Besides having possibly the best name in all of professional football, JuJu Smith-Schuster is extremely fast. Which is what helped him score all those touchdowns in his first year at Pittsburgh, and earn the title of Steelers' Rookie of the Year.
Recently, Mr. Smith-Schuster was at Cine Rent West to shoot a video for the new high speed shoes from Adidas, the Adizero 5-Star Cleats.
According to producer Robin Vada of Adventuress Films, the concept called for slow motion shots of the football star accelerating, juking, and running between rows of lights on artificial turf.
This presented a production challenge. Artificial turf is like a very thick carpet and will wrinkle and shift if it's not anchored down. You do not want star athletes, or anybody, darting around on a wrinkled rug that's going to slip out from under them.
When artificial turf is installed in a stadium, not only is it adhered to the ground, but it's weighted down by having tons of sand or "crumb rubber" poured onto it. (This material works its way down between the artificial grass blades so you don't really see it on TV.) But using this method to weigh the turf down is not feasible on a four day production schedule.
We've learned that using double-sided tape to stick the turf directly to the studio floor will hold it in place. But afterwards the tape is extremely difficult to take up.
Brynden came up with the idea of first putting down layout board and then taping the turf to that. It worked.
The day before the shoot Adidas sent an athletic trainer to the studio to test the newly laid turf with stand-in athletes.
It held and the shoot was a success.
Vada, who worked with Lake Retreat creative agency to produce similar videos in four other cities, said that she really appreciated being able to shoot this one at Cine Rent West.
She mentioned that in addition to our experience (with things like laying artificial turf), she appreciated the fact that we had on hand any equipment or lights they could possibly need.
And she said we're a comfortable place to work.
"Cine Rent West has a nice big green room for the talent," Vada said. "And a very nice upstairs where everybody could take a break away from the set."
With another four shoots to plan, she also liked our production office.
"Usually," she said, "I just try to find a quiet corner of the set to respond to emails and make calls. So having an actual office for me to work in was very nice."
That's just what we were hoping to provide when we did all that remodeling.
Juju Smith-Schuster's video was released on Instagram.