Over the years, many Parkour videos come and go. Since the YouTube scene was just getting started, people have been filming Parkour and releasing videos. The progression in the quality of the filmmaking is remarkable. Over the last 5 years the changes in the way Parkour is filmed and recieved have been massive. In respect to this, I have selected out the seven videos which I personally feel are the most important to Parkour. These are not the best videos out there necessarily, nor are they the most recent or do they have the highest viewcounts. These are videos I see as landmarks, catalysts for change in the Parkour scene.
Run Escape Jump
The chase sequence from the 2004 film District B13, starring David Belle is one of the most important displays of parkour in film. Whilst arugably the Casino Royale sequence with Sebastien Foucan was higher-profile, this chase has a lot more of a raw, unfiltered dynamic to the way it has been shot and produced. Naturally, neither of the two chases are dangerous per se, as both were shot with relevant safety precautions in place, I would simply argue that the quality of the movements and the flow of the B13 sequence is better. It seems to be more energetic and urgent, whereas I felt some of the action in Bond felt a little too over-egged.
Trace Gathering 07
In 2007, over one hundred Traceurs made their way to the small country villiage of Edale, to spend three days training in the Peak District. This was one of the most amazing training experiences I have ever had, with everyone moving together so harmoniously. It was like a little parkour bubble where everyone you talked to was someone you could relate to, and when people are combined like that magic happens. As you see here, the campsite itself was a hotbed for fun, with ninja assaults, tugs of war and lots of sillyness but all in good taste. Just down the road is the playpark, which in turn was actually really good fun for training on. The following days, we started with a warm-up run up to the spots, and then trained on the rocks of Higger Tor and Paddley Gorge, both wonderful spots. Training in a natural environment is so different to anything urban, and this video really expresses the community spirit that the trace gathering exemplified.
Professor Longhair, Big Chief
So it could be said that including a video I filmed is cheating, but in all honestly, Longhair was a project that should be mostly accredited to Phil Doyle. He came to me with the idea of making a video which was as raw as possible. We picked out a song, I took care of all the technical stuff and we bullied Kie into training so we could get the shots done. What resulted, is a video which we got very lucky with. As you can read in the behind the scenes the video went viral and through happy chance, ended up with a lot of exposure. The ending was just a small joke we thought we’d include, we had no idea that people would take it so seriously. To this day there are still frequent comments on the video asking how he got down! Maybe he’s still up there…
Damien Walters Showreel 2009
The annual Damien Walters Showreels are a consistent display of exquisite gymnastic talent, interspersed with creative parkour and freerunning. Whilst this video is mostly gym-based movements, and not technically ‘Parkour’, the training and movement abilities you can see here translate perfectly. These videos serve as a showcase, not of what Damien can do, but whats possible. Videos like this serve to inspire and motivate people into moving, causing them to be so taken-aback by what they have seen, that they in turn might feel implored to go and train themselves.