“Whaling City Boxing Club is a dying swan. There are not too many more clubs like this” – Founder, Kent Ward
As a New London, Connecticut native, Kent has watched his city flourish and struggle. But what hasn’t changed has been his dedication and commitment to New London and the Club.
Kent’s Club provides boxing training for the community as well as at-risk youth with a safe environment to go. Get them off the streets and transfer any anger or resentment from growing up in a rough neighborhood to confidence and leadership by learning the fundamentals of boxing and most importantly, character.
After the first day of film production at the gym, I think we all had a hunch that the potential of this piece could go much further than we originally anticipated. Our original plan was to submit the video to a film contest through NBC Sports to win $10,000 and a chance to have the short film played at SXSW. But, after a few days of cutting up the interview, our Director Michael suggested skipping the contest entry. He felt the project had some serious legs and by adding more value to the piece it could make a monumental impact on a city, a gym, and kid who feels he’s got nowhere to turn.
With Michael’s direction, the project came together through curating archived photos of New London, producing aerials, and capturing hours of footage around the city, in the gym and at fights.
Two large elements to the piece became the tone and the titles. The majority of the music was produced in house and we were struck with an incredible fortune when hip hop artist Apathy came on to produce the closing track. We shared the first draft with Apathy and within 30 minutes he went into the booth and produced “Uppercut”. Our Art Director Andy sunk his teeth into the story and theme of Rolling With The Punches. Heavily influenced by boxing and the New London culture, he designed title graphics and closing credits that were raw, gritty and reflected the nature of the piece.
The short film represents a city that’s making its comeback and a man that’s helping lead the charge.
RWTP generated over 85,000 online views, 1,000 shares, and 1,200 reactions.