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Declan J Donovan 'Fighting With Myself' by Danny Chan

Rob Ulitski - 16th Mar 2020

A self-destructive twentysomething regains his sense of self-worth in a boxing club in Danny Chan's stirring video for singer-songwriter Declan J Donovan. 

This is a tale of redemption which has both a classic structure and a very contemporary feel, addressing issues of masculinity in a rapidly changing world. This has a gritty, almost documentary film look, and the performances have an energy and passion that comes from experience. As Danny Chan reveals below, his cast of unknowns have all learned important lessons in character-building in the boxing ring.  

Intercut with a performance by Donovan in the same Islington boxing gym, DoP David Wright's cinematography, including frenetic closeups of fighting and training, also places the viewer in the protagonist's shoes - a journey of frustration, guilt, ultimately discovery and redemption.


Every single person in this film has stepped into a boxing club angry and lost. 

"This film touches on the stigmas of 'toxic masculinity' which restrict the kind of emotions that boys and men are allowed to express. With social pressures and expectations for men to be dominant alpha males, we are limiting their emotional range primarily to expressions of anger. This self-reliance and emotional repression correlate to increased psychological problems such as depression, stress and substance abuse which are all subjects addressed in the track.

"Boxing clubs up and down the country have always been a sanctuary for young people who lack role models and struggle with anger issues. These kids learn very quickly, usually the hard way, that their anger and brute strength is not the answer and won’t get them very far in the boxing ring. 

"We chose to cast real kids who have have really lived through this narrative. Every single person in this film has stepped into a boxing club angry and lost. Through boxing they’ve all learnt about technique, discipline, dedication and how to channel their emotions in a positive way. There is a real feeling of camaraderie and brotherhood in these gyms and it was beautiful to experience first hand.

"Big shout out to all the cast for being fearless and special thanks to Islington Boxing Club for being so welcoming and taking care of us."

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Rob Ulitski - 16th Mar 2020


  • Narrative
  • Pop
  • Boxing
  • Boxing Ring

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Danny Chan
Production Company
Executive Producer
India Lee


Director of Photography
Focus Puller
Ali Baines
2nd AC
Jomar O’Meally


Matthew Prickett
Editing company


Ruth Wardell
Colour grade company


Director's Representation


John Hassay


DoP's representation
United Talent Agency

Rob Ulitski - 16th Mar 2020

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