & Director

Fridge Productions Limited
Tel: 0845 604 3582

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