future retro, but real
4:30AM, Brighton, torrential rain bounces off the metal ramp and the smoke machine is heating up for another take. “OK, let’s take off the bags” director Toby Martin calls to the assistants. The coloured lights flood the alley, DOP Mike King calls the action and from the lingering smoke emerges our BMX riding hero in a slow motion frenzy of 80s inspired nostalgia.
It all began with a photo shoot. The AW18 collection was wrapping up in the setting summer sun with one more piece to model. The bright geometric shapes immediately caught our eye and we knew this needed more attention than just photo. Right there is when this project started, we pitched on the spot “we’ll make this thing huge if you agree to let us just make something cool”. It seems crazy now.
The idea was born from consultations with both Death Spray Custom and Morvelo. Finding a common ground between the interests of the two unique brands was important, and it’s not in our best interest to displease. We worked hard to bring a concept to the table that was fun, not sinister and definitely representative of the collaboration. This B-movie style of the 80s struck a chord, but not the future-retro synthesisers of today’s adopted nostalgia - real retro. Real break-beat. Real B-movie.
What if we told you the budget was next to nothing, would you believe us? The project was as experimental as it was unique.
Multiple recces, three different shoots, props, costume, lighting, editing, CGI. All taken care of in-house.
Between shooting in the early hours of the morning for the empty roads and long hours of darkness, to the numerous edit days piecing together entirely fabricated city scenes ‘Underworld Champions’ became a labour of love.
The transformation of the cityscape above gives some impression to the amount of work each clip has undergone. The yellow billboard in the scene is in fact artwork provided by Death Spray Custom at our request, animated and perspective matched to the composited building - anything to build into the authenticity of this alternate reality, This small detail is an example of the attention to detail in this project, there’s a few more, but we’ll leave it to you to find them.
The supporting stills were created in studio to accompany the press release. The images maintain the neon look of the video while showcasing the products in a way Morvelo desired - off bike, non genre-sensitive and slick as hell.