Climbing a ridge, with snow-capped Swiss mountains in the background, a group of thrill-seekers head to the edge of the peak – and then jump, soaring through the air supported only by their bodysuits. This is wingsuit BASE jumping, one of the most daring and dangerous extreme sports.
BASE stands for the four categories of fixed objects people jump from: Buildings, Antennas, Spans (that is, bridges) and Earth (in this case, cliffs). After free-falling, jumpers deploy a parachute, but the sport is made even more extreme by using a wingsuit. After they jump, the wingsuit inflates, allowing jumpers to achieve human-powered flight, free-falling for longer before opening a parachute.
"BASE jumping is a crazy sport for anyone looking at it from the outside," says director Regan Hall, who joined the adrenaline-fuelled action in the Alps for his new extreme sports documentary series, along with a small crew. As well as directing features and TV drama including Fast Girls, Ash vs Evil Dead and the Baghdad-set short film 3 Hours, Regan has spent the past decade working on fashion and beauty commercials, shooting the likes of Rihanna and Halle Berry for brands including Versace and Revlon. But his true love is long-form storytelling.
"This was a chance for me to apply my storytelling and visual skills to a subject that is often only ever seen in sports photography or in one-minute montages on Instagram," he says. "I wanted to delve into the complex human stories behind such high-octane clips."
Shooting on a Canon EOS C500 Mark II, an EOS C300 Mark III and an EOS R5 offered Regan and his team, who also travelled to Croatia and Italy for the shoot, a compact cinematic package to capture the soaring action.