The Exec is proud to present A Cinematic Running Guide. We break down all the elements required to make sure the running in your film is up to speed. A Cinematic Running Guide is presented in proud association with NIKE. NIKE, just fucking do it already.
A Cinematic Running Guide, Nay A History
Since the burgeoning cinema at the start of the 20th Century, film makers have captured running in all its forms. From Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, men, women and children have run on screen. Sometimes towards the camera, sometimes away and sometimes they even ran across the shot. Cinema audiences around the world have been thrilled in whichever direction people could run in films.
With the introduction of sound, running in movies became an even more immersive experience. Hollywood film makers such as Hitchcock used it to great effect in action sequences. Take North By Northwest, Hitchcock uses running towards camera AND away from a fucking plane to create an iconic scene. Without running, this scene would have been dog shit.
It’s All About The Running
Take Tony Richardson’s run-fest, The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner. It came just three years after North By Northwest, but already running is in the title and features heavily as a plot device and arty-farty metaphor. Ok Tony, you went to Oxford, we get it already, jeez!
But Where’s The Chariot?
Fast forward to the early 80s and running is now the entire narrative in Hugh Hudson’s Oscar winning Chariots Of Fire. But audiences were left confused because there were no chariots to be seen anywhere. What’s wrong with these crazy Brits?
With boxing underdog movie Rocky, Sylvester Stallone took running to new, heroic heights. Sly continued to fly the flag for heroic running (mainly toward camera but away from the exploding whatever) in films as diverse as First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II and the inexplicably titled Rambo III. There was no Rambo II. What the fuck Sly?
Nice Try Arnie
Other blockbuster action stars tried to get in on the running, but with less success. Arnold Schwarzenegger tried with a bit of running in Conan The Barbarian. But this was mainly across the shot, which was proven to be the least effective. He even tried using running in one of his titles, The Running Man. But all anyone remembers about that film is how piss poor Mic Fleetwood was in it. I’ll be back? Nah, you’re ok man. Stay where you are.
The Running King
And now we come to the undisputed king of running in movies: Tom Cruise. Cruise tried his hand at ‘acting’ in films such as The Color Of Money, Rain Man and Born On The Fourth Of July. But he found his little running feet in The Firm. Here, Cruise discovered he could thrill audiences the world over just by sprinting towards the camera and away from scary, cuddly uncle Wilford Brimley. But he really got up to pace three years later with Brian De Palma’s Mission Impossible. The legendary scene where Tom leaps away from exploding chewing gum on a fish tank is an all time running classic. The invention and the daring to not only run toward the camera and away from the water, but in slow-mo and then under the camera is ground-breaking. I mean… shit the bed shivers up my spine.
Running The Show
Since then, Cruise has gone from strength to strength. He can run on sand, on roads, rooves, through windows and even under water. He continues to thrill and astound audiences with his running. Hardly anyone has noticed he really can’t act. And he owes it all to running. Go figure.