Future Foxes: Inside Leicester City’s Academy
Client: Leicester City Football Club
Project: Future Foxes: Inside Leicester City’s Academy
In April 2023, Leicester City football Club extended an invitation to Slate and Mortar to create an in-depth documentary, shedding light on their esteemed academy Day Release program – a project that is meticulously crafted to nurture the talents of promising young football players.
Situated within the prestigious LCFC Seagrave training facility, the Ray Release initiative is tailored for exceptionally skilled young athletes. It operates through a collaboration between LCFC and educational institutions, allowing selected children to dedicate one day a week at Seagrave. Here, they refine not only their football prowess but also engage in a thoughtfully structured academic program focused on STEM and essential transferable skills.
LCFC were keen to showcase the unwavering support provided to the young talents by a dedicated team of specialised teachers, nutritionists, sports psychologists, and support staff. The aim was to emphasise that being a professional footballer is not the sole viable career path. The footballing world offers a plethora of opportunities beyond playing, including coaching, data science, physical therapy, and various other roles.
Slate and Mortar were invited to spend two immersive days with the Day Release children and their support team. During this time, we captured the vibrant football activities and classroom interactions employing a two-camera, gimbal setup coupled with cinematic prime lenses to ensure a visually compelling final product. Interviews were conducted with crucial stakeholders, such as coaches, teachers, Premier League officials, parents, the children, and even players who had graduated from the system and were now excelling at the highest level.
The approach in the documentary was deliberately unobtrusive, opting for a fly-on-the-wall, observational style. Minimal use of music and graphics allowed the audience to form their own unbiased opinions, steering clear of any directed influence. In the final stages of post-production, a meticulous colour grading process was implemented to ensure seamless transitions between shots. Simple and clean graphics were introduced, maintaining the unobtrusive, observational approach.
The team at Slate and Mortar takes immense pride in the final documentary and the project has garnered overwhelmingly positive feedback, providing a glimpse into the inner workings of a football academy and the evident joys and benefits experienced by the participating children.
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