Recently I helped edit a film for a friend. Caroline Birkinshaw, a personal trainer from Leeds, decided to do the Burpee Mile, a full mile of one of the most gruelling exercises ever imagined. Dave Hackney was on hand to shoot the event, getting some great shots of the hard work and the struggle Carrie went through to complete her task. After a bit of a delay Dave and I sat down to review the footage and I put together an edit.
Going through the raw clips I could see there was plenty of great material to use, and seeing them chronologically there was a plot arc of sorts emerging. Caroline begins alone on the running track but is soon joined by her parents, more family and friends and by the end she had a small crowd cheering her on, jumping burpees alongside and celebrating when she made it over the one-mile mark. This slow build up of momentum was a key feature I wanted to preserve in the edited film. The latter shots of Caroline feeling the strain contributed to the film reaching the peak of tension before the relief at her achievement.
Originally it was discussed this film would be set to rousing music, but when I saw those raw clips I was certain that a documentary style would suit it better, lending more gravitas to Caroline's achievement. A little comedic relief is provided by interviews with Caroline's dad and some spectators who were impressed by her determination.