Magazine article American Cinematographer

Cinema 180 Goes Freefall

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Cinema 180 Goes Freefall

Article excerpt

In the August 1988 American Cinematographer, a story ran describing a photographic adventure of one Matthias Wolfie. The head of the Austrian parachute photography firm Mattis Creation, Wolfie celebrated his professional tenth anniversary by taking part in a tandem parachute jump from 27,000 feet and filming the feat on a specially rigged 35mm movie camera. The event set several world records, including the highest freefall parachute jump with a 35mm movie camera.

Not to be outdone, Floridian Mike Swain recently bailed out of a perfectly good airplane accompanied by a 65mm Panavision rig, strapped to his body. Swain and his brother have worked in the movie business in Sarasota for the past 25 years, specializing in underwater, aerial and freefall photography. Swain has logged over 1350 skydives and operates his own exhibition skydiving team. Here he describes a much earlier attempt:

"About 15 years ago, a friend and I set an altitude record for freefall in Florida at 28,000 feet. We had plane and bailout oxygen, experienced -30 degree temperatures, and although we had no instrumentation to document terminal velocity at altitude, we estimated that we fell at speeds of over 200 mph. My helmet-mounted 16mm movie camera froze up, so I was delighted to read in the magazine that Matthias Wolfie had the resources and know-how to solve these difficult and expensive camera problems that the small cadre of freefall photographers have struggled with for many years."

Recently, at the parachute center in Zephyrhills, Florida, Swains persistence and daring paid off when he become the first person to skydive with a 65mm movie camera. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.