Freddie Woodward is an Olympic diver with team GB. He competed at Rio in 2016 and looks to have a super bright future ahead of him. I recently got the opportunity to produce a short film with him and it turned out to be a really interesting project.
Freddie is currently training for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics so obviously his time is relatively precious and as such we had roughly a two hour time slot to shoot the entire film. With this in mind I was pretty meticulous about putting together a realistic shot list for the day.
I did my research and watched a number of diving videos and also took inspiration from one of my favourite directors of short sport films, Gareth Bowler. His movie 'Sober' is a really great example of the dramatic and cinematic results you can get from a DSLR if you put real thought into shot selection.
That leads onto the kit set up for the day. We were going to have to move quickly so decided to go with a Canon 6D teamed up with a Sony RX100 IV and a GoPro Hero 4. In terms of lenses we shot primarily on a 50mm 1.4 and a 24-105mm 4.0. I figured this set up would give me the range of shot options I was after and I'd be able to rig everything up quickly enough to work within the time frame we had.
On the day my assistant Hannah and I arrived about 25 minutes early to scope out the location and eventually met Freddie and signed in. He was a natural in front of camera and a dream to work with. This was one of the key factors in making the shoot a success - Hannah and I were able to get on with setting up shots and Freddie was always ready and always nailed what we were after.
It was an intense two hours but by the end we felt pretty satisfied that we had got everything we went there for and had managed to avoid dropping any kit or personnel into a pool. We shot our interview with Freddie First so that we could add anything new that arose to our shot list and because of this we ended up getting some really interesting angles with our GoPro and were even able to fit in a bit of lens whacking!
Once the edit was complete I sent the film to Freddie and his PR who both really loved the cut. Because of that we decided to throw together a quick teaser film that Freddie could share with his follower on Instagram. Within three hours of posting this 17 second clip had over 2,000 views and 600 likes. Not bad.
So today the film has gone live via Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Vimeo. I think everyone involved is really happy with the end result and it's been a great exercise in quick production and online distribution. The film was conceived, shot, edited and released over the course of four days.