Animal is an international hardcore supplement brand. They’re primary target is power-lifters and bodybuilders. Each year at the Arnold Classic, a huge professional competition and product conference, they host “The Cage”. The cage is literally that, big nasty looking cage smack dab in the heart of the entire floor. Inside has Animal’s sponsored power-lifters and literally the strongest men on the planet. There are hundreds of people watching around the cage these guys lift upwards of 1000 pounds. We saw a 500 pound military press, many 900 pound+ squats, 600 pound bench presses and so on…. We must say, being inside The Cage is one of the most intense experiences you can have.
Animal approached us to showcase this event in a different way. Previously each year was a standard doc-style shoot with much more interviews than the actual lifting itself. We wanted to make it look grungy, mean and raw focusing mainly on the actual lifts rather than people talking about it. Much was shot with handheld stabilizers and tripod rigs but we mixed in a lot of handheld shots to keep that raw look. The color grading was a key part as well keeping a heavy contrast and rich blue cinema look.
The first episode is a build up. We had each athlete essentially show us the walk from waking up in their hotel to getting inside the expo floor and Cage. We did one continuous shot for each and asked them questions about how they got to this point, what it’s like to be sponsored by Animal, what the feeling is like leading up to The Cage, how much anxiety does it create and so on… Each was shot using a handheld gimbal to create an incredibly smooth image even though we are pushing through crowds and walking very fast backwards!
The remaining episodes focus on just the lifting. We had fantastic feedback from this project with over 250,000 total views and the Animal brand’s fans very much appreciated seeing the lifting in depth. To watch the whole series, visit:
Episode 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONz2e10A_Sk
Episode 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EW8kAPgZRTc
Episode 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I0yquyOFjY
Episode 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9eAuNPSxWs