next morning we're back out before daybreak, the intention is to film
into dawn – which a little later fills the skies with pink and red;
worth getting up for.
we’re working with Jake, another of the Parkour runners from the 10
strong group participating in the project. It’s even colder today and
Jake’s line involves him climbing down a metal railing into a yard of
garages set below street level – an odd claustrophobic space, walled in
One of the enjoyable challenges of this project is finding exciting
locations along the route of the Great North Run that work both visually
and for Parkour.
In the afternoon we drive further out to recce a location for filming
in spring, an allotment park located underneath a massive power pylon.
Craig and Jake discuss how they might tackle a number of different
routes across the allotments; which structures will hold their weight,
which section of fence allows what type of move. How their physical
tracing of that space can become an embodiment of this site, a different
way of describing it through their performance.
A lot of my work investigates ideas of community and collective
experiences, our individual and social selves. When I first got in touch
with Craig I had no real idea how they would work as a group and it’s
been a real eye opener to see how closely these guys are linked through
this practice that is core to their lives. Whenever we’ve been filming
one of the runners, another will turn up as support. They discuss and
work lines out together, test what’s possible, advise and encourage.
Maybe this is one of the characteristics I find impressive about Parkour
– the fact that so far it remains largely non-competitive.
The day finishes back at Felling Estate; Craig and Jake are
suggesting a particular route over a series of walls. As we film into
dusk it starts to snow again and while Jake is leaping over a wall big
billowing steam blows out of a heating funnel, backlit by sulphur light.
More than half the material is filmed now; we are roughly at mile 8
of the course. I’ll be back in Newcastle soon for more explorations for
the sections ahead; the next filming dates are set for late April…