Private Project

Start Gate

An abstract examination of a young woman's involvement in elite sport.

  • Sophie Ash
    Director
  • Sophie Ash
    Writer
  • Paul Fletcher
    Producer
  • Robert Stephenson
    Producer
  • Sophia Kalo
    Music
  • CJ Welsh
    Screen Production Coordinator
  • Andrew Connell
    Online Editor
  • Dale Warren
    Sound Mixer
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Student, Short
  • Genres:
    Philosophical, Animation, Sport, Mental
  • Runtime:
    2 minutes 23 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 30, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    Australia
  • Country of Filming:
    Australia
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Apple QuickTime ProRes 422 HQ
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    Yes
  • VCA Film & Television Graduate Screenings 2019
    Melbourne
    Australia
    December 6, 2019
    Australia
Director Biography - Sophie Ash

Sophie Ash is a Melbourne-based Animator and illustrator, studying her final year of Animation at the Victorian College of the Arts. Concurrent to these studies, Ash represents Australia in Freestyle skiing at an elite level, and is on track to qualify for the Olympics in 2022. Much of her work is inspired by her strong emotional experiences training and competing as an elite athlete – both positive and negative – and how fear and stress distort perception. Through mediums such as animation, illustration and sculpture, she frames these experiences in her pursuit of athletic mastery – and performing in a ‘flow’ state.

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Director Statement

The film Start Gate gives a first-person perspective of the emotions and sensations experienced by athletes at an elite sporting competition, in this case the Moguls World Championships. Although drawing from my own experience, this feeling is universal among elite athletes and performers, and perhaps other elite professionals where an expectation to preform comes from an entire year of work. This film explored how physical and mental fatigue alter perception, which becomes especially apparent at competition. Somehow, athletes are expected to be “organic machines”, without mind or emotions, and simply bodies preforming motions.
Humans are feeling creatures that think – and so ideally, for high performance outcomes, both elements of the self are balanced, the mind and body are both present. Through the contrast of colourful imagery and rapid movement I wanted to replicate the experience.