The film is Jarvis’s first. To get the accurate running action, Kenworthy filmed Jarvis (a very keen runner) on a treadmill, then recreated his movements (it’s not motion capture).
Here’s more from Jarvis on how the project came about:
“At the beginning of last year I was thinking about what kind of project I would like to work on. I had become interested in the idea of characters that were less referential and more iconic and abstract. I particularly wanted to do something with a potato-headed stick-man that I had been drawing at that time.
I liked the idea of a moving image project that involved my obsession with running. Rather than make a narrative-based film, I wanted the content to be non-linear, reflecting the way I make drawings that have a logic all of their own.
I was talking to a friend at Nike, Kerry Shaw, about this idea and, given the subject matter, she suggested that Nike might be interested in supporting the film. I had been an admirer of Shynola’s collaboration with David Shrigley in their promo for the track Good Song. I liked the way it maintained Shrigley’s drawn aesthetic in its transformation into moving image, so I contacted them to see if they would be interested in working with me on the idea. Richard ‘Kenny’ Kenworthy agreed, and worked heroically on the film.
The film was inspired by certain personal experiences in running – a favourite run over Blanchland moor in Northumberland, being attacked by a crow in Singapore – and also by the transcendent, almost psychedelic experience of the simple act of running.
Rather than a marketing project inititated by Nike, the film was something proposed and produced by myself, and as such I hope represents a much more equal collaboration with a brand.”
See a full-screen version at Nike’s Onwards site