Creative in association withGear Seven

Synthetic Pictures Delivers First US Campaign for Orangetheory Fitness and The Tombras Group

Marketing & PR
North Caldwell, USA
Visual storytelling from director Justin Corsbie, with high-energy, match-cut vignettes, highlights the brand’s position, 'More Orangetheory - More Life'

When Synthetic Pictures Founding Director Justin Corsbie visited an Orangetheory Fitness for the first time, one thing became clear — its membership is a diversely fit group with cult-like dedication to their workouts. Corsbie knew he wanted to showcase that passion and intensity in the brand’s first national campaign, 'More Orangetheory - More Life,' created by ad agency The Tombras Group of Knoxville, TN.

The brand’s relationship between its custom workouts and an active lifestyle was clear, and so the result is a campaign, directed by Corsbie, that mixes match-cut vignettes, stunning cinematography, compelling performances, and epic locations to hammer home that core connection.

To view the 90-second version, click here.

The initial script called for high energy vignettes featuring an active lifestyle, in and out of the fitness studio. Corsbie suggested a dynamic match-cut approach that would expand upon that concept and underscore the relationship between being fit and enjoying an active life outside of the gym. Tombras’ VP/Creative Directors Brian Locascio and Rob Simpson embraced the suggestion and collaborated with Corsbie as he designed the multifaceted and diversely styled match-cuts that define the 30-second broadcast spot and the 90-second expanded cut delivered for digital consumption.

The Tombras creative team described the match-cut sequences as “do this, get that,” underscoring the core message that working out at Orangetheory Fitness (OFT) allows its members to enjoy their active lives to a fuller extent.

Corsbie also suggested shooting a prelude to the spot, with intercutting introductions to the hero characters. The story begins with those characters embarking on their respective days’ activities, and then transitions to the Orangetheory Fitness studio through a compelling sequence where different members enter their respective fitness meccas in similar fashion through matching shot composition and camera movement.

From there, a member steps on a treadmill, which recognizes her through an OTF smart watch, welcoming her to the exercise. Next, the spot springs into dynamic match-cutting vignettes, taking the viewer from various Orangetheory workouts to high-energy activities outside the gym. These match-cuts demonstrate the connection between the fitness studio workouts and the lifestyle activities by highlighting similar types of fitness and use of muscle memory.

Corsbie purposely designed each match-cut to be unique, with the intention that they’d be impactful on different levels - some more obvious, others more subtle from a visual standpoint. Some created a connection between certain fitness and muscle development concepts from the studio workout to similar actions in the outside world, while others work on a more visceral level, editorially bringing energy and flow to the cut.

One particularly interesting transition follows a character’s bead of sweat falling through frame and match cutting to that same character diving into a pool in a similar motion and trajectory. The overall result of this visual approach is dynamic and compelling while being nuanced and artfully realized.

Corsbie partnered with longtime collaborator, cinematographer Jas Shelton ('The House,' 'Stanford Prison Experiment,' 'Keanu') to develop a visual language with highest-level goals in mind. They actively recruited top craftsmen and department heads to help make that a reality. Key grip Geoff Knoller ('American Gods,' 'Moneyball') and Steadicam operator Dana Morris ('I, Tonya') were both involved in a high-profile smart watch campaign that Corsbie used as visual references, which illustrated what he hoped to achieve photographically for Orangetheory.

Corsbie and Shelton also recruited underwater cinematographer Daren Crawford ('Animal Kingdom') for their water photography after seeing Crawford’s epic Tahitian surf work. Chief lighting technician Orlando Hernandez ('Spiderman: Homecoming,' 'Argo') and production designer Zach Matthews led the lighting and art departments respectively.

The campaign was shot in 8K on the Red Helium, with specialty glass including the newly-released, optically engineered detuned Panavision Primos, for a unique cinematic look. Corsbie’s vision also called for aerials, underwater photography, Steadicam, and sweeping crane-based camera moves. One set-up required a 50-foot techno crane positioned in the sand at the base of Point Dume in Malibu, to capture an epic rock climbing scene shot at sunset. “I was excited about the project from jump street. I knew with the right approach we could deliver a really striking visual story,” Corsbie says. “We worked as a team with the agency and client to get the most out of every shot to tell a compelling story with a strong through-line.”

For the edit, Corsbie partnered with Rock Paper Scissor’s Damion Clayton, whom he sought because of his wealth of experience cutting spots that focus on dynamic storytelling through compelling visuals, rhythmic editing, and use of match cuts. Clayton delivered, executing the team’s vision while bringing fresh ideas and a bit of visual magic to the edit. Ntropic provided color, finishing, and motion graphic design.

The end result is a stunning, memorable visual story that’s driving even more traffic to the already bustling Orangetheory Fitness craze. Currently, Orangetheory is on track to be a $1 billion business by midyear, with 1300 studios in 17 countries.

Tombras Group VP/Creative Director Brian Locascio, who’s partnered with Corsbie on previous campaigns for other clients, said i: “We already knew Justin is a talent, and that we would all collaborate to deliver a memorable film. This campaign exceeded our expectations. It’s beautiful, and the process of bringing the spots to life was similar to the essence of Orangetheory — put in the work and you’ll get MORE.”

Orangetheory Fitness Credits:


Client: Orangetheory Fitness

Agency: The Tombras Group

Executive Vice President: Dooley Tombras

Creative Director: Brian Locascio

Creative Director: Rob Simpson

Producer: Paul Paruta


Production: Synthetic Pictures

Director: Justin Corsbie

Executive Producer - Allison Smith

Cinematographer - Jas Shelton

Line Producer - Josh Smith

Production Designer - Zach Matthews

Wardrobe Stylist - Selenia Rios


Post Production: Rock Paper Scissors

Editor: Damion Clayton

Executive Producer - Rana Martin

Producer - Dina Ciccotello


Color & Motion Graphics: Ntropic

Colorist - Marshall Plante

Creative Director on Design - Ryan Duggan

Motion Graphics Artists Jessica Tong and Andrew Hess

Flame Artist - Mark Sanna and John Yu

Head of Production - Ron Moon

Producer - Veronica Ware