In August 2014 Simon Ackroyd won a major bodybuilding championship to become Mr Great Britain. He then had just eight weeks to prepare for his biggest ever competition, Mr Universe.
Simon’s brother Shane and his filmmaker friend Ian Harding, decided to make a film following Simon, and his inspirational training partner Neil Whike, as they train to compete for the Mr Universe title.
Filmed over three months and produced over twelve, These Are The Ones that Count is an intimate and honest portrait of Simon and Neil as they embark on the their most demanding training schedule where every repetition, calorie and carb matters.
Scroll down for clips and photos from the film.
These Are The Ones That Count was independently filmed and produced by Ian Harding & Shane Ackroyd.
Ian and Shane have been friends since they were teenagers, skateboarding around the streets of Manchester together. Shane eventually put down his skateboard to study production engineering at Stockport Technical College, after which he joined his father’s engineering company as a robot programmer.
Ian studied Fashion at Leeds University before starting a career in advertising photography. In recent years he has moved into video production, with clients including Morrison’s, Marks & Spencer and Adidas.
Even though Ian and Shane’s careers took them in very different directions, they stayed great friends and both retained a love for film. So, when one evening Shane mentioned to Ian that his older brother, Simon, had won Mr Great Britain and was now training for the Mr Universe competition, Ian said, “Cool, let’s make a 15-minute documentary!” Over the next three months of filming, and twelve months of production, their “small film” grew and morphed into something bigger than either of them expected.
Although Ian’s first documentary, he brought to it his creative, story driven style and ‘let’s do it’ attitude. This is an approach which lies firmly at the heart of his company, Crispy Dog Productions. Shane thought that his own role would be just production assistance, however, with Ian behind the camera the film needed someone on screen as interviewer and storyteller. And who better to show the world Simon’s intense sacrifice, commitment and dedication, than his own brother.
The process of editing over forty hours of footage was a mammoth one. The initial ambition evolved beyond simply documenting Simon’s journey and information about bodybuilding, into capturing the fun, honesty and humour of Simon and Neil’s individual characters and their incredible partnership together.
Finally the film was finished. Ian and Shane would like to thank and mention their collaborators who've helped to add the finishing touches to this masterpiece and release it into the world, concluding this long journey. Nick Grills is a brilliant scriptwriter who has been invaluable in his advice on story and structure. Joe Roughton is one of the North’s finest young composers and worked hard to provide a stunning score for the film. Pat Wintersgill is a colour wizard and was responsible for the colour grading and final look of the film. James Feltham is an audio genius & undoubtedly parts of the film would have been unusable without his help. Amy Berry is a true marketing guru and has used her amazing skills to bring this film to a wider audience beyond the world of bodybuilding. And lastly, Daniel Oropeza is the web master and he has built this great website from a lot of confused notes and scribbles.
Together, this talented team of individuals have helped Ian and Shane realise their “small film” on the big screen. Thank you!