Best in Show
Daniel Hand, Be Your Best Video“If you’re not constantly working to be the best you can be, then you’re cheating yourself.” The opening message, delivered in Craig Semple’s gravelly voiceover, does a great job of setting the inspirational tone for the Be Your Best video. Footage of student athletes is transformed into a moody, poetic video narrative through the use of interesting focal shifts, innovative compositions, exposures and slow motion. The whole thing coalesces perfectly to create a moody, atmospheric piece that resonates on a deeply emotional level.
The selection of "Be Your Best" was an easy one for me as it really stood out for many reasons. Of the all pieces I feel that this one in particular really grabbed you immediately. The story was written, captured and cut with such thoughtfulness and honesty while sticking to the main storyline. The story was strong yet heart pulling while making you want to take action. The camera shots were beautifully composed and also captured the soul of the athleates. The editing, movements and audio meshed perfectly. For a short, that is dealing with such a heavy student topic I feel like this piece makes you want to listen, even a fifteen year old. The power of moving image to tell a story that makes you want to take action, came to the surface. Well done!
The description alone made all of the bad alarm bells go off. Local sports outfit creates video encouraging students to "just say no" just wreaks of bad, preachy, low budget, after school specials from the 80's. This entry was a complete surprise in every way. The writing, cinematography, editing and pacing was all beautifully executed. The message was clear, all inclusive and lacked the dreaded preachy tone so often associated with these types of spots.
For me – this was easy. It was beautifully articulated, both visually and verbally. A perfectly balanced duo. In terms of art direction: beautifully shot, amazing film quality and lighting. You can tell the makers care not only about the client – the message, but their craft as well. The writing was moving, but not in an overly manipulated – “Titanic” kind of way. It’s believable. You are drawn in and you buy into the message 100%. Who wouldn’t agree with the message coupled with amazing art direction. Kudos. The kind of project we all strive for.
The M.A.D.E. in Madison: Be Your Best video is an example of a seemingly simple idea done really, really well: a straightforward voiceover by Coach Craig with beautifully shot footage of high school athletics. These elements add up to a very powerful message that was our unanimous selection for Best in Show (and, for me personally, it brought me right back to my old high school football days in Detroit).