Case Study – Static Monsters
To create a compelling video that captures the scope, scale, energy and drama of an international strongman competition in one day!
I’d never heard of static lifting before, when I first heard of it, I thought it would involve a bunch of geeks sitting around a TV trying to tune it. How wrong I was. Static lifting is similar to weight lifting at the Olympics but with a rustic barnyard twist, with events like the Log Lift and Axle Dead Lift.
Static Monsters is the biggest strongman competition of its kind with competitors from all over the world. The event was held at HOTA on the Gold Coast over one day.
Production (The Event)
From the get go we were blown away by the size, power, strength and focus of the competitors. Both men and women compete and they are a force to be reckoned with. It that sense it was easy to shoot as there was so much drama going on in a confined space. Everywhere you looked there was something going on.
However with any event you need to make sure you’re capturing multiple angles so you give the viewer a good overall sense of the event. You need a good variety of shots from epic wide shots that captures the scope and size of the event, to mid shots of the action and tight shots of details.
Some bigger budget events allow for multiple cameramen so it’s much easier to get the coverage you need, but for this one the budget was tight so it only allowed for one camera. So we really needed to be strategic about what and when we shot. Furthermore, I think one of the most important thing when shooting an event (or shooting anything really) is being aware of what’s happening around you. You don’t want to be so intent on capturing a detail that you miss a big moment that’s happening just across the stage.
But with experience, good planning and great communication with your client you can always get the shots you need to make a great video.
The next thing was to make sure we got a good cross section of competitor’s interviews. But with an event like this we wanted to delve deeper than “What do you think of the event?” We wanted to know, “What drives you to do something like this, what’s challenging about it, what do you love?”
That gives us much more room to craft a story as it becomes more about the competitors and their life than just about the event itself. It was fascinating listening to all the athletes from all over the world tell us their story and we did our best to weave it through the video.
For event videos you don’t usually have an idea of how you’re going to structure the video until after you get in the edit suite. That’s why on the day of shoot you shoot as much as you can to give your editor as much ammo as possible. Sometimes when you’re shooting an event you get ideas of sequences or little scenes that you know will work well.
For this one I noticed what was happening off stage was just as compelling as what was happening on it. While the athletes were lifting in the spotlight, the other competitors were watching on from the shadows, analysing, preparing and focused. It was compelling. When I saw that, I knew that would be our opening.
Ultimately the event video was released on the Static Monsters website and social media channels where it has clocked up over 10 thousand views. This type of exposure shows you the power of a well-executed event video. Static Monsters has since grown to 49 events across 19 countries.