In March 2013, one of our friends, videographer (and firefighter), was at the “Viaduc des Fades” for two days with the caving section of the Reims fire brigade (PRASS). The objective was to take advantage of the exceptional setting offered by this incredible structure (14th highest railway viaduct in the world) to train for the “Pendulum Jump”. This practice consists in jumping from a bridge with two dynamic ropes, but in a particular position, so as to make a jump in the shape of an oscillating pendulum.
This 2-day training course was also the opportunity to test the Sony FS 700, a camera with a slow-motion function able to record several hundred images per second. But it was also the opportunity to make a short film about this unknown extreme sport.
If we consider the shooting conditions to which our cameras, but also the 4 cameramen, have been subjected, we understand what the notion of “extreme” really implies. On the 1st day, everything you can imagine when you think of bad weather was here: pouring rain, strong wind and very low temperatures. So as a result: reduced visibility and slippery ground. While sun and heat were paradoxically there the day after… We also had to deal with height, what was also complicated when we know that the structure culminates at an altitude of 130 meters and that filming like this is really unusual.
This project was a beautiful challenge during and after the shooting because we had to manage to give an artistic touch without overshadowing the athletic achievement. We have chosen black & white colours in post-production to create a solemn atmosphere around these men defying natural forces. From an aesthetic point of view, the slow motion, reinforced by the music, accentuates the emotions felt during the action. It also sublimates the jumps without losing the power of the adrenaline felt by the jumpers.
This film was a nice surprise because only a few days after its release it has been taken over by the famous LiveLeak website and published on the Dailymotion’s homepage. It has also been broadcast at the Malta Cinema in Barcelona in a compilation gathering the best videos of 2013.