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breakdancing video

The Making of Polar Verity Sense’s Breakdancing Video

We caught up with some of the talented people who made the Measure Every Move breakdancing video, featuring our latest heart rate monitor, Polar Verity Sense.

Director – Sami Joensuu

breakdancing video
Based in Sweden, Sami Joensuu has directed music videos for bands such as Disco Ensemble, Lapko, and Comeback Kid.

What was it like to work with Finnish Olympic breakdancer Hatsolo on Polar’s Measure every move video?

I loved working with Hatsolo. He is a phenomenal talent and an all-around nice, energetic guy. The shoot was very easy thanks to him. As a director, it’s so valuable to work with someone who can deliver like this. I have a lot of respect for athletes and dancers who have to do their absolute best again and again.

Breakdancing is a sport with unpredictable movements. How did you approach this challenge when capturing Hatsolo in action?

When you’re working with someone like Hatsolo, I can’t tell him how he should dance. I mean, you wouldn’t tell Jimi Hendrix how to play guitar, right? So we had to connect a lot before this shoot so we could understand how he should be portrayed. 

We had a call and then Hatsolo sent us some clips in advance. This meant the producer, cinematographer, and I could become acquainted with their style, plan some camera angles and do everything to make it possible to catch Hatsolo’s style.

What was your favorite moment from shooting Polar’s Measure Every Move?

For me, the best thing about a shoot like this is spending time with people who are really great at what they do – whether they are a chef, a musician, or an athlete. So, I definitely loved watching Hatsolo do his thing. It always wonderful when something comes together like this.

Your film work has included sports like boxing and cycling. When it comes to capturing movement and energy for video, what do you look for?

For me, it’s about having a phenomenal cinematographer and pairing their expertise with the perfect music and edit. I like to make sure I have a song that puts the viewer in the right headspace and matches the energy that you are seeing on screen.

It also depends on what approach you’re taking with the shoot too. Should we use a dolly or a handheld camera? Does it have more of a documentary feel? With this shoot, we had the luxury of planning a few special shots, so we could really capture Hatsolo’s movements.

I’ve worked with dancers and athletes quite a bit before and the thing that always impresses me is that they can do what they do in front of the camera. To the viewer, it seems like 30 seconds but the reality is that this dancer or athlete has had to do that same shot, over and over again. 

We were lucky enough to have you Direct Polar’s Discover Your Potential video. Describe how your concept differed for this project?

It was great to work on this video as we already knew the world of Polar. On the Polar Unite video, there was lots of natural light and shots of people going about their daily lives, including their workouts. This time, there was no need for a background story as we were working with Hatsolo. It was all about him and how he works out with Polar Verity Sense. Also, as you can see in the video, we used a blue color tonality with this shoot.

Tell us about a time you came back stronger?

About 10 years ago, I was shooting a project in Los Angeles. One of our team bought a skateboard and we were all messing around with it by the hotel pool after we’d wrapped. I was taking a spin, hit a wet patch next to the pool, and fell off. I knew I’d injured my leg but as I was about to fly home to Sweden, I thought it best to wait till then to get it checked out. My wife is a nurse and when she met me at the airport, she knew straight away that my leg was broken.

I went and got it x-rayed and sure enough, my wife was right. It took two surgeries and 11 months of rehab before I could go jogging again. During this time it was very hard for me having to work onset with a broken leg. Yet, I spent so much time in physical therapy, seeing other people struggle with more serious conditions. It taught me to never take anything regarding my health for granted and to have patience with myself. It was a long time before I could run without pain but I put in the work and now my leg is strong again. 

Breakdancer – Hatsolo

breakdancing video
Johannes Hattunen aka Hatsolo, has been throwing down incredible moves for over 20 years and was recently selected for the Finnish national breakdancing team for the 2024 Olympic Games.

What was it like to work with the director Sami Joensuu on POLAR’S MEASURE EVERY MOVE VIDEO?

Sami is super professional – by far one of the best directors I’ve worked with. He always had really clear instructions and a very supportive and positive mindset for the whole crew. 

What was your favorite moment working on Polar’s Measure Every Move?

I didn’t have a particular moment that stood out as my favorite. The whole day was great and we had a really good workflow. It was so great bouncing ideas back and forth, then making them a reality.

How do you maintain your focus and stamina throughout this day-long shoot?

Breaking is a pretty tough sport. Each section is comparable to doing a 100m sprint, so it can be challenging to do full breaking sections over and over. We split these breaks into smaller sequences and focussed on a couple of moves at a time. That way, I could maintain my stamina throughout the day.

Is there a particular style of breaking that you’re doing in this video?

There are so many styles of breaking and every single dancer has their own technique. My crew has a traditional New York-style, based on unique gestures and smaller breaks. I’m known for my signature moves and character, which you can see in the video. The moment when I grab my legs to the side and hit the floor is a move I call The Bomb.

As an athlete, are there other sports that you draw inspiration from?

I’ve recently been doing some snowboarding and have been playing with I can include some elements from this in my moves. Snowboarding involves doing lots of grabs with the board, which obviously I don’t have in breakdancing, but I can use the floor in a similar way. It’s bringing me fresh ideas and helping to develop my style.

How does watching breakdancing videos influence your style?

Youtube has really changed the way people breakdance. Before we could watch videos from across the globe, there were much more localized styles. You would break with your crew and you would influence each other. So not only did each city have a signature style, certain neighborhoods even had their own iconic moves. 

Now, everyone breaks the same, and that localized element is gone. This makes it even more important for an athlete like me to constantly be working on my technique and style, coming up with new moves. As I work towards the 2024 Olympics, I have to start building my approach to it now.

Tell us about a time that you came back stronger?

There was a time when I had a bad wrist injury. My doctor thought I might not be able to break again and I was really depressed. I had to have surgery and I told myself that even if it was unsuccessful, that I would still find a way to dance. It’s that mentality, that drive, which taught me the power of bouncing back. Everyone has to find that will when you’re at the bottom. That’s what helps you come back stronger.

Sometimes, we have to let things go for a bit, allow ourselves a rest. It’s the only way we’re going to get better. As human beings, we have a unique gift to bounceback. I think we are all really starting to understand that now.

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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.

Polar Verity Sense HR sensor
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