So few months ago, I stacked challenge upon challenge and decided it would be a fun project to make a Parkour video, in one day. I suggested the concept to fellow Ampisound team member, Austin Phillips, and the result was ‘One Last Time’.
We’ve known each other for some 10+ years now, and it’s always been fun acting on random ideas, usually with good memories as a result.
I recently sat down to discuss the production of the video with Austin, and review the process and our decisions when filming.
What were your initial thoughts when the idea of doing a whole video in one day was proposed?
I thought that it would be quite a task to say the least, especially as most videos that we collaborate on take a good few months to finish (most of that time spent arguing over a song!).
We started shooting around 1PM and the video was online by 10.30PM the same day, how was the turnaround for you?
Better than I ever imagined! We had literally never done something like this before so to be honest, initially I didn’t have the highest hopes for the quality of the video, both in production value and content. Saying this, we managed to stay pretty focussed for the whole day and got some good shots in the bag right from the warm up.
What was the biggest challenge for the project?
Aside from picking a tune, probably the edit. By the end of a pretty intense five or so hours of filming, the lads were off home no doubt to chill and enjoy a nice big meal while Scott and I grabbed a few litres of water, some slices of toast and got to work. I find cutting videos often takes the longest on a project like this because it will set the vibe for the entire video and with this project in particular we came up with a ‘style’ a lot quicker than we normally would due to the time restraints. I quite liked the pressure in a way because it almost forced us to act on our first decision, rather than have time to sit around and question ourselves.
When you film Parkour, what kinds of things do you look for in capturing movement?
Well it’s a good idea to capture movement from angles that show off the scale and difficulty of it, as that is one of the main contributors to giving a video that wow factor. However I’m not opposed to the idea of using some well placed artistic shots to show movements in a way in which people wouldn’t normally see them if it is interesting to look at.
What are your favourite shots in the video?
I quite like the low angle of Jamie’s roof gap because his body crosses the sky only, and there is no interference from buildings behind him. I also like some of the tracking shots, I’m a big fan of camera movement, even slow, smaller movements.
We filmed with Neil, Jamie, Liam and yourself. How were the guys to work with?
I always enjoy training with the guys so it didn’t come as much of a surprise that they were also good to shoot with. All three of them were exhibiting some aesthetically pleasing parkour which was a lot of fun to film. In my opinion, one of the best things about training in a group is that people are always putting new ideas out there, coming up with new challenges and there was an abundance of that happening when shooting.
Being behind the camera is a bit of a rare event for you. How did you find choreographing the guys and working in a more Directorial role tun usual?
Well being a practitioner myself makes working behind the camera much easier because it allows me to be able to talk with the guys in detail about specific elements of the movement, making the whole process pretty smooth. I had a lot of fun suggesting different movements and trying out some
Talk a little bit about your own feature in the video, in particular the huge armjump…
So yeah, I do still train, I haven’t retired just yet! The arm jump was fun to try but would have been better if we hadn’t been kicked off as I tried it the first time so that I could go for it again.
How did you select the music for the video?
Scott had a bunch of songs lined up as possible video tunes for a while, like he usually does. We went through them together, briefly listing pros and cons before coming to a surprisingly quick decision (sometimes it can take months!)
How did you split the time from filming to editing? Do you feel you could have balanced it better?
We allocated ourselves 5 hours for each editing and 5 for filming. This is because we knew that we could get enough shots fairly quickly and the fact that post is something that ideally shouldn’t be rushed! I want to stress that when we began filming, we had absolutely no idea what song was going to be used or what sort of style the video would be, meaning that some of the 5 hours in post was consumed by choosing a song, cutting rhythm and colour grade.
How do you and Scott work as a team? Both with filming and editing. Whats the dynamic like?
I think that we gel pretty well as a team, both in production and post. For this video I wanted to try my hand at a lot of the shots involving camera movement, so Scott shot handheld with a longer lens to get some of the more ‘artistic’ stuff. When it comes to post, we established the theme we style we have chosen, then I’ll lay down a rough progression on the timeline Scott will either be thinking about the grade (or making more toast). Once I finished, Scott fine tuned the cut and did a pass of VFX/Grading.
What would you improve upon if you decided to do another 10 hour video?
There isn’t much we could have done better, apart from maybe plan the video more, but the fact that we had no idea what we would end up with at the start of the day was quite refreshing.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to try their own 10 hour project?
Just try to keep the work rate up and morale high; with such a tight timeframe you can’t afford to waste any time! Also making sure that your athletes are sufficiently fed is crucial if you want a top performance.
Where can we see some more of your own work?
Here you can check out a Parkour related documentary I shot in London