Pro-athlete and 3Run founder Chase Armitage teams up with Panasonic to create a new parkour and downhill video. Chase, born in Basingstoke where he still lives for around 6 months of the year when he’s not abroad working putting his physical artistry to good use, sets some time aside to answer some interview questions about his work and his new video release. You’re likely to have seen his parkour skills in movies like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pirates of the Caribbean, Death Race 2, as well as on TV, live shows and events. He has a background in Chinese martial arts and is a British champion multiple times over having competed around the world. He also has the Guinness world record for the farthest back flip off a wall over a moving car.
Describe to us your surroundings whilst answering these questions
I’m sat in my hotel room in Abu Dhabi sharing this hotel with 30 of my best friends and team-mates, currently out here on a massive performance for 3 weeks.
Give us the rundown in your experience of parkour to date
Well I was one of the original guys doing it in the UK when it all kicked off around the year 2002. I’ve been doing it professionally for almost 15 years, having worked on feature films as an action actor, choreographer and supervisor. I’m completely self taught and love pushing my limits in every way I possibly can.
How much do you train?
I try to train every day in some way or another, I condition 4/5 times a week in the gym, rock climb twice a week, practice in the streets as much as I can and make use of our Free Running academy 3Run in Basingstoke to tune my moves.
What’s the worst injury you’ve had from doing parkour?
Nothing too serious to be fair, mainly torn ligaments in ankles.
You used a Panasonic HX-A500E to make your latest video which records in 4k which is 4 x higher quality than HD and integrated NFC technology for instant picture and video sharing on social media amongst other things. What was it that particularly attracted you to that setup?
I love cameras, anything new excites me. I was drawn in by its 4k abilities and unique mounting options for getting extra creative angles.
Tell us about the drone you used to capture the aerial shots
We have a few DJI Phantoms in our media company ready to get those next level shots.
How problematic is it to practice parkour using private buildings? What’s the worst trouble you’ve got in?
It can be an issue but as long as your polite and talk to the owners when confronted and explain your there to do no harm, 9 times out of 10 they are understanding, on that off occasion when they are not.. we’re equipped with some pretty good escape skills.
If you could choose anywhere in the world to film your next parkour video, where would it be and why?
I would love to do it in Chernobyl as I heard its safe to visit there now, I think there would be some incredible runs to be done and the location would look so interesting on camera.
What do you do when you’re not doing parkour?
Well, I run the 3RUN company when I’m not training, we sell Parkour lifestyle and training gear, we have a media arm to our company and also run an agency so I can get pretty tied up with that. But if I get that all done, or if I’m feeling I need to hit an adventure, the boys and I will often go on a skydiving trip or snowboarding with the 3RUN team. I also love traveling with my fiancée.
If you could choose 1 thing to change your life for the better what would it be?
Well I recently wanted to cut all animal products from my diet and eat really clean to improve my health and performance. I’ve just now successfully achieved that so I’ll use this.
Other than parkour, do you do anything else to keep yourself in shape?
For sure, my life is all about being active, I have a bar set made from bamboo in my garden with rock climbing grips going up my garage, I hit a Bikram yoga session from time to time, love cycling, anything active fast and fun, I love to do it.
What are your aspirations for 3Run?
3RUN is a passion project and very organic, it grows as it feels right to, but I would love to see it become as big as companies like DC in the clothing department and we’re shooting commercials at the moment but I would love to get into shooting features with 3RUN media producing it all.
Tell us about ways in which you think the Panasonic A500 could be used to create some innovative footage.
Well I’m giving my next idea away, but because you can mount the lens part of the camera away from the brain part, I wanted to strap the lens to my foot and allow people to see my parkour runs through the up close view of my trainers.
What parkour projects do you have planned for 2015?
Well we’re in Abu Dhabi now for 3 weeks with the whole team from the UK, 2 of our ambassadors from Latvia and one from South Africa so were keeping busy here. I’m directing a short film I have always wanted to do this year so keep an eye out for that.
Please finish the following sentences:
My pet peeve is: People who throw litter in the streets
Imminent Danger is: Tanks I’m running away from on this project
Nobody knows this but sometimes I: Eat kiwis with the skin on
What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned in life so far?
Anything is possible if you’re willing to give your heart to it and to treat others how you would wish to be treated.
If you weren’t doing parkour, what would you be doing instead?
Well when I was a kid I wanted to be a stunt man or racing driver, I guess I’m kind of a stunt man so let’s say racing driver, I do love cars!
What inspired you to make this video?
Chris and I wanted to mix our passions of parkour and downhill and put it in one place. I had always wanted to get my cameras out and shoot Chris doing his thing in the woods and thought that it would be even cooler to see him tearing it up in an urban downhill course.