The ball. Without it, most sports would go nowhere.
Filmmaker Daniel Mercadante noticed the visual power of this spherical object, in all its forms, and made a unique, 75-second film called "Ball," which features more than 800 blink-and-you'll-miss-them photos -- some taken by him, some from the Web -- and shows the connection between a sports ball and all things of similar shape, including one on which we are sitting or standing right now.
"It started out as a simple experiment with athletic balls. I wanted to see what would happen if I made a baseball become a basketball become a soccer ball, etc.," Mercadante said via email. "Naturally, that pattern didn't end, and it became pretty clear early on that the film needed to cover every possible ball shape I could think up."
The project took about six months, he said, although it was less a full-on charge and more "an hour here, an hour there" of image search and resizing.
"A tedious process, no doubt, but relaxing in its own way," Mercadante said.
"Making this film was like bouncing a ball over and over while waiting for something else to happen. Then suddenly you realize that you weren't waiting for anything; you were just bouncing a ball, and it was fun."