Catching up with... Matt Lajeunesse
Matt Lajeunesse has over 1200 BASE jumps and works tirelessly to help the BASE community in many ways...
This article is to introduce the half-hour movie made by Martial Ferré about the Square One World Sequential event, held at Skydive Arizona December 2013. A big-way group led by P3 Skydiving organisers met with the aim of setting a series of World Record Sequential dives. Instead they had a series of nightmares and a total tragedy. Yet, everyone united, as so often happens in times of immense horror, and made a strong bond by fighting on courageously.
The event was described in Kate Cooper-Jensen's article, and now in Martial's short film, which you can watch at the base of this article. Here he gives an insight into his classy Director's Cut…
I have given to this movie the famous words that Shakespere gave to Henry V in his play 'Henry V'. These words were said in a dramatic pre-battle speech to the troops just before the famous battle of Agincourt in 1415, “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers”.
These words sounded good for me to choose them as the main title. I know that I am mostly influenced by my personal passion of history. But I found that these words did match pretty well with the kind of dramatic adventure that we have made all together. Many circumstances made me think that we were not just doing a normal sport event but more running a quest and an adventure that was not that easy, regarding the conditions and the events that did happen.
Regardless of the final sport result of the event, I found that the whole team has lived so much intensive times, made of dramas that linked us more than ever. I felt that we, with all the participants, were not just forming a skydiving team but were truly a band of brothers in arms, fighting bravely against the elements with courage, without abandoning the quest.
I like that. This is what I have tried to show.
Instead of focusing on the technical parts of the event, I have more tried to emphasise the beauty and intensity of our sport, showing footages from many different angles, trying to have a 360° overview of the actions from everywhere at the same time to show the high intensity of these moments. As we skydive, we have a pretty limited view of what's going on around. I wanted to show that our sport is not just a matter of falling just for 60 seconds viewed from above by camera work. It's more than this. I have tried to select views that we are not used to seeing in skydiving movies. I really thank all the people who helped me to collect these footages. I hope they will help to show the beauty of our acts. I have tried also to select (and it's not easy!) the best music to represent the rhythm of the acts and atmosphere.
The second purpose of that movie was to emphasise the human side of the event. I didn't want to just show a series of jumps with little bodies embedded in helmets and colorful jumpsuits flying high in the sky. Behind these costumes are our people, all giving their best to achieve this quest. Each one of them had a role to play and interacted to build such a brave team that faced the difficulties without discouraging themselves. I wanted to show faces which proved naturally how intense
were the moments during this adventure!
What natural great actors you are guys! :)
So this is it! I hope every body will enjoy this movie. It's far from being perfect but it does exist and it's 'written in stone' – well, at least on a server! It will be part of the history of P3 events that people may be happy to remember. Like me, they will perhaps be proud to say, “I did it. I was part of that campaign”.
I hope that this movie, if the families of our two friends Keiron and Bernd want to see it, will help them to understand the passion that these two comrades had doing this crazy sport. I hope it will bring the best images of our sport and the best moments of Keiron and Bernd doing it.
For me, this event will last in my memory for ever. I will never forget these moments spent with all of you. I will never forget the laughs and tears, the awesome speeches of Kate and Dan at the the hardest moments (like Henry V at the battle of Agincourt!), the fun but also dramatic debriefs in the Captain's room, the epic dirt dives and skydives, the Russian toasts, the long talks around the heaters and many other crazy moments spent with everybody during these 7 days.
Thanks all to give me a very good reason to stay longer in this sport! If I keep jumping it's not only for the act of jumping, it's also because I can meet some of the greatest people I have ever met in life.
Photos courtesy of Skydiving Photography, where you can watch videos of this event and others