There is a new Point Break in town. And while some might believe the Sistine Chapel of Hollywood action sports films leaves no room for improvement, there’s never harm in trying. And as daily-quote-spitting-original-Point-Break enthusiasts, we were thrilled to meet the new cast and crew of its reimagining for an inside look at the December release. While Director Ericson Core planned a wide spectrum of adjustments to the 1991 original, modernizing the stunts and action to feel impressive for 2015 (without killing anyone) might have proved his most ambitious challenge. And while any Hollywood production requires some degree of post-production, after speaking with the athletes involved in the production it became abundantly apparent that the new Point Break made it a top priority to capture action sports heroes as never before. A wise man once said, “If you want the ultimate, you’ve got to be willing to pay the ultimate price.” And here are eight facts you never knew from the production of the new Point Break that probably get the cameras as close to “the ultimate” as they’ve ever been.
1. Five men pull off a world-first by flying THROUGH the earth during a synchronized wingsuit flight sequence in Switzerland.
Never before have five wingsuit pilots simultaneously jumped from Sputnick (also called The Crack) in Walenstadt, Switzerland, which happens to be one of the most photogenic, technically challenging jump locations on earth. The kicker? It has a subterranean element. That means these guys fly UNDERGROUND. A few centimeters off the mark, and not only is the shoot over, but the coffins arrive, too.
“You see a lot of solo people doing pretty amazing lines,” said wingsuit pilot John Devore. “But never before has a team been assembled to do formation type flying through such a technical area.”
“The unfortunate truth is that if we crash, we’re probably dead,” said Devore. “It’s not like if we crash on a wave and have to survive a heavy wave, which is awesome too, but different. ”
So…they survived to tell it. And I’m excited to watch it on a gigantic screen while I cram eighteen dollars worth of popcorn, Junior Mints, and Diet Coke into my mouth as quickly as I possibly can.
2. We get to see Jaws and Teahupoo from totally new perspectives. Actually, about 90 different perspectives.
Where do you go if you have one year to shoot an epic big-wave sequence and you need guaranteed giant waves? Jaws and Teahupoo are safe bets. And it’s definitely a step up from the sequences filmed at Waimea in the 1991 original.
“They shot 90 angles,” said Laird Hamilton, who assisted in the production of all surf sequences. “Back, front, drones, they had everything covered. It’s a feature film. They’re not fooling around…There are guys in the water. Guys on skis. Guys on long lens. Guys on jet skis with big mounts. The flight suit part had 106 shots they needed. At a certain point, with the volume of images, that’s how you make things look how they appear in reality when you’re not using green screens.”
3. The athletes are legit.
With Mark Healey, Laird Hamilton, Ian Walsh, Bruce Irons, Makua Rothman, Laurie Towner, Dylan Longbottom, and a long list of surfing royalty assisting as talent, stunt doubles, and consultants in the ocean scenes, the new Point Break stands a solid chance of displaying surfing on silver screen in a way that will make us happy.
“All I had to do was talk to Ericson one time,” said Corliss. “I mean, we sat down, and he started telling me his vision, and the fact that he wanted to do everything for real, and that he wanted to make it — he didn’t want it to be a big CGI, you know, robots-destroying-buildings kind of thing. He wanted to make it the athletes going out in the world and doing what they do best, basically taking the best action sports athletes from each individual discipline, and then just unleashing them on the world and just showing what could be done. And when the second he said that, I was like, “I’m in.”
4. They shot in 10 countries around the world.
You can’t really fake action sports. You can try. But the boys will notice. And according to Director Ericson Core, the new Point Break takes locations seriously.
“It would have been a lot easier to shoot on a green screen stage in one central location.” said Core. “But we opted to go to the real places, because the locations are part of the characters.”
Hello Switzerland, Angel Falls, Teahupoo, Jaws, etc…
5. Laurie Towner was hospitalized after breaking his jaw during filming at Teahupoo.
They were willing to pay the ultimate price. Ask Laurie.
“I got myself a broken jaw, some stitches in my lip and eye lid, whiplash to my neck and back and a couple small puncture wounds that went through my neck an into the back of my mouth that apparently just missed an artery,” Towner wrote on Instagram. “Just want to thank every one who helped me though out yesterday really appreciate it! I’m all good and as positive as ever!
6. Jon Devore almost broke his foot off while filming his wing suit scene – grazing the grass during his action sequence at 160 MPH. Really. 160 MPH.
“You probably saw a shot where the grass moved after he passed by,” said Core. “That was because Jon dragged his foot through the grass about a 150, 160 miles an hour. Which that shot shows you how fast these guys were going in wing-suits.”
7. The wing suit sequence took six weeks to shoot, more than sixty jumps, and 109 shots – requiring the wing suit pilot to wear a 12-pound RED Dragon camera on his head.
“The fact of one person flying, that’s one thing,” said Devore. “But having five people flying in formation while taking turns and going into a really tight area is pretty difficult, because, just think about it: if one person moves where he’s not supposed to move, it can steal the air out of the other person…You time it with five people, and you put that five people in a crack that is only seven meters long, I mean, we have cameras in our head, and stuff like that. And we have to synchronize the turns and stuff like that. It’s by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and it’s just amazing that everything you guys are going to see on the screen is for real. It’s the real thing.”
8. Teresa Palmer, the sole female actress in the ensemble, has a real son, named Bodhi.
This is a true thing.
“He’s named for the same reason that Bodhi in the original movie is named,” said Palmer, who would breast feed little Bodhi between takes. “I got a call about Point Break the re-envisioning, and I said, you’ll never guess what my son’s name is…”