If you’ve ever felt the need to take on a crazy project despite consequences, photographer Blair Bunting knows exactly how you feel. In an effort to recreate a scene from the classic movie “Top Gun,” Bunting put his guts where his mouth is and attempted to photograph a jet flying 500 feet off the ground while his own jet flew upside down above it only a short distance away. This video captures that remarkable feat, along with the preparation that came beforehand, and you have to check it out.
To prepare for the upcoming shoot with the Patriots Jet Team, Bunting hit the gym six days a week and also practiced hick breathing to remain conscious in the jet since he wouldn’t be wearing a g-suit. He also spent hours on his hotel room bed practicing how to use his Hasselblad H6D while upside down. With that, Bunting still admits that the work put into preparation left a photo that “still would be 90 percent luck.”
When it came time to invert and start shooting, Bunting would be traveling upside down calling out “forward, forward, forward” to get the jet below his into frame. He recalled the surreal moment of being upside down over Northern California hurling through the air, staring right at the other jet’s pilot who was staring right back at him. There’s only a limited amount of fuel and time for this action to happen, so Bunting would be firing away as fast as his camera would shoot, all the while his pilot giving him a countdown until going back right-side up.
This scene below from “Top Gun” shows the specific scene that they attempted to recreate in real life.
To create the video shown above, the Planet Unicorn team behind its production needed a high level of preparation as well. There is no going back for redos on a shoot like this. If you are interested in seeing the behind-the-scenes work that went into the movie shoot, check out the Planet Unicorn blog that has a great writeup.
All images used with permission.
[via Blair Bunting]