This Gorgeous Short Film Captures The Strangely Poetic Beauty of Amateur Boxing
Earlsfield Amateur Boxing Club is the latest work from Generator director Joshua Osborne. Joshua captures the essence of day-to-day life at a typical boxing club and reveals the interplay of different personalities and aspirations that shape a working boxing gym.
“I first realised I wanted to make a portrait film based on an amateur boxing club when I heard the track ‘Tezeta’ by Ethio-Jazz artist Mulatu Astatke. It’s quite an odd starting point for a concept of a film but it was something about the sax and tone of the track that made me think it would be suitable to show the beauty of the sport,” said Joshua.
Joshua is a keen boxer himself, so the sport mixed with his realist approach to filmmaking was the perfect matrimony. He explains: “Social Realism is my main approach to filmmaking. I always strive to produce work that is honest and reflects the British working class. I was brought up in and around this world and it has always inspired me visually.”
Joshua’s frustration at the over-saturation of boxing documentaries that just portray the sport as one big macho-fest was also a driving force behind the project. “As a boxer myself I wasn’t impressed by the boxing documentaries that were floating around the Internet, as they always seemed play on the typical masculine side of the sport which many have seen. I wanted to create something that showed boxing in a different light - the family aspect of amateur boxing and the art of the sport.”
As the majority of amateur boxing clubs across the country rarely receive the recognition they deserve, Joshua sought to address the balance by revealing the important and positive role such clubs play in shaping young working class lives. For Joshua it is an important part of the tradition of boxing, and a story that needed to be told: “Amateur boxing is built on the love of the sport and the nurturing of talented kids, whom without the club would not have much of a chance in life. I wanted to gain recognition for these inspirational, voluntary, tough yet loveable coaches.”
The film was a real labour of love for Joshua. It took him one year to make and he spent that entire time with virtually nothing. But, realising the film’s potential, industry friends came on board to help out. “, I was fortunate to have people come on board to help make the film. I shot the majority of the film with a 5D on my shoulder but was lucky enough to have DOP Karl Watkins get involved. He managed to get hold of an Alexa, a friend of his donated lights and a sound recordist came along too.
And it was that mishmash of shooting techniques that really shines through for Joshua: “I like the difference between my raw footage which is cut with the more classy slow motion sequences.”
Category: Gyms , Sports and leisure