Making Team GB “Don’t Stop Me Now” for Adidas UK

Olly Knights: If not now when from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Before I head off to LA to shoot a short fiction film next week, this was supposed to be my editing week, working on Olly Knights from Turin Brakes’ Documentary  and cutting the music video we shot on Tuesday for his debut solo single “If Not Now When” on the 1DX  (EDIT: I have now finished the edit of the music video and you can see it above…love that 1DX, all the narrative elements shot on it, the rest was on the C300. Great image out of that DSLR and will do a separate blog post on it very soon!) when a job I couldn’t turn down popped up….make a viral video for Adidas UK with lots of the medal winners from Team GB miming to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”. The concept was born out of the amazing performance of Team GB during the 2012 Olympics, and I was hired on Thursday evening with the shoot scheduled for Friday/ Saturday and a Sunday morning delivery – very full on! Adidas UK secured the rights to the song from the band, and all we had to do was make it!

With a great team put together by The 10 Group, I had two units, which for 95% of the shoot operated as two cameras to maximise our coverage in each location. My assistant Sarah Estela was operating the first unit with Ben Frewin on Unit 2 and the excellent James Davis on steadicam with Emilio pulling focus for him. Throw in a couple of runners, a couple of editors for ingest and logging, a couple of producers, sound guys for playback and we were all ready!

Naturally, the athletes were incredibly in demand and busy, so getting them to us was always going to be logistically challenging and very much a case of them arriving and us just going for it. It was a great fun way to shoot. Hugely challenging with lots of thinking on your feet and making the most of the locations we could squeeze into at a very busy Adidas centre at Westfield Stratford.

Directing Louis Smith
Sarah just couldn’t nail those words!

Sarah Estela operation Camera A
Me with Louis Smith

Shooting mostly on C300s (Jessica Ennis was shot by another operator on the mk2) and on two very sunny days was an absolute blast. Personally, I knew the lyrics to the song by heart (but then again I am an old bastard who grew up with the song) and most of the athletes were naturally not born when the song came out, so that made the lip sync a little tricky (although some of them knew it from Shaun of the Dead!)

We had massive cue cards to help, a few painful attempts at me singing it to them to get the pace and timings, and of course nice loud playback. Essentially a lip sync music video with lots of people, quite the opposite of my sedate, moody video with Olly just a few days earlier!

Sarah did a cracking job as did the rest of the team in making it all work with a very tight time schedule. Sometimes just 15 minutes or so to go through a song 2 or 3 times was always going to be a massive challenge, but these are things that I thrive on, along with trying to make things visually as different as possible, as much was filmed in the car park!

Adidas were a terrific client to work with, really into it, and let us do some very silly things at times! If only I could have managed to sneak some trainers out from them (size 9), love those new knit ones! 😉 The athletes were also terrific sports and really got into it, gotta say I have a soft spot for Laura Trott now!

I also make a cameo in my directors chair at the beginning and end, some people say I look a lot like David Beckham…I don’t see it myself…that actually was the only shot I operated the camera on using the good old Philip Bloom Kessler Crane slider! 🙂

Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images for adidas
Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images for adidas

Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images for adidas
Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images for adidas
Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images for adidas
Sarah Estela operation Camera A


I hope you enjoy, naturally more time is always wanted on jobs like this (you can never have too much time!), especially in the edit, but you always work to what you have. Personally, I think it’s a cracking video that really captures the spirit of the past two weeks and the elation our little nation has felt at this incredibly proud achievement by Team GB, we won more medals than I have cameras…that is a LOT of medals! 🙂

I edited until about 3:30AM this morning then left it for Jack the 10 group editor to check with fresh eyes when I went to bed! A fast pass on colour correction was done with Magic Bullet Colorista II (20% of it or the whole suite with code bloom 20 at checkout!). I would like to go back and polish it, but that is me! 🙂

Enjoy the video below and see in the first shot of Chris Hoy why you should always get IS on your 70-200mm  F2.8 for those damn windy moments. That was all we had, and I kicked myself as mine was at home! Oh well!! Check out the slightly tweaked and warp stabilised version on vimeo below!

adidas | Team GB Don’t Stop Me Now from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.


  1. loved it. To be honest, it has such a light airy fun personality, somewhat different from some of your other more dramatic works, it really showed your versatility. The athlete on the balcony is pretty much the most perfect woman i’ve ever seen…you know, just as a side note 🙂

    Awesome job!

  2. Haha cracking vid! Was interesting to see Ben Frewin’s name in your blog as I’ve worked with him a few times! I’m really getting into music video production now and being a long time fan of Turin Brakes was great to see your work with him and looking forward to seeing the rest of the doco. I’m looking to invest in a camera to develop my DSLR skills, particularly with music video production, but don’t want to go mad to start off with. Do you think the 550D or 60D is a good bet or do you have a better suggestion up your sleeve? Thanks for all your blogs, they’re a great inspiration to me.

  3. You should be so proud Philip! You’ve really come a long way in your career since i’ve started following your blog. It is an honor to watch the journey of a great master coming into his own! Enjoy the ride. I know I am.

  4. Philip,

    That was just plain fun to watch. “job you couldn’t turn down” indeed!

    One question around the logistics of this sort of thing. Did you have the athletes run through the whole song several times and cut the best parts together or was it planned out in advance to have certain athletes only sing specific parts?



        1. Hey Brian,

          I can’t speak for Philip, but we generally have specific lines the guests so it wouldn’t take up too much of the day. We generally cover 1 to 2 lines plus a bit of the chorus.


  5. I love that easy spirit:)

    Although I´m from Germany i got a little bit of a fan of Great Britains Team….they just overperformed in the best imaginable way.
    Great work by you Mr. Bloom as well:)

    That Vid made my day:)

  6. Great song and great video. When I first watched I was thinking about who was to be singing the “I am a sex machine ready to reload” part, but it was left it out. 🙁

    Understandable, but I was hoping that someone was brave enough to accept the challenge 😀

  7. Great video. It’s really happy and upbeat and feels very relaxed yet very professional. Great job and a fun video. I would have like to have seen a bit more from David Beckham but unfortunately he didn’t even compete so it would be odd for him to take the limelight.

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