Style over substance
We’ve been working with London Chessboxing for over a year, producing the live stream coverage for their events (WHICH HAVE BEEN ABSOLUTELY BONKERS!) but we’ve always wanted to create a super-stylised, over-the-top commercial for them.
We designed the commercial to work as an overall brand piece - something that could be multi-purpose and non-specific, able to be used to promote a range of different shows and also as idents between the commercial breaks of each show.
Collaboration over competition
You’d think other production companies would be our rivals, right? Wrong. Filmmaking is an inherently collaborative medium, and we’ve always believed it’s better to win together than to pit ourselves against each other.
We teamed up with our pals at Trick of the Light Media to produce this advert in partnership and combine our strengths. We knew either of us could've done a good job on our own, but together we could make something great.
Storyboard over spontaneity
Sometimes spontaneity is your friend. Sometimes figuring things out as you go along is more valuable than plotting and scheming every minute detail. This was not one of those times.
Far more precise than many of our shoots, we needed the punches, camera moves and shot transitions to time up perfectly with the music in order to feel their full effect. We sketched out every shot in advance, before shooting and editing an entire rough draft of the video in Joe’s garden to make sure each shot would work in practice and the timings fitted together. Maren, who stood in for one of the boxers on her lunch break, was a little too keen to punch Joe in the face…
How to do magic
The impossible flying chess piece shot, inspired in part by the slow-motion bullets in The Matrix, was a composite of nine separate shots, painstakingly stitched together over eight and a half hours, to create the slow-motion flight through the air following the losing player’s angry outburst.
We filmed the action twice - once with Matthew knocking the pieces off the table for real, and once as a clean plate with Matthew going through the action but without any chess pieces. From there we shot individual close-ups of each of the seven chess pieces you see rotating, on a green screen background.
Phew! For a shot that’s on screen for less than three seconds, we hope it was worth it!
Every little helps...
The commercial was originally produced to promote LCB36 - London Chessboxing’s 36th live event, but first online-only pay-per-view event (which coincidentally, we also produced). The event was hosted in order to raise money for the NHS post-COVID-19, something we were really proud to have even a small hand in supporting.
"The process was incredibly professional from start to finish. The video itself is testament to the considerable time, skill and creativity which went into this piece of work."
Gavin Paterson, Chief Financial Officer
Client: World Chessboxing Association
Director of Photography and Colourist: Jack Ayers
Production Designer: Freya Espie
AC and DIT: Rory Yeung
Editor and VFX Artist: Jonny Magowan
Sound Designer: Paulo FrasaoStills Photographers: David Madden and Will Nobes
Rentals: FOMO Studios
Produced by CAVSOC in association with Trick of the Light Media