An Ironman Story (Documentary)
I’ve worked with Todd on several video productions (“Threads” short film, “Where We Ended” short film, “Office Zombies” short film), and they usually turn out pretty darn good. In addition to being a film producer, Todd is also a triathlete, which is incredibly intense and requires a severe amount of training. For the past year we’ve kicked around the idea of putting together a video production of his training, but we finally kicked into gear when he needed an entry video for a documentary series centered on Ironman athletes training for Kona, which I take to be the Ironman championship.
We grabbed a GoPro with underwater housing; our friends & frequent collaborators Joe & Heather Howes at Folding Rain, who are beginning their drone services; and we sketched out a script and shot in the course of two very early mornings. Probably about 8 hours of shooting all together, and a few hours of editing. All for a 60 second video.
The scripting began with Todd sending me a storyboard of all the things he envisioned that fully told his story of getting into triathlons and Ironman competitions. He did a great job of putting all of his ideas down and then told me to do whatever made the most sense to me. I read through Todd’s script several times and chewed on it for a day or two. I knew we did not need to throw the kitchen sink at this project, because his story was so emotionally compelling I really loved trying to simplify and reduce the number of setups to let the emotional beats resonate. Of course, with the tight schedule on this video production it also helped to reduce the stress of shooting everything we needed.
The original script called for a lot of family, and my revisions stripped out all of that footage, but I didn’t want to lose that visual context. So, I thought it made perfect sense to set up the video projector sequence that would not only allow us to add context to Todd’s life, but it also added a more symbolic element by more closely identifying with Todd as we are seeing the world through his eyes. Having the projector casting onto the wall while he’s training gives a strong visual sense of what he’s motivated by, his goals, and where his thoughts are. It also adds a rather pleasing visual touch to the video production value.