Parkour Documentary Proposal

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Proposition:This proposal aims to produce a reality television series that will generate more awareness of parkour as a sport to the Singaporean public.

Preface

There have been various productions that have been done that cover parkour today, as well as the history behind the sport. For example, documentaries and short films such as Jump Britain and Jump London, as well as My Playground have been released to give the public a new insight into the world of parkour. Reality series like Ultimate Parkour Challenge and Jump City: Seattle, display varieties of movements involved in freerunning, allowing the public to see parkour as an art form as well.

However, parkour has not gained the recognition it deserves as a sport. The few documentaries and short films on freerunning are less than well known, and only recently did parkour begin to be featured in reality television shows. Apart from these, unfortunately, parkour has never been given more coverage and exposure to the public eye.

Still, I firmly believe that parkour can still be put in the spotlight. If properly executed, a documentary or short film can still become well known amongst the community, and give freerunning a new popularity. Reality television series are also popular among the public, thus the possibilities of parkour garnering more interest is higher. As such, I feel it is still, and highly possible for a production featuring parkour to be recognized among the Singaporean community.

Position

Currently, there have been various documentaries and films on parkour. Documentaries such as Jump Britain and Jump London allow traceurs (individuals who practice parkour) to showcase their craft as they maneuver over famous landmarks in Britain. Jump London, released in 2003, was the first documentary on parkour to be produced in the United Kingdom. (imdb.com, "Jump London (TV 2003)") It starred the founders of parkour itself, David Belle (Edwardes 11) and Sebastien Foucan, along with others who practiced parkour with them. The documentary gained popularity, and soon enough, a sequel was on its way: Jump Britain. (imdb.com, “Jump Britain (TV 2005)”) Jump Britain involved Sebastien Foucan as well, but this time, a well-known parkour crew, Urban Freeflow, graced the production. Part of the documentary also followed the team as they travelled to Lisses, France, the birthplace of parkour, for a ‘pilgrimage’.

My Playground, a film, demonstrates how parkour, or freerunning, is changing the public’s view on urban space, and how urban space itself affects the traceurs themselves. The film stars freerunners from China, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Denmark, as they traverse across the small constricted cities they call home, bringing a whole new viewpoint on what it means to commute.

Another production involving parkour, has hit televisions screens around the world. Reality television series such as Ultimate Parkour Challenge (Witfeld et al. 10) documents ten of the best parkour athletes around the world as they challenge each other over the two seasons the mini-series has been aired. The show was filmed in California, but the themes of the parkour courses the participants compete over are far from ordinary. Every week, there will be a new course to traverse, and there have been insane challenges such as a rollercoaster track and a ferryboat.

Jump City: Seattle is another competition that showcases four of the top parkour groups in the United States, Team Tempest, Miami Freerunning, The Tribe and Team Rogue. The first ever parkour challenge held in the United States, it takes place at different landmarks in Seattle. The show was aired in the United States in mid-February 2011, and has since ended its first season in early-April 2011, with Team Tempest winning the competition.

Problem/Potential

Unfortunately, most documentaries and short films on parkour do not gain as much attention or fame. Only in major action movie flicks...
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