by Noah Davis
The footage follows the Spanish and Dutch players as they prepare for the biggest game of their lives, as well as FIFA executives and South African VIPs.
It is as intimate a portrayal of a match watched by billions as you’ll ever see.
The film will make its world premiere at K+S on Saturday, July 23. (Buy tickets.)
Gordon, whose film The Game of Their Lives screened at K+S 2010, chatted with K+S about making the movie, working for FIFA, and filming the "bloody cold" final match.
Kicking + Screening: The screening at K+S will mark the world premiere of Match 64. Are you excited? Nervous Happy it's almost over?
Daniel Gordon: Tremendously excited. The Game of Their Lives closed last year’s festival, and it was a fantastic event, beyond my expectations. At that time I was embarking on filming, and I wondered how the film would turn out and whether or not I would be back at K+S — and here I am!
K+S: Match 64 is a complex film with a lot of different characters and storylines. Did you have an idea of how it was going to turn out when you started filming or did the plot develop afterward when you looked at what you had filmed?
Gordon: A bit of both really. I had an overview that I wanted to capture certain characters, both those involved directly (players, managers, match officials) and indirectly (off the field, behind the scenes, and elsewhere). The trick was finding the characters—hard work—working out the story —even harder—and then letting the day unfold in a way over which you have no control—don’t even try!
K+S: Match 64 is an official FIFA production. How did that alter the filmmaking?
Gordon: On the plus side, it meant we had access to all areas. You can’t beat that. We also had all the expertise of the people who work for FIFA on a media level and have done for years and years. We were at least viewed within this mass machinery as on the inside, although I think our demeanor gave us away as outsiders!
On another level, it meant that FIFA had the final say, so some interesting bits had to come out, such as the referee talking about specific incidents and justifying decisions, which is against protocol. However, they allowed us to keep the moment when someone ran on the pitch before kickoff and also allowed a lot of the referee in, which is unprecedented.
K+S: Very few of us get to attend the final. What is it like to work at one?
Gordon: Firstly, bloody cold. Even from me, who lives in Sheffield, in northern England. The trouble with working at an event like this is that it is just that — work. It’s not laugh-a-minute. There are some shots of me and my cameraman behind the goal from the broadcast footage and we look miserable! And also, once we’d committed to being at one place, we had to stay there for the whole game. So I could talk to my other cameramen around the ground and their producers, and ensure we were getting good footage, but I could not physically go and see them.
K+S: What would you do differently if you get to make Match 64 for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil?
Gordon: Quite a lot. I would insist on more practical resources being at my disposal and backed up by a more realistic budget. I would be there for longer, have my own crews on the ground, have my own fully functional edit suite on the ground. Basically, I had to do an awful lot of this on my own, which meant 20-hour days for the period I was there and a lot of time spent working on logistics rather than on editorial.
But give me a chance: I’ll be there in a flash!