In October of 2018 a group of extreme sports enthusiasts decided to unite and create a story about the sport in which they “found” themselves. This story is about the human passion for air space, the excellence of the human body and its abilities, all of which is driven by courage and blood. The evolution of parachuting has made tremendous progress since the early 1990s. Individuals whom devoted their lives to the sport made the first documentary about the many parachuting disciplines. They explained their philosophy of life, fear, and why they continue to indulge despite the imminent danger, injuries, devastating losses of their loved ones, and the potential that they may never return home to those that love them.
Through exploring the real-time thoughts rushing through the human brain before, during, and after flight, this film allows the viewer to see the possibilities for these sports to radically change people’s lives for the better. We dug deep to explore the mid-air thought process that keeps these pilots alive when plans change. Parachuting, spiritual in nature, is especially unique because it required each athlete to maintain safety for themselves and for their fellow pilots whom share the air. Humans, by nature, have a self-preservation instinct. Many fear we will act as our own barriers to the achievement of our desires, goals, and dreams. As soon as we overcome these fears, doors to new opportunities and horizons will open. Sometimes, though not aware, we are afraid of fears that exist only in our minds. For many, the passion for parachuting is just one of the tools to overcome these fears. Breaking down these perceived barriers creates a catalyst to freedom through an influx of inspiration.
One of the goals of this project is to prevent the next generation of extreme sport enthusiasts from making the critical mistakes that were made by those before them. During the filming process, seven beautiful souls left us and found a new existence in a better world.
Creating awareness helps develop healthy precautions in the decisions for which your future existence depends.
Skydiving is the sport or activity of jumping from an aircraft and performing acrobatic maneuvers in the air during free fall before landing by parachute.
The key elements here are “aircraft” and “parachute”. An “aircraft” has to be just that: a vehicle moving through the air. The aircraft doesn’t have to be an airplane – it can be a hot-air balloon, a microlight, a paraglider with a tandem harness to jump from, or a big ol’ dirigible. The “parachute” must be present, but it doesn’t have to be of any particular kind. It can be an old-school round or a modern ram-air (square) number. These days, it’s almost always the latter.
Skydives are performed using a “two-parachute system”, which comprises of a “container” (the backpack into which the fabric is folded) and two parachutes: the main canopy and the backup parachute (or “reserve”) in case the main one malfunctions. In most skydiving systems, there’s a device installed which opens the reserve parachute in the eventuality that the skydiver does not or is not able to open his/her own parachute unaided.
These failsafe permit the stupendous statistical safety of tandem skydiving (which is heavily regulated).
1) Skydive Arizona – Christmas Boogie – Dec 2018 2) Skydive San Diego – Jan 2019 3) Skydive Perris, California – 2018-2019 4) Skydive Lodi Parachute Center – 2015-2019 5) Skydive Chicago – Summerfest 2018/2019 6) Skydive Burning Man 2017/2018/2019 7) Skydance Skydiving – Augusto Bartelle Boogie – Aug 2019 8) Skydive Moab, Ut – Mother Of All Boogie – Sept 2019 9) Skydive City/Z-Hills – PD Factory – Oct 2019 10) Skydive Key West, Fl – Oct 2019 11) Skydive Byron, Ca – Jul 2019
Augusto Bartelle, Bill Booth, Bill Dause, Chasen McLook, Chris Peterson, Codi Coleman, Dan Brodsky Chenfield, Denis Gogol, Gentry Boesiger, Inka Titto, Jamie Leibert, Javier Wilensky, Jeff Shapiro, Joe Stone, John LeBlanc, Joseph Lohmuller, Courtney R., Keith MacBeth, Nikolay Tatur, Kyle Stubbs, Sarah Hong Thao, Davide Carron, Mark Shooby Knutson, Matt Laj, Miles Daisher, Nathalia Bassegio, Joseph Fusco, Cristian Trefault, Olav Zipser, Armando Fattoruso, Mario Fattoruso, Justin Price, Travis Mills, Pete Swan, Raymond Adams, Rook Nelson, Scott Roberts, Sean Chuma, Sebastian Alvarez, Taylor Cole, Vanessa Larocca, Vayne Jiang, Vitaly Cheresh
BASE jumping is the sport of jumping – while wearing a one parachute safety system – from non-moving objects. These systems are designed to open quickly and on-heading in a perilously short space of time. There is no reserve canopy in a BASE-specific container.
