I wanted to express the loneliness of true grit and determination that comes with training at an elite national level. The scripts called for our cricket players to be missing out many of the things that many of us take for granted – social nights out, birthdays and parties – but it was less about portraying an accurate reality, and more about creating the right mood. Which led us to choosing a late night aesthetic.
The key logistical challenge was player schedules versus a night-time look. Indoor cricket training locations aren’t known for their lack of natural light, so a massive blackout was needed for the 50 metre building – windows down the entire length of both sides, and plenty of skylights. Once blacked, cinematographer Aaron Mclisky kept the lighting approach relatively simple – augment the existing practicals with a moon source to achieve a raw moody look.
But I wanted more than a raw documentary aesthetic – the shots needed to be considered longer takes, as I planned for a slow edit that highlighted all the empty space and time that comes with repetitious skills training. This meant finding frames that were interesting enough to look at for more than just a mere half-second flash, as many sports commercial edits often are. With the extra consideration of including text message graphics, we used a lot of negative space in both our wides and tights.
Post-audio was also critical to creating the right tone. Sonar Music provided the original composition to a pretty difficult brief – it needed to be serious and contemplative without being heavy and morose, a medium to fast tempo to keep the energy moving forward, and be uplifting and inspiring to earn the Want it More tag. Not an easy ask, but they nailed it. I wanted the sound design to also have a close-mic feel so small bursts of action were impactful, and this was created in the offline by editor James Ashbolt, with additions and mix by sound engineer Tim Bridge at Sonar Sound. Even though it’s packed with audio, the soundtrack overall paints a picture of quiet determination.
The online was provided by the lovely guys at White Chocolate, with colour grade by the incredibly talented Trish Cahill. Using varying degrees of blue/green, we found three slightly separate colour palettes that gave each spot it’s own character while maintaining a cohesive tone across them all.
By Melvin J Montalban.
Watch the spots here:
Director: Melvin J. Montalban
Producer: Morgan Taylor
DOP: Aaron McLisky
Editor: James Ashbolt
Colourist: Trish Cahill
Music and Composition: Sonar
Post Production: White Chocolate
Social: Vinh Pham
EP: Dave Jansen
Project Director: Sarah Reynolds
Account Executive: Gwendolyn Jimenez
Photographer/ Stills: Zakarij Kaczmarek
Click here to see more work by Melvin J Montalban.