Patrik Giardino Teams Up With Chris Pratt For Memorial Day
In honor of Memorial Day, photographer Patrik Giardino teamed up with Chris Pratt, Jay Glazer, Jared Shaw, and the other faces behind The Murph Challenge, created in memoriam of U.S. Navy Seal LT. Michael Murphy, who created and used the routine while deployed.
“I think this is a really great project, and it’s good timing, in honor of Memorial Day,” explained Patrik. “You train to have a really good experience, it’s almost like you train for a marathon, it's the same idea. You train for the Murph Challenge. Jared Shaw is the ex-navy SEAL who brought me in to the project. He is a very good friend to Chris Pratt. Jared has a really amazing background, they train together all the time. He did 4 tours in Afghanistan and in Iraq.”
Hero Michael Murphy was featured in the book and movie, produced and starring Mark Walberg, the Lone Survivor. Michael risked his life and continued to fight to save the lives of his unit, and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2007. That same year, his parents and brother started the LT. Michael Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation, which supports Michael’s favorite saying “Education will set you free.” The foundation is funded by donations and proceeds from the Murph Challenge, the Forged non-profit organization’s annual fundraiser.
The Murph Challenge consists of a 1 mile run, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, and a closing mile run in either a 20 pound vest or body armour. The website reads “The ‘MURPH’ is more than just a workout, it is a tradition that helps push us, humble us, and dedicate a bit of pain and sweat to honor a man who gave everything he had”. Participants have the opportunity to register their timing and compare their achievements with the unique group of registrants who also paid tribute to the challenge. “It’s a workout. It’s hard. It’s based off of the special forces and the training they do to make it through wars and attacks,” explained Patrik.
Patrik got a firsthand look at the challenge during his latest project with The Murph Challenge, where he filmed a motion piece with Chris Pratt, Tyga, and Jay Glazer, owner of the gym where their challenge took place. “Chris Pratt is totally into this kind of training. As an actor, he’s done battle scenes and intense action shots in movies. He gets totally into it. He became really good friends with Jay Glazer, they work out a lot together. Chris Pratt is becoming the face of the challenge, so it’s definitely getting more attention now that he’s apart of it.”
“They gave me total free range to shoot whatever I want because they trusted I would make a cool video. Chris Pratt hams it up the whole time. He’s a super funny guy. The whole group did the challenge, from beginning to end. I was running with them on the street with a camera!” said Patrik. “It was a really fun project, it didn’t feel like work, we were just having fun. It’s kind of like how the Beckham shoot was, easy and not so much pressure. Photoshoots tend to take the personality/persona of whoever you shoot, so this is kind of old school documentary but it’s got a little more style to it. I’ve worked a lot of celebrity shoots, but this is so different. You have access to people who really care about something and you create something that people feel strongly about. There’s a lot of moments where they’re totally sweaty and tired and they still talk right into the camera. It’s totally authentic.”
The video Patrik filmed was meant to be debuted on Memorial Day, but because of the excitement generated by the challenge during filming, the team decided to create a teaser and post it on Chris Pratt’s Instagram. It went viral. “It wasn’t even supposed to go live yet. We were chatting in a circle, saying maybe we should just post it now, to sell more t-shirt’s before the challenge. So I shot the promo and actually went home and edited it right away. The next video is going to be about five minutes long; in that video they're going to talk about the challenge and thank all the people who do it. Everyone involved has inspirational backgrounds. There were some big names in the group too, some NFL players, some MMA fighters, actors, a bunch of different promenent people who participate in the challenge. That video is the documentary about that day and it’s going to come out Memorial Day.”
“It’s really fun to be involved in this kind of environment. It’s awesome to meet all these people, it's great to challenge everyone. I didn’t exactly do the challenge because I was shooting, but running after them the whole time was pretty equal, I was sweating up and down the street,” he explained, laughing. “It’s funny, the paparazzi was outside by the time we did the second run. There was an article in the Daily Mail about Chris Pratt getting in shape for his wedding. But we were shooting the video for the challenge. I actually made it in the Daily Mail!”
To view the MURPH Challenge video featuring Chris Pratt, click here.