The term “BASE”, in fact, is an acronym that stands for the objects most commonly jumped (so you can think of it as B.A.S.E. jumping): Building, Antenna, Span (bridge), Earth (cliffs). Other objects (for instance: billboards, wind turbines, ski lifts, cranes, high-altitude cables, etc.) also count as BASE objects if the exit point is static.
Because BASE jumping does not meet the Federal Aviation Administration’s definition of its jurisdiction (“the descent of an object to the surface from an aircraft in flight”), it is not overseen by the FAA or any other regulatory body.
1) Perrine Bridge – Twin Falls, Idaho – 2017-2019 2) Moab, Utah – 2017-2019 3) Bridge Day – West Virginia – Oct 2019 4) Turkey Boogie – Moab, Ut – Nov 2018/2019 5) Andy Jackson Flight Park – San Bernardino, CA – 2018-2019 6) Greece – 2018 7) Italy – 2018 8) Norway – 2019 9) Malaysia, KL Tower 2018/2019 10) South Africa – 2018
Andy Lewis, Chasen McLook, Chris Peterson, Denis Gogol, Gentry Boesiger, Jamie Leibert, Javier Wilensky, Jeff Shapiro, Joe Stone, John LeBlanc, Joseph Lohmuller, Courtney R., Keith MacBeth, Nikolay Tatur, Kyle Stubbs, Matt Laj, Miles Daisher, Pete Swan, Raymond Adams, Rook Nelson, Scott Roberts, Sean Chuma, Sebastian Alvarez, Taylor Cole, Vitaly Cheresh
Wingsuit flying (or wingsuiting) is the sport of flying through the air using a wingsuit which adds surface area to the human body to enable a significant increase in lift. The modern wingsuit, first developed in the late 1990s, creates a surface area with fabric between the legs and under the arms.
Wingsuits are sometimes referred to as “birdman suits” (after the makers of the first commercial wingsuit), “squirrel suits” (from their resemblance to flying squirrels’ wing membrane), and “bat suits” (due to their resemblance to the animal or perhaps the superhero).
A wingsuit flight normally ends by deploying a parachute, and so a wingsuit can be flown from any point that provides sufficient altitude for flight and parachute deployment — normally a skydiving drop aircraft, or BASE-jump exit point such as a tall cliff or a safe mountain top. The wingsuit flier wears parachute equipment specially designed for skydiving or BASE jumping. While the parachute flight is normal, the canopy pilot typically unzips arm wings (after deployment) to be able to reach the steering parachute toggles and control the descent path.
1) San Diego – January 2019 2) Arizona Christmas Boogie – 2018 3) Norway 4) Turkey Boogie 2018/2019
Andy Lewis, Bill Booth, Denis Gogol, Jamie Leibert, Javier Wilensky, Jeff Shapiro, Joe Stone, John LeBlanc, Joseph Lohmuller, Courtney R., Kyle Stubbs, Mark Shooby Knutson, Matt Laj, Miles Daisher, Pete Swan, Raymond Adams, Rook Nelson, Scott Roberts, Sean Chuma, Sebastian Alvarez
The roots of this young sport go back to the late ’90s when skydivers started “ground launching” their high-performance canopies for the purpose of “swooping” long portions of downhill terrain. This was superior to the short swoops they could achieve when landing from a skydive. It was also a lot cheaper!
