This was a World Cup of surprises. Spain's early exist, Brazil's semi-final drubbing, Glenn Hoddle still being alive. But one of the biggest shocks came in the closing minutes of the closing minutes, as Gary Lineker signed off from Rio, came the opening bars of Woodkid's "Run Boy Run". The French video director and singer has always been something of a cult favourite, but the BBC brought him to the pubs and living rooms of Britain, reaching around 15 million viewers. It was an incredibly well received film, receiving plaudits from just about everyone on Twitter. Even the Daily Mail said they were into it.
We made some long-distance calls to Brazil and tracked down Tom Gent, the man behind the montage, to find out how he chose the track.Noisey: So what was the idea behind that montage?Tom: We came up with the idea three or four weeks back. We had just had a black hole at the end of it to drop in a few shots from the final but the rest was done. During the final, I was sat in a windowless room, waiting for someone to score a goal. Got a bit hairy because it went to extra time and we were waiting for the shot of the trophy lift and all that. But all’s well that ends well.So why did you choose Woodkid?I first heard that track a few years ago and I’d actually used it once before on a VT about David Weir for Sports Personality Of The Year in 2012, but you couldn’t really hear it then because it was so low in the mix. Normally I loathe using a track for a second time but everything we were trying for the closing montage wasn’t hitting the mark. We needed something with a bit of a Brazillian feel and the clapping in "Run Boy Run" is great. We needed something that felt a bit like a film score and it had that too. I was chatting about it with the boss and we tried it out with a couple of pictures and it was really working.So you chose the music before you came up with the concept?Yeah pretty much. Then when we went out and started filming with the favela kids who were doing this passinho dancing, which I believe translates as “little steps”. One of the Brazilian guys out here sourced all these amazing dancers for us. So once we had the track we could play it to them and they could get a feel for the rhythm.
So you were playing Woodkid in the favelas of Brazil?Yeah, I mean they weren’t dancing to the tune the whole time but they kind of got a feel for it. They did some clapping along and we kind of worked it around the music.It’s had such a positive response.Yeah doing the closing montage to the world cup is always seen as a bit of an honour so it was great I got to do it this time. The response has been really positive on Twitter and Facebook. The big boss of football at the BBC has actually sent us through some comments from the website and there’s a woman from north Somerset who emailed in to say she was “overwhelmed by the closing sequence, the music was just fabulous. “ So if some old dear in a cottage in Somerset likes Woodkid, that’s good news.From blog favourite to the cottages of Somerset. I’m sure he’ll be pleased too.Exactly. That’s job done in my book. And he’s seen it and tweeted it, so I was pretty chuffed with that.You didn’t get a neat England exit on the BBC this year. Did you have anything suitably soppy in mind? I guess “Walk Away” by Cast and “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” by Oasis have been etched into the national psyche after their appearance.Yeah, exactly. Cast in Euro 96, that’s just an unstoppable tune. We’re constantly on the lookout. We’ve asked the record labels now to put them into folders like “sad tunes” and “happy tunes”. But I did end up doing the montage for the Costa Rica vs Italy game, which ended up sealing our fate. And I went for “Wise Up” by Aimee Mann from the Magnolia soundtrack.
It’s a sad tune. But there’s not that much pre-planned. You’re making so many VTs and features, you’re just rinsing all the music that you’ve got, you often decide in the hour before you make it. I just picked something sad, because you can’t compete with Cast.Follow Tom on Twitter: @Thomas_GentWoodkid plays the Noisey stage at this weekend’s Lovebox festival. For more info visit loveboxfestival.comThe Rise of the Sporting Montage