My Dream Project – Forest Freerun Film

by alexmasonphotography

Freerunning (or free running) is defined as the art of expressing oneself in his or her environment without limitation. It is a discipline founded by Sebastien Foucan and aims to incorporate everything that is useful. It started in 2003 and was developed as a more inclusive form of the discipline of Parkour.

 My plan for #phonar and my dream project is to create a documentary about freerunners/parkour runners. I want this to be unique in comparison to a lot of videos I have seen on the Internet whereby the viewer watches a video of a compilation of freerunners performing their best tricks. As much as I love to watch these videos and they entertaining I would like to produce something where the viewer gets to know the runners and why they do what they do as well as some great footage of tricks.

I have been in contact with a young freerunner called Chris who is 17 years old and has been freerunning since he was 14. He says he would love to be the subject of my documentary, which is a great start! Another young freerunner called Mark Woodland will also be in the film and I am constantly in the look out for more people to join in.

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I want to get deep into the personality of the runners, for example filming an interview of a runner talking about how he got into freerunning and what made him want to start such a dangerous sport. How does his freerunning effect his work/school life and how do his family feel

about it? I want to discover more about the community of free running and how it works.

Here is video of Chris doing some of his favourite tricks

In terms of creativity I would like to have some aesthetically pleasing and exciting footage including things like time lapse, smooth shots from a slider with a detailed foreground. I am considering having the runners voice playing over some or if not the whole of the film almost like a narrator as well as some interviews in the forest and their homes. I have somebody writing some music for my film so that I can send it to film festivals and own the rights to it.

Hopefully with a little more planning including equipment rental and dates with the potential subjects for the doc film set in stone I will produce something quite special.
I am collaborating with a guy in the year below me from school who will be my do producer and cameraman.

I am applying for the Ideas Tap £30,000 bursary to help fund this project so I can pay to have a crew working with me and I can afford things like a crane etc to get a highly produced product.

I have emailed the ‘founder’ of free running Sebastien Foucan because I want to understand why he thinks he is the founder. After having spoken to some free runners I have discovered that in the community of free running a lot of people feel the same as I do! What makes him the founder… Surely there were people doing this kind of thing before he discovered it. I cave man probably jumped over a log, does that make him a free runner?

I can’t wait to start shooting and doing more research into how free running fits culturally within the UK. I am going to the forest in the next few days with two runners, co producer and the music composer to bet a feel for the place.

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