- Text by Shelley Jones
Inspired by the story of the Up-North Combine – a community of pigeon racing clubs and federations from the North East of England and borders of Scotland – short film Release captures the tension and energy of race day in micro, monochrome vignettes.
“[The Up-North Combine]’s love and appreciation for the birds is unparalleled,” says LAW Mag Creative Director Joseph Prince. “Their dedication to the sport and the birds was inspiring, we wanted to capture this before it’s too late, before pigeon racing is a sport of the past.”
The film was shot surprisingly on the iPhone 6 Plus (with Exolenses) and has quite a frenetic approach, which Joseph says was integral to their vision: “We really wanted to take this quick event that happens and dissect and expand on it. Multiple angles. Different sounds and clash it all together.”
For those who don’t know: A pigeon race starts when specially trained racing pigeons are released from a designated starting location and the race finishes when they arrive back at their owner’s loft. The distance that each bird has travelled is then carefully measured and divided by its flying time, in order to calculate an average speed. The pigeon with the highest recorded velocity is the winner.
“The first time we witnessed the incredible explosion of energy at the start of a pigeon race, we felt compelled to capture it,” say the duo. “We couldn’t believe there was this fascinating sport going on in the sky above our heads that we were completely unaware of.”