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MARCH TO WEMBLEY – Telling Saints’ story

Posted By: James Kibbey
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How do you go about creating a film to grab football fans by the emotional jaffas?

In the build-up to Southampton FC’s appearance in the EFL Cup Final, we put together a film specifically designed to give Saints fans “the feels”. People needed to be fired up, moved, even shed some tears. (And that was before a wonky linesman and bloody Zlatan even played their parts.)

The basic ingredients were as follows:

– Footage of the cup run – goals, celebrations.

– Passionate commentary from those games.

– Shots we took of the players in a changing room environment late last year.

But we needed to add a little ‘spice’, to make it more filmic than standard MOTD fare, so I gave a composer friend of mine a call and asked him how his impression of Hans Zimmer was as we needed something epic. The guys at Veneration Music cooked up the perfect accompaniment – a big, gladiatorial, sweeping score that took the film to the next level.

Next we sent a skeleton crew down to Wembley Stadium to get some flavour of what was in store. The journey the fans would be taking, the view from their seats, the player’s tunnel.

The final piece of the puzzle was a voiceover. The match commentary was great but it needed support to tell the story in the way we wanted to. In steps the pipes of Chris Jarman – perhaps most famous as General B*tt-F**king-Naked in The Book Of Mormon.

With all the ingredients in place, we set Adobe Premiere to Gas Mark 4 and slow-cooked for 3 days. The resulting film racked up over 1 million views in the first 48 hours on Facebook alone, had the Saints players tweeting about it, and was shown at Wembley on the day itself. Most importantly, it had Saints fans in absolute pieces. In a good way.

We even recorded a extra scene and voiceover to add to the end of the film in case Southampton did the business. But thanks to Zlatan and friends, that will never see the light of day.

So here it is, the story, in epic fashion, of how Southampton FC marched to Wembley beating 4 Premier League teams on the way including Arsenal and Liverpool (twice):

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