Responses by Elliot Dear, director, Blinkink
Background: The target was an international audience of sports fans of all ages, as well as people who hadn’t watched Wimbledon before. We wanted to show the weight and heritage of Wimbledon as a competition and as a cultural event. The aim of the one-minute film was to highlight how long Wimbledon has been around, by showing some of its key iconic moments side by side with memorable events from history through the ages.
Reasoning: We were dealing with important world news alongside sports moments, so we needed an approach that was sensitive to this. We wanted to be careful to make sure we weren’t overshadowing the news with tennis. We had to compose each shot tastefully and make the piece as elegant as possible.
Challenges: Finding iconic moments in tennis history that aligned with particular moments in world news. Often we’d find a great sporting moment, but the corresponding news would be too dramatic, sad or contentious.
Favorite details: I was impressed with the work by the CG team at Blinkink, who managed to take photographs of the players—some which were nearly a hundred years old—and turn them into three-dimensional figures that could be animated to look like modern slow motion footage.
Visual influences: I looked at lots of visual reference for this project, from classic tableaus to super slow motion sports footage to videos of people’s hair flowing and rockets launching. There was a great deal of material to understand in order to get the footage looking realistic and consistent.
Specific demands: McCann London and Blinkink struggled with licensing and getting the permission to show certain things. It’s a film that relies on lots of imagery and logos from other organizations and events—from NASA to the BBC—so we had to do a lot of negotiating, and in some cases, even replace certain shots.