A documentary about bungee jumping pioneer AJ Hackett

A documentary about bungee jumping pioneer AJ Hackett

This practice is known to all. Scary for some, a symbol of courage and adrenaline for others, bungee jumping enchants or intrigues, but it rarely leaves people indifferent. Behind this democratic discipline now practiced around the world, there is a man, a New Zealand fan of extreme sensuality, Alan John Hackett, 63 today, and his friends. They were the ones who performed the first bungee jump from a bridge in Auckland in the mid-1980s, then exported and spread the practice of “bungee” all over the world.

documentary AJ Hackett, Her Extreme Majesty, directed by Sophie Dinger and Robert Esseny — which airs Monday, January 17 on Trek TV — revisits the parallel history of AJ Hackett and bungy. He looks back at his first jumps in New Zealand, his arrival in France with his auditions at La Clusaz and the performance that will make him known to the general public: a jump from the second floor of the Eiffel Tower on June 26, 1987. Supported by testimonials from the concerned director, his friends and people who have worked with him over the years Over the years, the directors also explain the development of the discipline at an international level. Archive images allow you to go back in time and live adventures with the heroes.

A movie greatly complicated by Covid

It took nearly two years to produce this movie, the filming of which was greatly complicated by health restrictions due to Covid. Initially, it was the meeting between Sophie Dinger and Robert Essini that launched the project: “We thought we wanted to work together, and we were interested in the world of extreme sports, Sophie says danger. We had a documentary project about Queenstown, the self-proclaimed New Zealand city as the capital of extreme sports. Then I found out about AJ Hackett’s story, and we had to focus our movie on that».

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Filming is then organized, with meetings planned in France and trips to New Zealand. But health restrictions due to Covid will disrupt the program in place: “ The first time we met AJ Hackett, while visiting Paris, we learned the day before that the entire country was under siege. “Remember Sophie Danger. It’s impossible for directors to shoot in New Zealand. So they are asking Prisca Bouchet, an expatriate editor in the country who takes care of shooting on location. Directors also have to deal with the availability of a discipline major.” Hackett travels constantly and wanders everywhere. It was sometimes hard to tell where he was, but meetings were always possible and our project was well received! Sophie Danger rejoices.

No topic is avoided. The issue of security is of particular interest in this topic, and AJ Hackett was the first to learn about it. ” We wanted to talk about it in the film, and he himself raised this question, which he believes is fundamental to the development of technologies. He even tells how he wrote a manual, which became patent, which lists “ good practices » to adopt while jumping A documentary that allows you to dive into the world of bungee, says Sophie Danger, and that will make a lot of people want to jump into the void as well, with their feet firmly attached.

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