5 minutes after arriving at the Nike Xmas shoot, I was in workmans gloves, and along with four other men, lifting the biggest piece of perspex you've ever seen onto a wooden frame.
You see this shoot was all about angles, and our photographer, Antony Crook did a superb job for us. The box was constructed so that Antony could lay in it and shoot up and through the perspex while the dancer danced on top of it .
Antony reassured us that it would never break, and even did a little ditty himself to prove the point. When Antony thought he'd got a couple of good shots (these normally happened shortly before a joyful clucking noise from within the box), I put them onto my laptop and spun them into snowflakes. That way I could go away from the shoot sure we had some great shapes.
Day 2 was runners, and I arrived to find a slightly panicked Antony. Antony had been let down. The idea was to build a big scaffolding tower and get some amazing shots from above whilst the athletes sprinted on a treadmill big enough for a horse to exercise on. The treadmill hadn't arrived.
Interestingly, it was when we did the 'dive for the line shot' that I observed a beautiful contrast in the studio. We have the fastest white man in the Commonwealth over steeplechase, and a fantastic up and
coming 200 metre runner. All the steeplechase guy does each and every day is eat breakfast, 10-15 miles run, lunch, gym, and just before tea he trains on the track until he's nearly sick. As he runs between the scaffolding pretending to dive for the finish line, 25 feet above him is Antony, cigarette in one hand, camera in the other, taking a swig of full-fat coke between shots, occassionally clucking like a chicken. Antony climbs down to show me some shots. 'Look at your calves!' I say to the steeplechase guy.
They resemble two cornish pasties (another contrast - I think in pastry, he probably thinks in terms of isotonic sports drinks). 'It's the way I've lit it - mine would look like that,' jokes Antony. In lieue of the treadmill Antony has an 'inspired solution'. A couple of crash mats up against a wall. You just run as fast as you can and to stop, just run into them. This is one of the most important shots, and at that moment in time I'm kind of shitting it. We keep going until 200m girl misses the mat and hurts her wrist("you should have looked where you were going", we didn't say). Miraculously we get a great shot.
Two long days was followed by 10 even longer days producing the graphics. The trouble was, we got too many great shots.I remember saying to Dave Simpson 'I've got it down to 60 now.' We needed 12! (This blog doesn't really do the shots justice, but click on them and wait for a little while and you'll be able to see them a little bigger)
Posted by Adam Rix