Whaling City Boxing Club is a dying swan. “There are not too many more clubs like this,” says owner Kent Ward who started the club. A New London 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.
We met with Kent to learn about the gym and produce a short film as a passion project. What we didn’t realize was how much bigger the project was going to be.
After the first day of production at the gym, I think we all had a hunch that the potential of this piece could go much further than just another generic interview + b roll video. Our original plan was to submit the video to a film content 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. We produced the majority of the music in-house and were struck with an incredible fortune when a former neighbor, friend, and rap artist Apathy agreed to produce the score. Our designer Andy sunk his teeth into the story and theme of Rolling With The Punches and was able to design title graphics that reflected the nature of the piece.
This short film represents a city that’s making its comeback and a man that’s helping lead the charge.
Results: Over 75,000 views in the first month