The Nature Of The Game – A Film in High Definition

HDTV. Do you have it yet? Have you seen it? Everyone is raving about High Definition. It`s gets you right in the game, they say. You feel every hit on the grid iron. You feel the chill of the hockey arena. You can see every blade of grass. Ah! There we are “ golf! Have you seen golf on HDTV yet? If you have you`ve probably raved to all of your friends, many of whom have either bought one outright or are now shopping for one. If you haven`t, go as fast as you can to your nearest Best Buy on a Saturday or Sunday between 4:00pm and 6:00pm and see what the fuss is about. Don`t forget your credit card though. HDTV is the future of television. You`re either with us or¦.you will be with us!

Now, let`s say you have a High Definition TV in your house and it`s 9 o`clock and there`s nothing on and you want to watch your favourite golf film. What are you going to put on? Caddyshack? The Legend Of Bagger Vance? Tin Cup? How about The Greatest Game Ever Played? So, you sit back with a bowl of popcorn and your favourite cold drink and press play on the DVD player. You laugh, you cry, you eat more popcorn but you become forlorn. You realize that none of these films have done justice to the beauty of the game you love so dearly. Were are the blades of grass you`ve grown to covet? Where is the spray of soft white sand in your face? They`re not there. Why? Well, two reasons. One is that the film makers don`t give a damn about how you feel about the game. And two, they didn`t shoot in HD.

Dear reader, all of that is about to change. Right now, as you wind your way through these words, there is a production company based out of San Francisco working for you to make your Saturday nights in front of your giant screen TV everything you ever hoped. Imagine having the power in your remote control to see some of the world`s finest holes in golf in a way hat puts you right on the field. Imagine watching a slow motion languid swing of one of the world`s best players “ inspiring to behold. Imagine the morning dew and the solitary sound of a ball dropping into a cup. It will all be yours.

The film is called The Nature of The Game and the production company is called Lost Ball. Lost Ball was founded in 2004 by the Creative Director, artist, and inventor, Dent-de-Lion du Midi. He was soon joined by James Burdon as Technical Director and Scott Clark as Business Director. The genesis of Lost Ball is a pure as the game itself. Its founder wants to preserve the game using the most advance technology available.

His plan is simple. He will travel the world and shoot the most beautiful golf holes on the planet. The players he films will not necessarily be for the Top 10 of the PGA tour, instead he will choose golfers with swings that illustrate the grace of the game whether they are professional or amateur.

In a recent interview, Scott Clark explained their reasoning for not focusing on professionals. Å“We want this film to be timeless, he said. Å“If we use too many recognizable faces, it will instantly date the film to a certain time in our history. Most of the players will be shot in silhouette or you won`t see their faces “ only the beauty of their swings.

Naturally, taking on a venture of this size takes a sizeable budget and right now they are in the process of raising $5 million to bring the movie to theatres and homes by 2007.

Å“The budget includes major equipment and travel expenses, salaries, insurance, rentals, and more random production costs than one can imagine, says Clark from his San Fran office. Å“It also includes a hefty marketing/PR allocation — it’s one thing to make a film, it’s something else entirely to get people to watch it.

To try and get all of the funding in place, Clark needs to do as much or more leg work then playing 36 a day. Å“I have a few people who are out pitching us to wealthy golf nuts and I myself have been networking like crazy trying to get this thing funded.

The film makers are determined to have The Nature of the Game be the standard by which all future golf images are judged. To that end, they are meticulous in choosing what will and won`t be in the movie. They estimate that it takes close to 10 hours of filming to end up with 1 minute of film.

The Nature of the Game is more than pretty pictures. The structure of the film will follow the structure of the game, played in 18 vignettes. And not all of what is shown will be restricted to the course. You might see what happens when the staff arrives in the morning to open up the course. You might see a club maker grinding a new putter. The possibilities are endless.

If you`re wondering whether watching a film about golf will hold the interest of your loved one think about the night you went to see The March of the Penguins. Who knew? Or rent The Endless Summer and fall in love with surfing. If Warren Millar can produce an endless array of skiing documentaries, these guy`s stand a better than average chance of having a hit on their hands.

If you want to see a trailer for the film and get a better idea of what I`m talking about, click on and check out some of Dent-de-Lion du Midi`s beautiful art. The art of golf.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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