Amazing static motion

‘Static motion’ might sound like an oxymoron, but it seems the most apt description of the latest stage in Nike’s neverending creative interpretation of the game of basketball. Entitled Cut Through L.A., the ad for their new Jordan CP3.VI trainers depicts Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul dribbling through a standard Venice Beach street scene. It looks as if the player has been captured in ‘multiple exposure‘ – a photographic technique which combines multiple exposures into one image – but in fact every aspect of the scene has been painstakingly arranged as a huge photographic set, and every stage of Paul’s movement is modeled by innumerable identically-bearded clones (well, just other people who look a bit like him).

With very few cuts and a stuttering, glitchy soundtrack, you do need to keep reminding yourself that this is not actually trick photography – it’s actually a double-bluff where traditional stagecraft tricks us into thinking it is trick photography. Which puts an interesting slant on things…

All credit to Nike for another great advert, but they aren’t the first to come up with this technique for manually freezing time. In 2006, Japanese pop artist and director Nagi Noda created ‘Sentimental Journey’, a music video for pop singer Yuki. Even if it doesn’t end in a slam dunk, it’s still a pretty cool way to tell a story.

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