So it was getting toward the end of July 2014 and I got a call from Shaun Wood (TEAM FARANG) asking me if I was keen to go to China for a commercial. Of course the answer was a big YES from me and I soon found out I was going to be going with some of the for20 lads from Sydney Dom Tommaso, Carl Luiker and Lokey.
Once we had figured out the flights and what the job was all about it wasn’t long before I was on the plane to Sydney to catch up with the boys and get on the connecting flight to China. We were all pretty excited on the adventure ahead and it was awesome catching up with these boys and seeing what made these boys tick in our world of parkour and freerunning.
After watching a couple of movies, talking crap and trying to snooze we finally made it to Beijing. The airport was huge and we had to then drive miles to a place called Tianjin or something where we would actually be doing the shoot. The drive didn’t end up being that bad. Seeing the country from a car window was pretty amazing. It’s so different to home and I felt so far away. I swear that there was so many buildings though. It was an urban jungle and the concrete seemed to just go for days.
We soon arrived and met a lady called Alex who got us organised and ready at the hotel. Our next thing was a wardrobe fitting where we got to try on our L.E.D suits on for the very first time and then we scouted out the location to see what cool movements we could create for the commercial. The place was cool with an Italian kind of feel, but there was one problem… we weren’t aloud to touch the grass. Unfortunately half the stuff we wanted to achieve for them was right where the grass was so we had to really think about how we approached the situation. We managed to figure out enough things for them so that they had a proper idea on how they could use our skills to the max and it all ended up working sweet.
We were ready for the shoot, but something ended up happening with the location so we had a bit of time on our hands to explore the city. The opportunities were endless, and we found so many cool obstacles to play with, but the ones that stood out for me on the trip were these two rooftops and the spot out the front of our hotel.
The first rooftop wasn’t to far away. It was stinking hot and we had to jump this old fence to get up there. The structure wasn’t all that great and it wasn’t the biggest building, but it was a cool perspective of the surrounding area. It wasn’t long before we decided to jump and film a few things while we were up there on the unusually sticky floor. It was hot as, but we all pulled off some cool tricks.
Getting down was a bit dodgy I might add, but we soon found ourselves back infront of the hotel we were staying at. It wasn’t anything special just a few ledges, but for us we made it work with just a slice of creativity. There were a few guards there that had no idea what was going on, but they soon realised that we were just a bunch of monkeys. Was quite surprising that they didn’t bother us actually. They would only give us a heads up when a car came through just incase we crashed into it haha. How nice!!!
After training for a fair while we managed to pull a crowd which was so not what we were expecting at all. After all we were just mucking around and were stuck in our own little worlds, but when we took a step back for a second we realised there were people watching from all over the place. I remember there being one line that I really wanted to get and once I had nailed it I got a few cheeky high fives off a few of the locals which made my day.
Our final destination was the hotel roof top. We had found an open window on the 14th floor to sneak out of that would put us out on a dodgy ledge. We waited till there was no one looking, slipped through the crack and slowly walked along it to the spot that we were trying to reach. I must add that it was the worst ledge one side was a hefty fall and the other side was a giant death drop and the ledge itself was cracking as we walked because it was only some old plasterboard type stuff that wasn’t for walking on. Well we made it just and thats not without saying that Carl nearly fell from putting his foot through it. That made me think that it’s probably safer going this other way I had found for the way back. There was no need to be killing ourselves just for the sake of a view and some photos haha.
Apart from that it was totally worth it. It was a small square opening with a few rails in and around it which was perfect for a little play. We did end up scoring some good shots and all the people down below looked like a bunch of ants. I must add that the sky was a disappointment!! It looked like that scene out of matrix revolution when they see sky and sunlight for the first time and then fall back into the real world which was dark and miserable. I kid you not the smog went like three quarters of the way up and the only bit of sky and sun you saw was right at the top and it was still a bit hazy. It seriously made me appreciate home once again because the air we were sitting in wasn’t the most healthiest.
So it was finally the night of the shoot for DongFeng Honda. Earlier on we had had a warm up sesh at the front of the Italian Hotel so we were ready to go. The whole thing only took 3-4 hours so that was alright compared to the amount of work that goes behind these projects. It’s amazing how it all works to create something like this. We pulled off a few cool runs and scenes together as a group with the L.E.D suits and then we split up so that two of us were doing a photo shoot and the other two were still filming. At the end of the night everyone was happy and stoked with the content. I was still ready to do some more because I’m use to these things lasting all night, but that was it. We wrapped up round 11-11:30, took off the smelly suit, ate some food and had the best sleep back at the hotel.
By the morning I was ready for home. We had all come and accomplished what we needed to do without any injuries which was a bonus. It was then time for the long train trip to Shanghai where we all played cards for the whole time. We didn’t stop playing because we were just having to much fun and we couldn’t stop laughing because of all the jokes we kept cracking before we fell asleep.
On the way there we saw the new shanghai tower which was enormous and I remembered the video that was made of the guys that climbed it while it was still under construction. What a bunch of nutters. I could see why they did it though. It would of been the climb of there lives. Well we finally got to the airport and it was time to say goodbye to China.
It was an awesome adventure and I’m looking forward to the next trip.
Bring it on.
The advert will be up soon.
Click the Link below to see what the For20 boys put together. It’s not much but you get an idea of what it was like!!!