Monday, 25 February 2013


In a shameless act of online vanity, I secretly keyed-in a searched for 'franks brothers, training tough' to see if google had remembered that my first published book is on shelves today. To my relief google had remembered. More specifically most of the usual online bookshops had remembered, and reviewed the new book.

The bulk of my tasks with Whero is post-production. Editing for hours on end on the high-tech trillion-dollar editing suite. So to mix things up and get out of the office I do enjoy taking-on the odd photography project. Compared to animation, motion graphics, making a film or a 30" TV spot, photography can be a quick and enjoyable process. So documenting Ben and Owen from a visual aspect was an easy call, but it was the writing 10,000 words about the Franks philosophy that was the tough bit.

I definitely don't feel like a writer. Thankfully the publisher Warren Adler and the team at Hachette were amazingly supportive. Half of the staff in the office exercised regularly, played rugby, or were training for a New Zealand woman's powerlifting record. So the staff were excited to help me out with proofing my copy 10 times over. As for genuine content - thankfully I had been training under Ken Franks during my last two Basketball off-seasons and have been involved with the Franks Brother Gym since it was based in the old location on Moorhouse Ave. Combined with a decade or two of reading books starting from Arnie's bodybuilding bibleBruse Lee's phillophy through to reading and noting Andre Agassi's life-long training habits, Training Tough was a great project to have humming in the background of 2012.

Usually when filming athletes doing the kind of sports I love I like to get involved. When filming Tim Duncan to promote adidas under armer I enjoyed getting some time with the athlete, throwing Timmy the ball on set as he bounced off the abs of Dwight Howard Mannequin. While touring and filming with the Crusaders, SBW was training for a boxing bout while we were in Cape Town and I was lucky enough to talk khoder into letting me enjoy a few rounds with the champ. But never once did I ever consider warming up and joining-in with either Ben or Owen Franks for any of their workouts.

I've seen those boys literally bend and break barbells in half. Even when comparing the Franks lifts and numbers with the likes of infamous gym-buff Brad Thorn; even Thorny swallows his man-pride and admits the boys are "freaks" unto themselves in the weight room.

But back to the book. Asides from a great insight into Ben and Owen's journey into becoming world class athletes, in a nutshell, Training Tough is a training tool written for beginners. This book is an A-Z guide designed for aspiring athletes who want to learn all about the required commitments and steps needed when beginning the journey into becoming a professional. Not to mention an easy read to instantly transform your otherwise soft looking book collection or coffee table into a intimidating feature-piece.

Training Tough explains how the Franks brothers were never really expected to reach the peak levels they have, but with a clear plan and some serious determination - you can do anything.


Everybody Loves A Man in Uniform

While I do try by best to create vivid, insightful, timeless compositions to both entertain and educate an audience. When Daniel Carter calls you after you have neglected to listen to his earlier answer-phone message, you find yourself bending a variety of otherwise unbendable principles.

Over the phone DC mentioned that recently he had cleared out his 'costume room' in preparation for the new baby room. No doubt an inventory was mentally noted, and later called upon after watching the fever of 'Harlem Shake' online videos. "Red, can you bring a camera down to rugby park at 4(pm)?". Of course of course. I'll bring my Nikon, a bag of wide angle primes, and a couple of LCD lights. "Cool, I'll bring the props" said DC.

Later that night the Crusaders players, coaches, and all of their partners were celebrating the end of the Super Rugby pre-season. Canterbury Rugby had commissioned from Whero Films to cut variety of other entertaining videos showcasing the year so far. DC mentioned that he wanted to put the icing on the cake at the end of the evening by entertaing the room with a "Harlem Shake Crusaders edition".

We cut 3 different versions. Here is an unlisted link to the other edit that didn't make the cut.

From what I understand everybody at the fuction had a good laugh, and once the evening was rounding up DC dropped me a text asking to make the video public. Then it was on every local news channel spanning the next 4 days and almost had four times more hits than any of my other online work.

Hell, the one scene, one cut video showcasing rugby players off the field got more hits in one day then the adidas commissioned feature length film Inside the Black Jersey I spent 6 months editing!

But hey it was a bit of fun for the afternoon. I hope it didn't offend to many people in Harlem.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Product of New York x Holland x Whero Films

Earlier this year, Phillip from Acht Sneakers Amsterdam, released a new collaboration sneaker with the 80's and 90's heavyweight Pony International.

Me, my Nikon, and a lamp caught up with Phil to record the backstory surrounding Acht Sneakers' latest creation.

What I love about Acht's sneaker releases, is that it is never enough to simply design a unique shoe, and in an original box, but he always packages things up with a slick shirt / jersey just to ice off the limited run.

Check out the two short films we made about the history of the dutch national orange, white, and blue and how they came to still be used all around NYC today.

For more info on Acht Amsterdam check out

For more Acht x Pony M-100 reviews check out

Friday, 15 February 2013

Not quite a "Yes" but better then a "No"

Ok so when I am out and about, working, or mingling with the general public, the first thing my fellow man asks me for is "do you have a business card?"

Picture of Red capturing a longboard kickflip by Jesus Vale from the Converse Pro Streets shoot in Madrid, Spain.

The short answer is usually "No" (well I usually do have an old card jammed into an equipment bag or flight-case, but generally it is out of date).

The second most common question is "do you have a website?"

Short answer: "No."

BUT if, from now on, the question was "do you have a blog? well my friend, I can now answer: "Yes. Yes i do".

It may be slim but it is better then a "No."