Although these high-performance canopies had great flying characteristics, they were not meant for inflating in this fashion, and the paragliding industry saw the opportunity to develop wings designed specifically for this purpose. Other great advancements included the addition of adjustable wing pitch (trimmers), highly efficient airfoils and a variety of harness designs.
The early community of pilots adopted the name Speed Flying for this brand new sport. It has become the easiest and least expensive flying sport to learn, but is also one of the most exciting!
1) Soboba Flight Park, California – January 2019 2) Montana 3) Andy Jackson Flight Park – San Bernardino, CA – 2018/2019 4) Norway 5) Moab, Utah 6) Twin Falls, Idaho
Andy Lewis, Denis Gogol, Jamie Leibert, Javier Wilensky, Jeff Shapiro, Joe Stone, John LeBlanc, Kyle Stubbs, Miles Daisher, Armando Fattoruso, Mario Fattoruso, Justin Price, Travis Mills, Pete Swan, Sean Chuma, Sebastian Alvarez
Hang gliding is an air sport or recreational activity in which a pilot flies a light, non-motorized foot-launched heavier-than-air aircraft called a hang glider. Most modern hang gliders are made of an aluminum alloy or composite frame covered with synthetic sailcloth to form a wing.
1) Sylmar Paragliding Association – February 2019 2) San Bernardino Paragliding December 2018 3) Andy Jackson Flight Park – San Bernardino, CA
Joe Greblo, Rob Burgis, Jeff Shapiro, Joe Stone, Kyle Stubbs, Linda Salamone, Lua Silveira, Miles Daisher, Vitaly Cheresh
Paragliding is the recreational and competitive adventure sport of flying paragliders: lightweight, free-flying, foot-launched glider aircraft with no rigid primary structure. The pilot sits in a harness suspended below a fabric wing.
1) San Bernardino – December 2018 2) San Bernardino – November 2019 – Lua’s tribute, spread ashes, safety day 3) Sylmar Paragliding Association – February 2019 4) Andy Jackson Flight Park – San Bernardino, CA
Mitchell McAleer, Lua Silveira(R.I.P.), Nacho Peresson Bill Booth, Jamie Leibert, Javier Wilensky, Jeff Shapiro, Joe Stone, Kyle Stubbs, Linda Salamone, Miles Daisher, Pete Swan, Scott Roberts, Sean Chuma, Sebastian Alvarez, Joe Greblo, Vitaly Cheresh
Title: Above The Ground
Genre: Documentary movie/series
Running time: Approx 10 hours
Setting: USA, Norway, Malaysia, Greece, Russian Federation, Italy, South Africa, Spain, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania
Delivery: August 2020
Logline: A documentary film about the passion for human flight experiences – the thin lines between mental freedom, exhilaration, adrenaline, joy, life & death, and just plain fun. Incredible stories of professional jumpers, fliers, pilots. What really drives them. The good and bad of extreme sports.
Writer-Directors: SKYOGI PRODUCTIONS
Filmmaker: Vitaly Cheresh
Producers: Vitaly Cheresh
DoP: SKYOGI PRODUCTIONS
FPV Drone Pilot: Jan Verhaeren
Creative Designers: Karen Oidat, Marina Malvina
GO FUND US
In October of 2018 we started our journey together. We set out with a common goal to film a documentary movie showcasing a finite yet growing lifestyle, Aerial Sports: Skydiving, B.A.S.E Jumping, Paragliding, Hang Gliding, Speedflying, and Wingsuit flying. In the short months since we met we have managed to film nearly 5000 flights/jumps in an extremely original way. A mix of traditional camera work and FPV (First Person View) drone videography, this will be a first in aerial sports photography, capturing these sports in a way never seen before. Our primary goal is to show not only the incredible joy these sports can bring, but also the pain and loss they have the potential to inflict, and our hope is by using experiences from professionals in these sports we can limit some of that risk. We have done all of this so far with only the time and money that we can manage through personal sacrifice and saving. We are now at a point where we need to ask for financial help to ensure the completion of this project.