Willing To Fly
written by Paige MacDonald
This summer, Norman Kent’s long-awaited “Willing to Fly” will spread its own wings and take flight across the screen and the video market. After four years of working on and off on his film, raising money, producing, shooting and editing, Kent is closing in on the final product and expects the first viewing to take place in June. He anticipates videos to be released by August.
This meaningful body of work embraces his two foremost passions: cinematography and skydiving. Not since “From Wings Came Flight” has he poured so much heart and soul into a personal project of his. Without the binds of a commercial schedule or demands, he sought to unleash his creativity and explore the feelings, beauty and intensity of his beloved sport using the camera as a different type of tool.
The subjects are common and well known, but his intent is to transcend the everyday image and unveil it in its own extraordinary light. With each discipline of skydiving, from 4-way, style, freefly and on, there is its own signature energy. Kent tries to put a twist to the filming aspect to reveal the unique flavor of each.
For this effect, he played with different games to reach new dimensions. A 4-way team is a vision of teamwork and communication with four strong individuals forming a machine. Yet, how does this image translate when the four continue to turn their points without taking grips? This game of binding without touching gives one a new visual and feeling to relative work.
Man has always yearned to fly. Yet, connecting man and bird is taken to a new awareness as Kent actually captures a falcon in freefall with a skydiver. It is this type of emotional tie and creative visuals that open doors beyond what we have experienced before.
There’s little story within this film. It’s mostly a compilation of stunning imagery that’s meant to make one think and perceive skydiving and cinematography on a deeper, emotional level. The one metaphorical device that is threaded throughout and ties the film into a cohesive whole is what Kent calls the “Eternal Swooper.” What is unveiled through this point-of-view is representative of the film’s title, “Willing to Fly”. Kent says, “We are already capable; we have the know-how. If we are willing to make the mental changes that allow things to happen?e could fly if we really wanted to.” It’s all about one’s attitude.
A book will also accompany the sales of the video. Like a CD that comes with its lyrics tucked inside, after experiencing the film, one can read a more detailed representation of the project and understand more fully what was intended or meant by a certain sequence. The book elaborates on the story on the screen and the behind-the-scenes making of it.
Kent is excited about the upcoming release. Always demanding excellence from himself, he wished he could have kept going with the discovery process. But the time has come for this fledgling project to rise to its own potential, and Kent wishes to acknowledge the people who have been very patient with him-his sponsors, the performers and the skydiving community. For Kent, this film is a strong statement about his work as a cinematographer, as well as a cherished contribution to skydiving as a whole.