The Photographs below are from a promotional shoot for a documentary called The Rebound: A Wheelchair Basketball Story. My good friends and fellow cinematographers Shaina Koren & Mike Esposito [of Shaina Koren Cinematography] are filming this wonderful journey called The Rebound - A Wheelchair Basketball Story.
The Miami Heat Wheels is the team featured in the upcoming film. Presentation! The team is a member of the NWBA (National Wheelchair Basketball Association) and I am blessed that Shaina introduced me to this project beginning in 2012. I helped her with a short promo video using my Steadicam rig in Miami, FL. and never knew this would be a life-changing experience. I have such an appreciation for these athletes and what they can accomplish. They are athletes with humongous hearts and motivation to continue their dreams. That is one reason I believe this short “promo video” has grown into a full-blown documentary.
The experience that has stood the most to me was when I was asked to help film for the documentary at the National Championship tournament in Louisville, KY! Although I have attended some games locally in South Florida, this event took it to the next level, with over 1,000 wheelchair athletes in one arena. To say that I was impressed with their athleticism would be an understatement. The speed and skill level that these athletes are able to display is amazing. I have no doubt that this will soon be a televised sport to display their skill sets and desire. The Rebound will be a truly motivational story that everyone should check out.
About the photo shoot:
Before a shoot, I will usually do research on sites like 500px, Google Images, Flickr, etc. for photos related to the shoot/job as inspiration. Shaina mentioned to me that she would be filming one of their games in Ft. Lauderdale, which led to adding a photo shoot with several of the players that are featured in the film. While researching for this shoot, I noticed that wheelchair basketball was unchartered as far as a professional portraiture goes.
Due to time constraints, we set up 2 different looks for the shoot. The first setup was on a seamless backdrop in which we planned to create composite images using a different background. The plan was to use this as our safety shot just in case we were not able to use the actual gym/courts where the tournament was being played.
The second setup allowed us to use the gymnasium as the set after the games concluded. We prepared a quick 3-light setup in which we used the ambiance of the community gym as our backdrop.
The documentary is now in its final stage of production and they're running a crowd funding campaign through Indiegogo to cover some of the costs required to finish the documentary. To find out more about the film fundraising campaign and how you can get involved, check out this link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-rebound-documentary-film
The players featured in these photos are Jeremie Thomas and Mario Moran of the Miami Heat Wheels.
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