Mind Games – The Experiment debuts on Prime Video
January 19, 2023
Beyond Productions, a Banijay company, has announced that its new feature documentary, Mind Games – The Experiment, has dropped globally on Prime Video.
Narrated by Stephen Fry, Mind Games – The Experiment captures an international, ground-breaking study that follows sedentary and physically inactive gamers from across the globe to see if exercise can take their game to the next level by improving cognitive function, mental performance – and hopefully their global gaming rankings. In doing so, they are looking to definitively test an ancient Roman saying, “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano” – that a healthy body equals a healthy mind.
Featuring fascinating, accessible science, experts in movement and the mind, plus exercise coaches, the film follows the journey of four charismatic gamers, Kassa Korley, Ryoei Hirano, Ben Pridmore and Sherry Nhan – who specialise in Chess, Mahjong, Memory and Esports – as they compete in professional tournaments around the world, adding exercise to their preparations for the first time. Results from a further 70+ gamers from 20 countries are also included so that the film can draw conclusive results as well as tell the human stories of the four main characters.
In the final analysis, the experiment proves how exercise can sharpen even the brightest minds: each gamer significantly improved their performance and enhanced their mental wellbeing on the programme. But the major take-out is that even moderate exercise can boost short-term memory, increase concentration levels, and enhance brain power for us all.
At a time when funding models for content are constantly being debated and scrutinised, Mind Games – The Experiment is at the forefront of a new wave of commercially supported content that by-passes the conventional commissioning process to bring the same trusted and impartial content to streamer viewers.
The Beyond Productions feature documentary and study was commissioned by leading international sportswear brand ASICS, which took a bold commercial decision to create an editorially driven, impartial and unbranded film. It did not have a broadcaster attached at the outset but went into production fully funded. With brand involvement still a complex and finely balanced process in mainstream television, Beyond Productions and ASICS approached the commercial partnerships division at Amazon mid-production to explore the possibility of placing the film on its Prime Video streaming service.
“Our work with ASICS – which is basically unbranded branded content, is the next iteration of commercially supported content and a truly authentic way to reach and engage with a wide range of viewers, not just those who are already consumers of the brand,” said Hamo Forsyth, creative director, factual at Beyond Productions. This film subtly plays to ASICS’ brand philosophy and core values (ASICS itself being an acronym for Anima Sana In Corpore Sano) while being produced with the same editorial integrity and guidelines as any other documentary made in the UK. Prime Video now has an interesting new science documentary which its viewers will discover on the Prime Video service in the same way that they would the latest movie or series; as IP owners, ASICS has both a powerful piece of research and beautifully produced content to raise its profile in a meaningful way and use in wider brand marketing activity; and we have created a feature documentary that we are very proud of, and have been able to tell a fascinating story that would not have been told if it were not for ASICS’ involvement.”
Forsyth added: “With demand for content growing all the time and funding continuing to be a challenge, this model of working more closely with well-resourced brands seeking new ways to engage with consumers could prove a natural win-win for streamers, brands, producers and audiences.”