When it comes to extreme sports, you don’t get much more extreme than Parkour. Also known as freerunning, practitioners of this incredible discipline use their bodies and the surrounding environment to propel themselves forward as fast as possible. This means running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, rolling and leaping across the landscape in a way that is amazing to watch, but tough to film.
Happily Nokia is always up for an imaging challenge and recently got together with Red Bull and freerunning World Champion Ryan Doyle and his partner in Parkour, Will Sutton. The goal was simple: To showcase this stunning urban art form and the video capabilities of Nokia Lumia 920, the world’s most innovative smartphone.
It’s fast, it’s furious and it’s a lot of fun to watch. What’s more, freerunners are huge fans of videoing their moves. Although we’ve never leapt off a roof, we understand when you’ve executed a perfect leap why you’d want to capture it on film. Clearly lugging around professional camera gear makes that a bit tricky. Smartphones, then, which are always at hand, and can produce professional looking video like the Nokia Lumia 920 are a tech godsend.
Why the Nokia Lumia 920?
The Nokia Lumia 920 is one of the world’s greatest camera smartphones, jam packed with innovations, which makes it ideal for videoing freerunning. Its lowlight capabilities mean that those insane moves can be showcased no matter what the lighting conditions.
Then you’ve got the moves themselves. Freerunning is all about maintaining as much momentum as possible and reimagining ways of moving around your environment. The unique Optical Image Stabilization technology on the Lumia 920 is perfect for capturing all this free flowing motion in a way that is as smooth as Parkour itself. Last but not least, you have the PureView quality of the video. With a 1080p option, you can capture truly amazingly HD quality film.
How was it filmed?
To give a unique perspective of freerunning, the director used twelve Nokia Lumia 920s in total. At any one time up to five were filming simultaneously. Two were strapped to the chests of the freerunners, Will and Ryan. Meanwhile, two cameramen ran behind them with Nokia Lumia 920s, to get another view.
Another Lumia 920 was attached to a remote controlled Cinestar Octocopter, which had to fly in 9.8 knots, eight stories up, and still focus on the action. Finally, for some of the moves, Lumia 920s were strapped to Will and Ryan’s heads.
The end result
Press play to see for yourself the stunning outcome of the day’s filming. Not only are Will and Ryan’s moves shown in all their glory, but with snatches of the chest cam edited into the final video, you get a real sense of the incredible speed at which these guys move.
But it wasn’t all plain sailing. On one roof jump, a Nokia Lumia 920 tumbled free of its chest holder. Thankfully, in true indestructible Nokia style, it survived the fall with a mere scuff.
While we’d never suggest you emulate the daredevil stunts that Will and Ryan make look so effortless, we’d love to hear of any extreme videos you’ve taken with your Nokia Lumia 920. Attached to octocopters or not.