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Horses For Courses

Documentary

Blazing Saddles

Our mini-documentary Horses For Courses (working title) follows what is undoubtedly the UK’s strangest sporting event: the London Pantomime Horse Race.

One part charity fundraiser, one part glorified pub crawl, the London Pantomime Horse Race has become a cult staple in the London event calendar over the past decade.

Horsing Around

Forming the front and back end of the horse, teams of pairs hoofed it to the one-horse-town of Greenwich on a chilly Sunday in December, all jockeying for the number one position and to put their competitors out to pasture.

Some had been in training furlong, others had signed up as a spur of the moment decision, but all of our thespian equestrians had to avoid both obstacles and pedestrians and gallop foal-throttle to victory in the mane event.

Show Pony

Our goal was to produce a short 5-minute vignette that would serve as a lighthearted palate-cleanser between more serious documentaries in film festival programmes - a tone that wasn’t hard to achieve, given our subject matter.

We also provided same-day packages of edited, broadcast-ready footage from the event to be used by news broadcasters. In order to deliver this we enlisted a DIT to log, ingest and edit clips on-site throughout the day.

Narrative

With a theme of Film & Television for 2018’s race, each team played a famous horse from popular culture. Piggybacking on that theme, Director Rory Yeung developed a narrative structure designed to blur the line between observational documentary and mockumentary fiction by interviewing the pantomime horse racers “in character”.

Hot to trot

Filmed on the Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K and the Panasonic Lumix GH5, our four-person crew used stripped-back camera rigs for maximum mobility while navigating a densely populated public area, whilst still providing 2k deliverables (including some spectacular slow-motion shots).

More to come

Described by The Telegraph as “typical British eccentricity at its best”, the London Pantomime Horse Race is the subject of our first mini-documentary in an ongoing series chronicling some of the UK’s stranger, lesser-known community traditions.

Director/Producer: Rory Yeung

Director of Photography: Jack Ayers

2nd Unit Camera: Joseph Madden

On-site DIT: Silva Sanin

Editor: Rory Yeung

Photographer: Liz Ayers