Keithley Scout Services have organised and run The Fellsman for over 80 years, with 2023 being its first year after the pandemic they had seen a significant decrease in sign-ups. I was invited to come and see behind the scenes and create a documentary with the aim of boosting online engagement and interest in the event ready for the 60th race in 2024.
The main issue with creating something like this as a solo creating is timing, I can’t be everywhere at once and there is no opportunity for do-overs or reshoots. I spent time with the team before the event to work out the best locations to film and the time scales to make that happen- understanding full well that there was no guarantee it would go to plan, especially with regard to the weather. Visually I utilised a drone and the sony a7 series to film a combination of POV and Birds eye shorts to weave around dedicated interviews recorded the night before, I also hoped to gain access to the winners of the race after the fact to add their voices to the narrative- fortunately, they were happy to contribute.
As the race is such a monumental challenge, and I had no idea if the people I interviewed would even complete the whole course (often less than 50% make it all the way around) meaning I had to focus the questions and the documentary on the scale, beauty and stamina of the race- not about completion.
Alongside the documentary, they requested a promotional video to help market the event for future years, with a focus on the 60th in 2024. I created the below video entitled ‘The Fellsman Awaits’
I had a look at other ultra running and sporting event videos as well as sports brands (Nike, Adidas and Puma) to see what works for the industry and what is deemed genre conventions. I selected a track that met the 140+ BPM standard for this style of promotional video and then focused on the 3 pain parts of the event; the Yorkshire backdrop, the community and the distance. Utilising the beats in the music to replicate footsteps and use this as a structure to change the shot and the text keeps the video fast-paced but gives the audience time to feel the emotion and make a connection to the content.