The idea for this started at the start of the Summer when I noticed someone I greatly admire (Johnny Budden) wishing that more freerun videos were made without a fisheye lens and generally had a better production than the average “lets go training with a camera” style.
Even for us with a whole host of gear it is SO easy to wack on a fisheye and easily capture some impressive movement as it is such a forgiving lens when it comes to scale. On the other hand it is lot harder to capture movement using a selection of prime and zoom lenses. Each shot takes more time, sometimes the whole move wont be in frame yet shots will be useable due to other reasons such as nice depth of field.
Therefore after seeing this call out from Johnny we took it upon ourselves to do exactly this. We wanted to produce a video that was more than just impressive movement. We wanted to produce something that was the full package, impressive Parkour but also filmed and edited well.
The first thing to do was find our Traceurs, out of a huge selection we approached the highly skilled and relatively close bunch based in Brighton. Our friends, Callum Powell, his brother Sacha, Tom Vance and of course Henry “Henners” Ashworth were up for the challenge and so we started on what we decided to simply call “Brighton Parkour.”
The Brighton guys were a perfect choice, Callum Powell has long been one of my “favorite” Traceurs, his dedication to training, sense of humor and huge amount of skill has made him a pleasure to film. Sacha his little brother is essentially a mini Callum, Tom is an up and coming beast and Henners is someone who is still working out the limits of his body, something I can really relate to. Throughout the making of this video I could really see him progressing.
Essentially this video could of been shot in a week or so but unfortunately due to other work, travels, weather and some of the guys being at school it has taken months to reach now. I think the actual action sequences were shot over a period of 5 days spread between August and November and we’ve been picking up Timelapses etc occasionally as well. Brighton is a good hour and a half from where we are based so shooting was always planned quite carefully depending on other commitments.
One of the more difficult parts of shooting a video like this is the repetition, much like with any film work, things need to be captured from different angles and sometimes things go wrong. Due to this the guys needed to be constantly aware that if they were trying a movement for the first time it may need to be captured a second or even third time if they wanted it to look good. Another problem was that as the guys knew this was going to be a bit more than the average training video they were willing to push themselves to try new movements. The relief of someone finally completing what they wanted to do after 40 minutes wait whilst worrying about losing precious time and light was always great.
Early on in discussions with Tom we decided to use a slightly more rocky song, we wanted to make the video have quite an epic feel and to separate it from the stereotypical Drum & Bass, Dubstep style that is so commonly overused. I pretty much fell in love with the song we eventually decided to use, the ending just making it perfect for the video we were about to make.
When it came to shooting and editing we once again went for the anamorphic style, and really tried to suit the song. We tried to keep the movement as fast as possible and fluid where required, the glidecam came into play a lot and we tried to keep the static shots down to a minimum. Where static shots did take place we played around with a lot of scaling and panning in post to keep the video lively.
My hope for this video is that people really take time to watch it, get immersed and appreciate that this is intended to be an artistic video, properly planned and produced featuring some of the best Traceurs in England rather than just your everyday freerunning video.