(Documentary-HD Video, 58 min.; website archive)
Sometimes the greatest challenge is addressing the past.
Directed by Associate Professor of Graphic & Interactive Design at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA, Paul Sheriff, WorkOut is a deeply moving personal experimental documentary examining the formation of the influential Blue Mound Gym Club in the early 1960s, and the tragic loss of the club’s founder, Virginia Sheriff, and star gymnast, Hali Sheriff, in a plane crash. Paul was just ten years old when the crash took the lives of his sister Hali and both of his parents. Forty-four years later, Paul revisits Hali’s life and the effects and influence of this traumatic event through video diary, archive footage, and location interviews.
Within this framework, the film thematically treats and critically examines loss, and the changing roles and relationships within the family unit. The documentary also addresses athletic competition as a philosophy of life, with its effects on the individual athlete.
WorkOut:A Documentary was produced with the support of consulting editors Allan Barber and Eran Preis, both faculty members in the School of Communications and Theater. Consulting contributions by Fred Turoff, Temple University Athletics: Men’s Gymnastics.
Support this project!
Donations to the Tyler Dean’s Fund for Innovation may be designated to support WorkOut:A Documentary. To contribute, visit myowlspace.com and select “Tyler School of Art,” then “Tyler Dean’s Fund for Innovation.” Type “WorkOut” in the line beside “Other.”
“While focusing on the sport of gymnastics, and the achievements of my sister and mother, I hope to be able to understand the twists and turns in my own life. In recollection, everything was extreme. The intensity was extreme. The training was extreme. The loss was extreme. It would forever change the way I looked at life and the way I live in the present.”
- Paul Sheriff, director of WorkOut:A Documentary