Work: Life as a Freestyle Skydiving Team

Posted by Andrew R.

This is the story of cameraman Will Penny and performer Yohann Aby from the world-class skydiving freestyle team, Flynamik. It’s the story about how they ended up together, why they fly and what they do in order to reach their goals.

Filmed and edited by Johannes Bergfors, here are the details about the project in his own words:

“I filmed Flynamik during one week in Empuriabrava in June 2016 after Will Penny and I had a conversation November 2015 when he invited me to join them on a training camp. I don’t think the team expected me to actually go this far with that invitation.

Earlier in the week I told them I would be a pain in the ass to them, sticking my camera in their face at hard and easy moments. It took a while to get them used to it but they got more and more relaxed throughout the week. I filmed them in bathrobes in the morning, coming out of the porta potties at the drop zone, followed them in 30 jumps in the sky but always did my best in trying to stay behind the scenes and allowing their training camp to continue as if I wasn’t there.

What I discovered was something that is maybe not so surprising for a team that are World Champions, World Air Games winner and double World Cup winners. They work very hard. Doubtlessly they are one of the hardest training teams in the world of not only the discipline of freestyle, but the full sport of skydiving. They go the extra miles to reach that tiny bit of improvement that only a handful people in the world will notice.

Thank you Will Penny for inviting me in to film the team, taking me in to your home in Empuria, and opening up to the cameras and staying on top of your game in training while supporting me in getting a true story about the team.

Thank you Yohann Aby for allowing me to join your training camp and be a distraction while you try to focus. Thank you for skydiving with me and teaching me some really interesting lines to fly on the one day off of your training camp.

Thank you Jonatan Thomasson, the sound post-production technician of this project and my good friend. While having two and a half other jobs, you took it on yourself with huge enthusiasm and great generosity to help me out with trying to fix my poorly recorded audio. You literally watched all the tenths of hours that I filmed, in order for you to get the big picture about the project. At day and night you were there, over Skype, to take notes about changes to the audio I wanted to have made. I hope we get to work more in the future together.

And thank you to you for watching. I did this project to push my own skills by working with audio and storytelling in a way I’ve never done before. I learned a lot and will be better prepared for the next time.

I used two cameras to film this, both by Sony. An AX53 and an a6000 with a variety of lenses.

All the music in the movie is used with rights to do so. Thank you very much to the artists that have allowed me to use their creative work to enhance mine. Arcadian Flowers by Trummor & Orgel was a big inspiration for me in the making of this documentary.

Thank you to Nicolas Arnaud, Martin Kristensen and Nils Kløcker Predstrup for allowing me to use their skydiving footage as reference material.

Thank you to Skydive Empuriabrava for supporting me with the jumps and pack jobs so that I could film Flynamik 30 times. Other than that, I have received no financial support in the making of this production.”