Starring a squad of the most awarded and talented swimmers in the world - Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte, James Guy, Maria Belmonte, among others -  the pressure was on to justly represent the relentless sweat, blood and tears that goes into the making of a champion. Building on the unprecedented success of 2014’s Robinson’s SQUASH’D ‘Zero Gravity’ campaign – a challenge Framestore responded to with some style – the two teams reunited, with Framestore Pictures Director Mike McGee and Executive Creative Director Andy Taylor leading the effort to showcase the Team Speedo collective at a key point in the run-up to Rio.

Framestore Pictures shot the majority of the work in Montenegro, in a one day shoot which used a dilapidated training pool to great effect. The urban grit of the opening shots came direct from Hackney, London. With limited time available with the 11-strong team of athletes, the production team worked hard and fast to capture the footage, with DP Stuart Bentley instrumental in setting up the shots and lighting in the most concise configurations possible. The team chose anamorphic Cooke lenses for the work to lend it a filmic quality, catching sparkling lens flares and splashes as the athletes hit the water.

The soundtrack to the film was critical in representing the grit and determination of the athletes, led into the pool by Team USA star Missy Franklin. Keen to use rap, McGee selected a track by Raphael Lake, which quickly became the guiding backdrop to the piece. Supplied with the splits, Sound Editor Ben Gulvin was able to adapt the depths of sound to fit the narrative exactly, creating the perfect audio crescendo as Missy dives into the water.

Framestore provided the VFX, integrating the golden elemental ‘charges’ across the athletes’ bodies as they train. Built on the concept of athlete + water + Speedo = gold, the connectors echo the build of periodic elements, and were designed and animated into the live action footage seamlessly in-house. ECD William Bartlett applied some finishing touches, using lighting effects to fully embed golden anamorphic flares onto the athletes and the water surface. Colourist Edwin Metternich heightened the mood of the piece even further, adding drama to the urban opening of the film and ramping up the saturation on the warmer elements poolside.

The outcome is an electrifying film that pays dues to the talent, tenacity and determination of Team Speedo’s athletes. Says Mike McGee, Framestore Pictures Director and co-founder of Framestore: ‘This was the perfect brief, to create an edgy and cool brand film for Speedo that highlighted the athleticism and dedication of their team. I'm really pleased that the combination of gritty locations, anamorphic photography and customised audio has resulted in such a powerful film’.