Saturday, 18 September 2021

Stuntman in appeal for film backing

A STUNTMAN who skydived from 2,400ft without a parachute is appealing for donations to finish a documentary about his adventure.

A STUNTMAN who skydived from 2,400ft without a parachute is appealing for donations to finish a documentary about his adventure.

Gary Connery, of Albert Road, Henley, set a world first when he leapt from a helicopter wearing a special wingsuit in May 2012.

He glided on to a landing pad made from more than 18,000 cardboard boxes in a field at Mill End Farm, near Hambleden.

A camera crew filmed the preparations for the big day and captured the jump from 17 different angles.

One man with a 3D camera followed Mr Connery wearing a regular parachute while another shot it from the ground in slow motion.

The footage, which totals more than 50 hours, was to be edited into a documentary by Roy Taylor, a fellow stuntman who co-ordinated the shoot.

But this was put on hold when stuntman Mark Sutton, a friend of Mr Connery?s who helped plan the jump, died in a wingsuit flying accident in the Swiss Alps the following year.

Now Mr Taylor and Mr Connery want to raise £67,000 to appoint a production company to finish the film, called The Man Who Flew To Earth.

They have launched an appeal on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter and have so far raised almost £20,000 but must receive pledges for the full total or they will receive nothing.

Mr Connery, 46, said: ?It?s one thing to have shot all that video but it?s a question of what you then do with it. It has to be trawled through in order to create something of value and that?s why we need funding.

?Most of it has never been seen as we only released a limited amount for television news. Roy invested a good amount of money in the shoot and feels he should do something instead of letting it sit there.

?I?d love to see it finished. I don?t need to watch it, having been there, but it would be great to get it out there for other people to see.?

The film will be dedicated to Mr Sutton, who performed a parachute jump dressed as James Bond with Mr Connery dressed as the Queen as part of the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics.

Mr Connery said: ?It?s very important to showcase Mark?s role in the achievement.?

To support the appeal, visit www.kickstarter.com and search for The Man Who Flew To Earth.

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