• David Stell

Ian Poulter is a golfer who needs little introduction. Renowned for his flamboyance, passion and talent, he’s achieved hero status for his exploits on behalf of Europe’s Ryder Cup team. Working with marketing agency Threepipe, we faced the challenge of filming Ian perform a trick shot with a difference: skimming the head off a chalice of Stella Artois using a golf club. ‘The Skim’ was a fantastic concept but needed careful planning and no little technical expertise to ensure the execution lived up to the idea. The film had to feel authentic so that fans of golf and Ian Poulter wouldn’t feel like they were being sold to. At the same time, it had to represent Stella Artois as the high quality brand it is. We also faced a number of other challenges, such as only having a limited window with Ian (two hours) and the ever-present risk of a downpour on the day. We decided to shoot multi-cam, on C300s, an FS700 and GoPro, in order to give us the options we needed in the edit. We used a brilliant Phantom to capture the slow motion shot in all its glory. We chose a mixture of handheld footage and tripod shooting to add to the unpredictability of the film, and carefully positioned the cameras to ensure security of coverage. Ian was briefed in on a rough structure to the film, but the rest of the action is very much as it happened. Ian improvised a few tricks for the crowd, before taking on the main challenge – which I’m pleased to say he absolutely nailed first time, much to the delight of the crowd and the hundreds of thousands of viewers who’ve seen the film online. The film has attracted a hefty YouTube audience, picking up 696,000 views during its first two months online, well over one million to date. It was covered by numerous media outlets, and it was also tweeted by Ian to his 1.7 million Twitter followers.