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running in time - beach run

running in time

running in time
Music and running are two anchors in my life, two things that remain steady when everything else gets a bit hectic. I learned to play the piano young and started taking running seriously sometime in junior high school. They both occupy a lot of my time, energy and brain space, but never seem to overlap with one another. I don’t listen to music before races or put a pair of headphones on for an easy run, partly out of fear of an easy out. But mostly, it’s to protect (possibly the last) two things I feel I have absolute control over in my often distracted headspace.
Running has become an important way for me to ground my thoughts and neutralize my emotions. Music has become an avenue to lean into the technical skills I’ve spent time honing to create something that can often surprise and excite me. They also have the ability to send me into daydreams of places and feelings I’d like to think I’ll be chasing my whole life.
though it didn’t exactly start out that way, this project became a combination of these two things – searching for a way to share how special music and running are for me, through a series of visuals and music.
My friend Jack Leahy and I started working together more and more in the commercial world. He was also starting to take a keen interest in running which made the idea of shooting a just-for-fun running spec ad an easy yes for both of us. Running in a way is like one big location scout. This led me to choose my favourite places to run around Nova Scotia as the setting for the film. Jack was looking for ways to test the limits of the relatively affordable camera equipment that has changed what’s possible in the indie filmmaking world. Pairing our two motivations for the project is what I hoped could capture the feeling of those running daydreams.
Jack originally wanted the film to be 6 drawn out shots without music, just the visuals and the sounds. After the first day of filming, the idea of pairing this series (of what turned out to be somewhat rugged visuals) with a classical piano composition reshaped the direction of the project. We both liked the idea of the slight disconnect between the scenery and the music. The song motivated the idea of creating a one minute piece that would ultimately create something more fast paced and engaging.
video by jack leahy.

The result is something that surprises me each time I watch it. It doesn’t leave me with this feeling of euphoria or satisfaction that I imagined it might. I don’t find myself getting lost in each shot, dreaming about that almost synthetic feeling of a runner’s high. Maybe because I’m too close to knowing exactly how I felt during that segment along the boardwalk, or the late evening shot on the causeway in the pouring rain. Maybe it’s because I’m listening to the track with a critical ear, wishing I’d approached the recording differently. It could also be the critical eye with which I consume all films these days, struggling to shut off my work brain and just enjoy the piece of art. But it creates a new feeling I’ve never experienced in watching a video.
That’s the beautiful thing about creating something from scratch with someone like Jack. Someone who wants nothing more than to capture unique and thought provoking images. It’s also rare to not have a client pushing a specific narrative, message or product. This allows space for the creative process to take its own path, resulting in interesting things through good planning and happy accidents.

In the end, I’m very proud to see running, music, and filmmaking come together in one piece. I’m always excited to see the latest running videos that share other people’s stories, brands or products.
but I still personally maintain the belief that the beauty of each needs to live in isolation.
It was such a rewarding process to run a stretch of road back and forth, tweaking the framing and the lighting, then re-work parts of the song to fit the edit sequence. But after this is all done, I’m happy to be back out the door for those solo runs that almost always returns me back home in a better mood in which I left. My hope is that this film makes someone pause for a moment and think about the beautiful things in their life. For me, it creates a new feeling of curiosity that continues to put a smile on my face.

Gavin Hatheway is the COO of threesixfive Media, a creative agency with offices in Halifax and Toronto. He studied piano and captained the varsity X-country team while completing his Undergraduate degree in Physics from Queen's University. Gavin discovered his passion for videography and storytelling through drone cinematography which taught him the power of leveraging technology to tell better stories. When he's not in the office or on set, you'll usually find Gavin out for a run or sitting at his piano.
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