Some time ago, we talked with professional base jumpers Peter Salzmann and Andi Podlipnik (Pressurized) about a project we are working on with KME Studios. In 2013, we finally got together and had our first shooting days.
Unlike you might expect, there are no helicopters involved to pick someone up and get all the crew to location. It's all about hiking, preparing, taking care, filming, waiting and hoping that you won't accidently drop your camera 850 meters straight down the mountain.
As we were shooting on the Dachstein in Austria three months ago, we only had two jumps and didn't get the shots we wanted. For the team it was quite dangerous, as the Dachstein seems to fall apart and you always get to face a rock coming towards your face… or your crouch… or whatever hurts. After 14 hours, we propably had 35 seconds of usable footage, so we really had to go out for another try...
This is when the "Brento" in Italy came into play. It´s propably the most famous place for base jumpers in the Alps, as there is a guy called Fabio who founded a mountain-taxi company (base bus) to shorten the time from landing to the exit-point, where the guys jump off.
So Fabio gets the base jumpers as high as he is able to with his Taxi bus and waits at the landing until everyone has done their stunts.
So, the team of Beech Studios and airV8 were hiking up at 5 am in the morning with propably 12 backpacks to get ready for the sunrise. Thank god Fabios coffee is awesome and made us wake up quite fast. He was driving us as near as possible towards the top, the rest was hiking up and down on very slippery trails with leaves.
The first day was all about getting used to the location and the conditions as we were confronted with high winds and had to start with some "beauty"-shots of our main actors.
At noon, there were approx. 20 more base jumpers at the top and started to exit one after another with and without wing suits so we could try our angles at first until our boys were ready for us
Countdown from 10 on… and 25 seconds later you either get the shot or you have to wait another 3 to 4 hours until they reached the top again for the second try. It's that fast… 25 seconds of joy kind of. We wrapped two jumps in Slowmotion including shots from airV8s Hexacopter and hiked down and prepared for the next day.
The second day we tried to go one step further: there was a so called "flyby" at a plateau right in the middle of the peak and the landing. Wind started to blow strong again and it was not sure, if the guys could do the flyby. After hours of waiting they final arrived at the exit and jumped. Quiet… and after seconds we saw them coming. We had problems to follow them and keep them in frame but we managed to get the shot we wanted. A perfect flyby as well as the landing part.
Imagine the sound of a jetfighter passing by with 200km/h and then the sound of the parachute when it opens…
We won't go too much into detail here. You have to see and hear it by yourself as soon as we have finished the project, which may be next year in spring. Stay tuned!