Jamaican athlete plays coaching to young sprinter

Six-time Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt acted in a one-minute spot for the South African telecommunications company Telkom.

In true Bolt style, even the filming of the TV commercial had to be done at high pace. The athlete’s preparations ahead of this year’s Olympic Games remain his primary focus, and filming had to be carefully structured around his punishing training schedule. Filming took place in Bolt’s home base of Kingston, Jamaica, and the team, led by Telkom’s agency DDB, was given just three hours to complete the shoot.

Bolt’s management worked closely with Telkom and DDB to ensure the developed concept would resonate with the superstar athlete. The storyline, which sees Bolt training and developing a young athlete, certainly achieved this.

Telkom used cinema-style technology to produce the advert – which features a toddler track star in training – while keeping a realistic look and feel. As children have proportionately bigger heads, feet, hands and knees compared to adults, fat suit technology was used to allow an adult athlete to be filmed in the sporting sequences.

This allowed seamless filming while maintaining the correct proportions of a two-year-old boy. Similar state-of-the-art technology was used in The Avengers and Resident Evil movies. Computer-generated imagery was kept to a minimum and used mainly for wider scenes.


credit: Jamaica Olympics

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