Director – Chris Kirtley
Producer – Ryan Woodland
Runners – Elliott Bretram, Liam Coles
Underwater DOP – Zac Macaulay
Focus Puller – Charlie England
Underwater Camera Assistant – Holly Tarplee (Esprit Film & Television)
Gaffer – Neil Blackman
Sparks – John Wenman, Hugo Bonilla, John Saunders
Rigger – Joel Hills
Dive Team – Dave Green, Ben Micheals, Sam Boardman
Agency – WPA (thanks to Barnaby Laws and Estere)
Studio – All shot at Pinewood U Stage (thanks to Dave Shaw and his team)
Shot for Sky Creative
When Ryan Woodland called to outline his idea to film an ad for Sky, to trail the rematch fight between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr., I knew it would be a fantastic opportunity to create something really special – and meet one of my heros.
Various studio locations were explored. We settled for the great Pinewood U Stage. Director Chris Kirtley had written the script from storyboards that told of Joshua, beaten by Ruiz Jr., wanting a rematch and retribution.
Six months had passed since the first fight and the film would largely deal with Anthony’s mental state. Feeling low, getting a spark and finally rising, supremely energised and, using the underwater analogy, ‘Ready to Rise’.
The script called for a clean, uncluttered underwater scene, simply lit from above (expertly applied by Neil Blackman). We cut from close ups of Anthony’s open hands, to very wide shots, showing him lost and alone, before cutting to the decending boxing goves falling past the lens.
A sudden jolt of mental electricity slaps AJ into life. Eyes suddenly open, screams muffled by the water, fists clenched, he rises up and bursts triumphantly through the surface, the cascading water from his arms resembling angel wings from the lighting behind.
Everything was shot with my Red Epic Dragon (6K) Gates combination. The lens was a Red 17-50mm V2 F2.9, with the RT Motion follow focus gear superbly operated by Charlie English. Frame rates varied from 50 – 200p, which worked wonderfully well for the water effect cascading in slow motion.
Anthony Jushua was only available for two hours, so we had to use a double for some of the body close ups, although I genuinely think that most of the finished cuts are actually AJ.
It was a focused, good humoured shoot with excellent direction from Chris and great production from Ryan Woodland. Thank you to Barnaby Laws at WPA and to Holly Tarplee for keeping a cool head throughout.
“Stay hungry, stay humble . . . . “