From the outset, I wanted to capture the breathtaking experience of being a ballkid at the tournament I had been involved in for the previous 8 years. To do so was an immense task – one that was fulfilled with the help of friend and fellow filmmaker Robbie Szafranek.
The film was directed by myself with cinematography by Robbie, composed professionally in Final Cut Pro X with motion graphics from Apple Motion 5.
Tennis has and continues to be a big part of my life. Since 2011 I've been heavily involved with the Sydney International tournament held annually at Sydney Olympic Park during the first two weeks of the year. From a young age I was a member of the Tennis NSW ballsquad. Five consecutive January's were spent in the heart of the tournament, one of which I was given the phenomenal opportunity to represent the NSW ballsquad in Melbourne for the Australian Open 2013. Graduating the eligible age bracket didn't stop me either and for the next three years I took the helm as a Ballkid Supervisor.
It is through this strong connection with the sport that the inspiration to craft compelling visuals representing my own personal experience emerged. The 2018 tournament surfaced the opportunity for me to do just that – the opportunity to create visuals for the sport I love and that represented my own personal experience of being on court next to my tennis idols – the likes of Lleyton Hewitt, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. I directed both a short social-oriented film for promotional purposes as well as a longer short film documenting the day-to-day life of a member of the ballsquad. As a supervisor of the ballsquad and previous member, I was in a unique position to capture once-in-a-lifetime on-court interactions between ballkids and players as well as downtime at Ballkid HQ where many close friendships are formed.
The Sydney International has been an incredibly memorable experience and is where I formed some of my closest friends. It is fitting that one of the projects I'm most proud of was filmed under the same roof.
This edit was produced by myself and Robbie for the social channels of the Sydney International Ballkids for the purpose finding new recruits for the tournament the following year.
In an attempt to revisit the mindset of being on court as a 14yr old kid, Jakob, Robbie and myself returned to centre court to relive the experience once again.
Witness the on-court experience.
A selection of the stills captured during the weeklong tournament by Robbie and myself.