What is mezamashii? It is Japanese for "brilliant," or "eye opening"; a word that sports apparel maker Mizuno believes perfectly captures the spirit of running. The brand delivers this sentiment beautifully in "Manifesto," a stirring new spot for their "Mezamashii Run Project" featuring a track from Butter composer Judson Crane. Working via McKinney, Crane teamed up with Humble Director Sorrel Ahlfeld and Editor Eric Wais on the project.
Manifesto follows runners' journeys over misty landscapes of plains, bridges, tunnels, forests and stadium stairs. Crane's lilting soundtrack accompanies a powerful narrative poem evoking the liberation of running. "It was important to keep this spot from feeling like a typical sports montage, but still maintain the drive and energy that is synonymous with athletes in motion," noted Crane, who carefully selected the track's instrumentation to project the artful tone he felt the piece demanded. The soundtrack juxtaposes classically inspired piano and cello lines with the aggressive pulse of a distorted double bass to achieve the perfect balance between originality and the dynamism so closely associated with athletics.
Butter's corps of composers labored for a few weeks, generating several strong options to find the optimal match for the footage before settling on Crane's piece. "We spent a lot of time talking about the duality of running: the physical aspect, which is about drive and stamina and athleticism; and the emotional aspect, which is very calming and meditative," noted Butter Producer Ian Jeffreys. "We wanted to capture both sides of the experience, but in particular it was that emotional experience - the zen-like feeling of connecting to something eternal and primal - that had to define our work."