Jon DeVore, Andy Farrington and Mike Swanson, wingsuit flying stars of Red Bull Air Force and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, quite literally dropped in on the movie’s Miami premiere last night.
Unlike most premieres, the wingsuit flying talent in the film transformed the traditional red carpet with an entrance from the rainy sky. JT Holmes and three members of the Red Bull Air Force skydiving team jumped from a helicopter 2,000ft above the venue, opened their parachutes and performed high-speed landings on the wet intersection of Lincoln Drive and Alton Road where they were greeted by Transformers: Dark of the Moon Executive Producer and Director Michael Bay and actor Tyrese Gibson, who plays USAF Master Sergeant Robert Epps.
“Live action, that’s the way it goes,” Bay said from the red carpet. “These wingsuit guys that we used, I saw them on 60 Minutes and I said, ‘I want to be the first director to put them in an action scene.’ We got them flying between buildings at 150mph through Chicago. It’s hard stuff to film, you need a lot of experts to do that and you need a lot of cojones [ie, balls] as well. Those guys are a rare breed, there are very few people in the world who can do that.”
Red Bull Air Force are a team assembled from the most accomplished and experienced skydivers, BASE jumpers, wingsuit flyers and paraglider pilots on the planet. With gold medals in virtually every discipline and numerous world records to their credit, the team members combine for over 100,000 skydives and 6,000 BASE jumps. Throughout the year they perform more than 60 demos, including air shows, NFL games and NASCAR and motocross races, as well as skydiving, BASE jumping, and paragliding competitions in the US and abroad.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon, once again starring Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky, sees a mysterious event from Earth's past erupt into the present day, threatening to start a war so big that the Transformers alone will not be able to save the world.
In the film, the jumpers performed all of the live-action wingsuit proximity flying. In this type of specialised human flight, the skydivers wear a jumpsuit that essentially acts as ‘wings’ allowing BASE jumps in places where they would previously have been impossible, as well as the ability to skim along the faces of cliffs and buildings. In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the team speed closely past buildings in downtown Chicago, including, for the first time ever, a BASE jump off of the Sears Tower.
“Michael Bay is one of the last live action directors out there,” said Jon DeVore on landing. “So he contacted JT Holmes to put together a team to do this, and with a lot of raw flying he made magic.”
- Check out www.redbullairforce.com
- Official Transformers: Dark of the Moon website
- Official Twitter feed for Transformers: Dark of the Moon @TF3Movie