Desperately Seeking Brandi
© 2000, BladeDigital Pictures,

John Horniblow

Tim Nicolls

Neil Webster

Director of Photography:
Warrick Brown


Rhiana Griffith

Oliver Ackland

Brandi Chastain:


Emily Barnes

Robert Aigner

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This engaging story follows Bea, a teenage girl with a fascination for filmmaking, as she chronicles her friend Billy's infatuation with -- and attempts to see -- Brandi Chastain, who scored the World Cup-winning goal for the American soccer team. When Billy spots Brandi's sports bra on display at a sports promotion, he steals it, embarking upon a harebrained quest to meet his Ideal Woman. Bea, both appalled and amused by Billy's audacity, begins to document his attempts to ransom the bra for a meeting with Brandi. Edgy, hilarious and touching, the story is very genuine and comes to a satisfying conclusion.

Done as part of Nike's "Radio-Free Sydney" online media project for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, providing daily local and international content from Sydney during the Olympic Games, this video was webcast in six parts on Nike's website. During the program's month-long duration, which included a two-week live run during the Games, the Nike website set new records for site popularity, with more than 80,000 people watching the videos. "Radio-Free Sydney" became the highest-trafficked part of the Nike website, with browsers visiting for an average of 25 minutes, more than three times the previous average for Nike's pages.

Desperately Seeking Brandi was presented as if it were an actual occurrence. Done in a consciously self-referential style, each segment was posted to the Nike website successively during the Games. In the second and ensuing segments, Rhiana's character, "Bea," made reference to the fact that Nike was posting the videos. Nike products appeared throughout the video segments, tastefully worked into the story-line. Probably the most noticeable product was the bra that "Billy" had stolen, which had allegedly been worn by soccer superstar Brandi Chastain.

"Radio Free Sydney" was produced by BladeDigital's CEO, John Horniblow, then working as SpikeRadio's Director of Production. It won the "Best in Interactive Design" award from the 2000 Annual Communication Arts' Interactive Design awards, for the website design.

Although Rhiana spent the bulk of the film behind the camera, as "Bea" recorded "Billy's" exploits, she made a palpable mark in the film, and demonstrated a comic flair that marks her as a force to be reckoned with in films to come. She also showcased her extraordinary intelligence and versatility, because in the majority of the scenes she was the one actually operating the camera (under the direction of Tim Nicolls and cinematographer Warrick Brown), both shooting and acting in the scenes. All this, and she was only fifteen years old at the time.

The Rhiana Griffith Fan Club would like to thank John Horniblow for his kind help and information.
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