Looking Back on Nike “Courage”

08 11 2016

“Courage is doing what you can’t.”

The mantra that covers the very first shot of “Courage” sets the tone for the invigorating spot that launched STALKR in the run up to the Beijing Olympics.

From the earliest two-page concept, “Courage” was to be “a powerful and visceral visual expression of the many meanings of Just Do It… to create one bold, raw, adrenaline-filled spot.” The resulting mosaic featured dozens of athletes from countless countries, interwoven with real human moments of challenge and triumph.

The extended edit below provides an insider’s glimpse into the depth and breadth of our process, core to which was that every image be imbued with true courage — physical, social, political, historical, artistic, scientific, metaphysical, or all of the above. Whether showing us John Bannister breaking the four-minute mile, John McEnroe refusing to play tennis in South Africa under apartheid, Derek Raymond limping to a tearful Olympic finish on his father’s shoulder, or a toddler taking her very first steps, the official :60 blitzes through more than 3 courageous shots per second, building to an indomitable crescendo against The Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done.”

Courage launched STALKR as both a company and a state of mind. It’s where we successfully prototyped our form of storytelling and its requisite plurality of voices, united through creative montage. It’s where we first activated our growing network of thousands of autonomous filmmakers worldwide who each bring their independent spirit and passion to the table to form an even greater storytelling whole. Since then we’ve opened offices in six cities around the world, created compelling work for hundreds of global brands, and been grateful to win awards and accolades along the way.

Hats off to Courage.