- Friday, Oct. 28, 2016
In this emotionally moving and poignant short film—For The Wind—directed by Lance Acord of bicoastal Park Pictures for Gatorade out of TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, WNBA star basketball player Elena Delle Donne talks about her older sister Lizzie who can’t see, speak or hear due to cerebral palsy. Lizzie, though, is Elena’s inspiration, giving her an inner strength. When Elena first left home, separating her from Lizzie, to play at college basketball powerhouse the University of Connecticut (UConn), she felt a void in her life. So Elena decided to relinquish her scholarship and return home to be with Lizzie.
“Everybody thinks I came back to take care of her,” related Elena. “But she was the one helping me, getting me out of the worst rut of my life. She gives me perspective.”
Elena said of Lizzie, “She saved me.”
Part of that saving grace is Lizzie’s ability to not dwell on what she doesn’t possess but to “celebrate” what she does have. Elena has learned from that as she and Lizzie have a special bond; the two communicate through touch. And one of Lizzie’s great joys is to feel the wind blow across her face. So it’s somehow apropos that Elena was drafted by the professional WNBA franchise Chicago Sky, located in the Windy City. The wind, all it represents and how it makes Lizzie feel, is a big part of this short as we see the two sisters embrace and experience nature’s gusts of beauty.
“She brought me back,” said Elena—to the point that when she returned to basketball, she could again feel a love and appreciation for the game which translated into her earning the WNBA’s 2015 MVP Award. Elena and Lizzie embody Gatorade’s “Win From Within” mantra.
Contributing to the two-minute film was a soundtrack from Santa Monica, Calif.-based SOUTH Music & Sound Design, with audio post provided by mixer Rohan Young of Lime, Santa Monica.
SOUTH’s creative director Dan Pritikin said of the music, “The role of the wind in this film is as important to the story as the characters themselves. Our biggest challenge was to compose a score that not only supported the wind sounds but actually nodded to them through instrumentation. So we began by building our music using wind chimes and affected woodwinds and developed from there. Equally important was for the music to remain understated to allow the power and emotion of the story to take center stage. As most composers will tell you, often this can be the most challenging type of score to write. We are thrilled with how it came out!”
As for the sound design, SOUTH composer/sound designer Robin Holden related, “The biggest challenge for the sound design on For The Wind was to maintain an atmosphere that walked the line between sounding realistic and almost dreamlike at the same time. There are slow-motion shots of wind moving trees and hair, which are contrasted by fast-paced basketball shots, so the wind elements had to be balanced against the sounds of the basketball action. This meant keeping the crowd sounds a little more echoey and distant, and the basketball bounces with a lot of reverb to keep that dreamlike feel.”
TBWA/Chiat/Day LA’s creative team included: Stephen Butler, creative chairman; Brent Anderson, chief creative officer; Renato Fernandez, executive creative director; Mark Peters, creative director; Stephanie Johnson, jr. art director; Paula Henzel, jr. copywriter; Brian O’Rourke, director of production; Guia Iacomin, executive producer; Kathleen Ackel, associate producer; Abigail Weintraub, planning director; and Matt Bataclan, planner.