To break the mould of traditional sport anthem spots, the creatives at COMMUNITY (agency) wanted to create an unfiltered, ground-up approach to both the imagery and copy for the campaign to speak directly to the people of Detroit. To do this they sought out local talent in Detroit and came across Mama Sol, a homegrown legend whom the director, Michael Medoway immediately connected with. The spoken word, written and performed by Mama Sol and served as a guiding force from preproduction through post. Carried by Mama Sol's spoken word performance, we sweep through the city, catching glimpses of Detroiters - on and off the basketball court. The film serves as a love letter to the city of Detroit, its beloved team and its die hard fans. To create a raw patchwork of the city, director Michael Medoway and DP Alejandro Wilkins spent a week on the ground capturing stills and motion portraits in neighbourhoods all over the city. Using a mixture of various still film cameras, motion film and digital capture with a mini crew they were able to shoot in a true verite style. The edit used a mix of medium format and 35mm still photography, including '3D' 35mm film that was scanned and layered to create multiple stereoscopic moments. The majority of the spot utilised 16mm film and multiple digital cameras that were matched cut to footage from live game broadcasts. Grain and colour correction bridged the clean digital imagery with the grainy, raw film photography.
Michael Medoway is known for telling authentic stories that weave brand culture into honest narratives. His work blends elements of vérité realism with cinematic polish. Michael was selected for a 2019 YDA and included in SHOOT’s 2019 New Directors Showcase for his work on the Lexus-branded film, ”The Art of The Dunk.” For a 2020 Detroit Pistons anthem campaign, Michael was awarded a CLIO and was shortlisted for an ADC Award. His short doc “El Gallo” on world-champion boxer Juan Estrada, was an official selection at DOC NYC 2018, winning ‘Best Short Documentary’ at the Rome Independent Cinema Festival and was picked up by DAZN for broadcast. Michael’s work has been featured in Shots, Little Black Book, BooooooomTV and Director’s Notes. Michael loves, in no particular order: basketball, coffee, Haruki Murakami novels, red wine and good company.