02 May 2010

Parkour Documentary Project now at $70 of $2K

Looking to raise funds for hi-def video camera for


Currently at $70 of $2K and rising

Project objectives and incentives to invest at


Last evening I stayed up rather late to watch the rather excellent VINCENT LAFORET demonstrate the power of video and cinematography as can be achieved with the current array of HD DSLR cameras via a presentation on the CREATIVE LIVE: WEEKEND WORKSHOP series. The dude had almost every piece of kit you could ever hope to play with and a team of experts to explain the workings of each device. It was compelling stuff. At least for gadget nuts and photographers anyway.

His work is sleek and polished in the extreme. He's immensely talented and he has a team of assistants and technical specialists around him to help him achieve his aesthetic ambitions.

However, I found myself increasingly at odds with it all. I guess it's the street photographer in me but I prefer a more organic (for want of a better word) approach.

There's no doubt that a documentary film about Parkour and its practitioners would look stunning given the cinematic, polished, sleek treatment that someone like Vincent Laforet or Philip Bloom or many others like them could apply. I'd certainly want to see that. All slowmos, hi speed, timelapse, glidecam, dolly pans and the like. And all so deliciously lit. But it's certainly NOT going to be my approach.

Rather, as a reactionary, spontaneous, fly by the seat of my pants street photographer, I will simply have a motion capture camera on an adapted FIG RIG with some additional audio facilities attached and a fast, rugged stills camera for some arresting action shots. And it'll just be me. No crew. No cables all over the place creating a hazard.

I'm entirely convinced that the human body can achieve a level of smoothness and fluidity to rival these sophisticated devices mentioned above. Sure it requires strength, agility and endurance. As does Parkour itself. There's a grace and simplicity to Parkour that I feel can be replicated in the photography of it.

For months now I've been stretching my back every morning almost without fail. It was in the carrying of heavy cameras over many years that caused me to have horrible back and shoulder pain that had interfered with my ability to indulge in rough play with my two sons. I got tired of rubbing ibuprofen onto my shoulder and lower back and so devised exercises to keep the pain at bay and to strengthen up some. I'm also in the process of downsizing my equipment. I don't use the large heavy pro zooms much anymore, Besides, they just make people nervous. And they hinder movement.

I can chuck my kids around again now and I can be very flexible and move dynamically with my cameras all about my person. It's like a dance again. I can flow with the subject.

I'm entirely convinced that with the cameras available today, small and relatively lightweight, I can make a cinematic documentary on Parkour without all the fantastic devices and required team of experts and still manage many of the same types of effects just by using the flexibility of my own aging knees, hips, arms and back.

I'm figuring a decent, sturdy, comfortable pair of shoes will suffice. Along with some good glass and microphones, of course.

I've got the glass and the stills cameras. I just need the HD motion capture camera now along with two external firewire drives to process and back up the film and a quality mic.

If you'd like to invest in this project please visit my

Thank you kindly for your time.
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