Short Film: LYCRA DAD

Lycra Dad is my new film about middle age, competition and status and is adapted from a poem by renowned poet Murray Lachlan Young.

An innocent school sports day turns into an epic masculine showdown, as a motley bunch of Dads face off at the annual race. The win-at-any-cost mentality has infected one Dad in a bad way. He’s trained for months. Dressed head-to-toe in professional running gear. He needs this win – badly. In his mind, it’s his for the taking.

The poem was inspired by Murray’s frequent cycle trips around Dalston in North London, as he noticed himself flanked by more and more regular middle-aged men taking to the streets as if they were racing the Tour De France.

He discussed his observation with Shaun Keaveny on the BBC 6 Music breakfast show and the seed of the poem was sown. Susie Babchick, my agent at RSA Films and avid Shaun Keaveny fan, heard the poem and brought me and Murray together.

I’ll post soon about the making of the film and also put up some behind the scenes shots too.

The film was shot in October last year during Storm Brian, and Benji edited in Jan/Feb with Danny Wood @ ENVY grading.

My very old friend Steve Smith, the Grammy award winning song writer wrote the music for the main race section of the film.

We had an incredible crew and cast who pushed through really bad weather early on.

My very special thanks to Murray Lachlan Young, Susie Babchick, Frank Madone, Rob Wildsmith, Steve Smith, Nancy Ryan and Ben Porter of RSA Films, Luka Marchant, ARRI Rental and to my wife Gemma for all her work organising the crowd casting and for supporting me throughout.


Lycra Dad Kevin Hand

Beer Dad Sean Blowers with Eva Sky Hughes

Murray Lachlan Young as the Hipster

Hayley the sports psychologist Annabel Giles

Burger Dad Jessen Aroonachellum

Tool station Roger Walrond

Gandalf Albert Clogston

Jeffrey William Hastings

Featuring the voices of

Paul Gilmore & Carolyn Backhouse


Ella Tronson                          Mia Lowe

Scarlett Wennick                   Olivia Walcot

Ashleigh Green                      Sophie Pierard

The Crowd

Kirsten Davies                       Lucy Waters

Cody Cripps                           Laura Clarke

Caleigh Kimberley                Francesca Raimondi-Taylor

Graeme Hibbs                        Carl Neumann

Henrike Feckenstedt             Mya Letourneau

Evan Wilton                           Susie Babchick

David Hollingsworth             Nicky Hollingsworrth

Deniz Tronson                       Iestyn Tronson

Erin Lewis                              Ky Lewis

Rîon-Jensen Brown               Samantha Douglas

Luca Ricard                            Beatrice Ricard

Jennifer G Puertas                Sade Aniemeka

Chirstina O’Neill                    Georgia Coates

Pippa Bell                               Cormac Wygers

Niamh Wygers                       Saoirse Wygers


Director Gray Hughes

Producer Rob Wildsmith

Cinematography Frank Madone

Editor Benjamin Gerstein

Colour by Danny Wood at ENVY

Post Producer Greg White

Casting Kate Plantin CDG

Production Manager Jack Plummer

Director Assistant Luka Marchant

Original music for Lycra Dad by Steve Smith

Produced and mixed by Anthony Saffery

Camera and Lenses by ARRI

Art and Wardrobe Annabelle Phillips with Maisie May Plumstead

Stylist Connie Rosenthal

Make up Emily Tongue

Storyboard Artist Peter Davis

Artwork designed by Jason Measures at Deadline

1st AD Tibo Travers

2nd AD Veronica Vetrano

Assistant Director-Crowd Gemma Hughes

1st AC James Stormer

2nd AC Angela Garcia Manchado

Grip Nick Teulon

Gaffer Milo Cosemans

Sound Recordist Michal Kuligowski

DIT Katia Rio

Stills Photographer Ian Walton

Camera trainee Valentin Touly

Shot on Location at Dulwich College, London

Special thanks to Heather Baskerville

Location Scout Simon Hassard

Catering Honey & Thyme

Runners Kirstyn Brook and Harry Rylot

About Gray Hughes photographer

Gray Hughes grew up in southwest London but has always had strong connections to the USA. He has spent many summers on road trips, visiting family in California. In his early twenties he moved to New York and assisted various fashion photographers before returning to London to shoot editorial sports and lifestyle. He soon graduated into shooting commercially for brands including Coca-Cola, Asics, Nike, Adidas, Reebok and Powerade. Gray has always loved film and music – his mother exposed him to Hitchcock at an inappropriately young age. As a young teen he used to record music demos on a four track recorder. Then in 2001 he took a break from photography to pursue a career in music, remixing dance music for four years before returning to his first love, photography. Gray’s personal projects have taken him to cowboy country in Montana, USA as well as Rio de Janeiro and more recently, around the grassroots rugby clubs of Britain. His film, ‘Heartland’ was a finalist in the 2015 AOP awards, with the accompanying photographs featured in the Sunday Times Magazine. He directed his first commercial for Glamorgan Brewing Company in 2015 and then subsequently joined Ridley Scott Associates where he was added to the photgraphy and moving image roster, he is on an indenpendent arrangement while he grows his show-reel so is free to collaborate with other production companies. So far this year he has directed films for Reebok and Standard Life and has shot a global advertising campaign for Vodafone.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: