Mission Impossible Fallout

Mission Impossible fallout was without doubt the most challenging film I’ve worked on, but definitely the most rewarding.

Organising a skydive from 25,000ft with custom made oxygen equipment out of a C17 aircraft was not a small task.

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106 skydives with a broken ankle: Inside how Tom Cruise pulled off the thrilling HALO jump in ‘Mission: Impossible — Fallout’

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Mission Impossible Fallout Paramount

Tom Cruise does a lot of amazing stunts in “Mission: Impossible — Fallout,” but the one that took the most work to pull off was the HALO jump over Paris at the beginning of the movie.

To get into Paris undetected, Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and CIA tagalong August Walker (Henry Cavill) decide to do a HALO jump — a high-altitude, low-open skydive, in which you open your parachute at a low altitude after free-falling for a period of time — at dusk out of a giant C-17 plane.

But things get dangerous when Walker insists on jumping out of the plane even though there’s a lightning storm brewing below them. Walker is so determined to do so that he disconnects Hunt’s oxygen line to his mask and jumps. Hunt scrambles to reattach his line and jumps after Walker.

Before the audience knows it, they’re free-falling with Hunt. The camera follows as Hunt catches up to Walker just before lightning strikes them both.

If you have seen any movie in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise, this next fact won’t surprise you: Cruise did the entire HALO sequence without a stuntman. But pulling off the sequence — which included 106 total jumps to get three scenes and was all done after Cruise broke his ankle earlier in production — was as epic as what is on the screen.

Business Insider spoke to the key members of the HALO-jump sequence, including the director Christopher McQuarrie, to break down its yearlong planning and execution.

Finding a unique way to get into Paris

Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise on the set of “Mission: Impossible — Fallout.” Chiabella James/Paramount

Generally, a movie is born from a screenwriter’s pen, but it turns out the recent “Mission: Impossible” movies are done a little differently.

McQuarrie said the script is actually the last thing to be developed in the making of the movies. The movie is first fueled by the stunts that Cruise, McQuarrie, and others close to the franchise come up with.

“The script is more or less the instruction manual for this thing we all discussed at length,” McQuarrie said.

In the case of the HALO jump, they had developed a lot of action to take place in Paris, but the question remained: How does Hunt get to the City of Lights?

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“A HALO jump came up, and we started talking about what that would take — this many jumps, learning this and that,” said Wade Eastwood, the “Fallout” stunt coordinator. “Everyone thought that kind of time didn’t fit in the film schedule, but we made it fit, even though on paper it didn’t.”

With the stunt decided, the hard part started: how to fit Cruise’s HALO training in a schedule already filled with training for driving motorcycles, fighting, and flying helicopters. (Yes, he flew that helicopter himself in the movie.)

More on that later.

Creating a helmet so we could see Cruise’s face

If you were to do a HALO jump in real life, you wouldn’t need a clear helmet showing your whole face. But this is Tom Cruise we’re talking about.

When Cruise and the “Fallout” team learned that the proper gear for a HALO jump is an oxygen mask covering most of the face and a helmet leaving just the eyes to be seen, there was a rush to come up with something better for Cruise to wear.

“We created a helmet that had a good look and the oxygen sustained,” Eastwood said.

But the mask also had to have lights in it so that we, the audience, could see that it is in fact Cruise doing the jump. That brought another set of concerns.

“It took extensive pressure testing and altitude testing to get the lighting system consistently safe,” Eastwood said. “We didn’t want them to explode. A fiery Tom Cruise head, that’s very bad.”

Building the largest wind tunnel in the world

Cavill, top, trying out the wind tunnel made for use by up to six people at once. Chiabella James/Paramount Pictures

Before getting in a plane and jumping enough times to get a certified skydiver license, Cruise started his HALO training in a wind tunnel at Leavesden Studios in the UK. And as you can probably guess, a normal wind tunnel just wouldn’t do.

“I suggested we get a vertical wind tunnel; they said that was a good idea,” said Neil Corbould, the “Fallout” special-effects supervisor. “We found a portable wind tunnel and brought it to England but found out very quickly that it was too small.”

The wind tunnel would be used to learn the choreography for the HALO-jump sequence devised by Eastwood, but to train properly there would need to be six people in the wind tunnel at the same time (including actors, stunt specialists, and camera operators). The wind tunnel Corbould provided could have only two people in it.

“Tom said, ‘Can we make a bigger one?’ and I asked, ‘How big?’ And he said, ‘As big as you can make it,'” Corbould said.

So Corbould found a company to build in 12 weeks what would turn out to be one of the biggest wind tunnels ever created.

Housed in an empty exterior water tank at Leavesden, the wind tunnel was 20 feet wide by 10 feet high. Powered by four 1-megawatt generators — enough to power a small town, Corbould noted — it would have blades that could spin at 150 mph and raise the people in the tunnel 7 feet.

The size of the wind tunnel also helped Cruise, who wanted to keep from bumping into the sides, as he was still trying to heal his broken ankle while training.

“He had to be rolled into the wind tunnel and then would lay there flat until the power went on, and then he would take off,” said Allan Hewitt, the “Fallout” skydiving coordinator. “We put some orange tape around his foot so we knew which was the bad foot. We didn’t want to touch the wrong one.”

Flying a helicopter to Cruise’s skydiving training

With only so many hours in the day, Cruise had to often do multiple stunt trainings on the same day in the months leading up to filming the movie.

Cruise needed experience flying a helicopter for the movie’s concluding action sequence, which involves a helicopter chase — one in which he flies himself. So he would often pilot a helicopter to the drop zone where he would do his HALO jumps.

Sometimes he would even skydive into his HALO training.

“He would take off from a local airfield next to the studio, and the airplane would take him to the drop zone, and he would jump out, so that’s one jump done,” Eastwood said. “He’d land, get another parachute on, get in the plane waiting, and go do his jumps for the HALO.”

Why Cruise’s broken ankle was a good thing

Cruise broke his ankle attempting this stunt in “Mission: Impossible — Fallout.” David James/Paramount

You could only imagine how the Paramount executives took the news that Cruise broke his ankle while rooftop-jumping for an action sequence for “Fallout.” But it actually forced the movie to do the HALO jump as it was planned.

According to Hewitt, before Cruise’s injury, the HALO jump was not going to be a true 25,000-foot jump. Because the production was working with the UK’s Royal Air Force, it was agreed that the movie would use the RAF plane to do the stunt. But the RAF would fly them to only 12,000 feet.


“Tom didn’t want to fake it — he wanted to do it for real at 25,000 feet,” Hewitt said. “But the producers said they weren’t going to another country. It really looked like we were going to fake it with the RAF.”

But because of Cruise’s injury, the movie missed its scheduled jump with the RAF. That opened the door for the production to end in Abu Dhabi shooting the HALO scene at 25,000 feet.

“If Tom didn’t break his ankle, we would have ended up faking it, which nobody wanted,” Hewitt said.

The quick decision that saved the HALO sequence

In March, “Fallout” production wrapped up in Abu Dhabi with the HALO sequence. The months of training and creation of prototype equipment for Cruise to wear on the jump finally came together on film.

And luckily, the team had finally found a skydiver who would strap the 20-pound camera rig on his head to film Cruise’s jump: Craig O’Brien.

“There was a lot of reluctance,” McQuarrie said of trying to find someone who would film the HALO sequence. “The first two cameramen, they gave us a lot of rules and telling us what was and wasn’t possible, and we’re not into that at all. We’re not reckless, but what we want to hear are solutions, not restrictions.”

Enter O’Brien, who had experience as a skydiving camera operator, though he had to learn a more cinematic way of shooting.

“Narrative storytelling is a very different style of framing. You’re not just capturing an event — you’re directing the eye,” McQuarrie said. “I’m making you look where I want you to look. He had to learn how to do that.”

And O’Brien wasn’t looking through a camera lens — the camera was strapped to the top of his head — so he had to do all of that while, as McQuarrie put it, “shooting a scene through a periscope, and you’re not looking through the periscope.”

Not only did O’Brien pull it off amazingly, but he also solved one of the biggest problems that had befuddled everyone for the first seven jumps: out-of-focus footage.

Because the scene starts inside the C-17 plane, a focus puller was in there, responsible for that part of the sequence. For Cruise’s jump (Cavill, playing Walker, never did the jump, as a stuntman went in his place), O’Brien jumped out first and had to slow himself down as Cruise sped up to him. When Cruise got 3 feet from O’Brien’s helmet camera, O’Brien would then have to become the focus puller and put the dial in his hand to its closest focus.

But when they would land and look at the footage, Cruise would be out of focus.

“Tom said, ‘I was there,’ and Craig said, ‘I had the dial buried,'” McQuarrie said. “Someone was f—ing up, and we couldn’t figure out who.”

The next day, O’Brien told the focus puller on the plane to shut off his remote once Cruise jumped out of the plane. To everyone’s surprise, that was the problem — the equipment inside the plane was fighting with O’Brien’s camera.

Two weeks and 106 jumps later — many done at “magic hour,” at dusk, when they had only three minutes of perfect light to shoot — the three parts of the HALO sequence were in the can.

In postproduction, the Abu Dhabi ground was replaced with Paris lights, and a CGI lightning storm was added. But other than that, it was all Cruise, diving and twisting 25,000 feet above the ground (with O’Brien following him the whole way).

Now all that’s left is: Can “Mission: Impossible” top this stunt?

“I know there’s something out there. We just don’t know what it is yet,” McQuarrie said. “Whether it’s me or someone else, as long as Tom is willing to do it, you can think up crazy s—.”

Where to visit the dramatic locations featured in the new Mission Impossible: Fallout trailer

The latest trailer for the much-hyped new Mission Impossible flick is sure gearing up to be one helluva action fest.

And it’s not just the star’s dramatic stunts generating buzz (although Tom Cruise really outdid himself on this one – even famously breaking his ankle during a certain building jumping scene, pushing production out four months).

We are, of course, talking about the dramatic locations that serve as the stunning backdrop for Ethan Hunt’s latest nail-biting mission in Mission Impossible: Fallout .

9Honey Travel bumped into the film’s legendary cinematographer Rob Hardy recently, and got the exclusive low-down on all the exciting locations used. If the new trailer has left you with a taste for adventure, then these stunning destinations should help satiate your appetite.

Arch de Triomphe, Paris, France

(Paramount Pictures) Mission Impossible: Fallout Paris scenes. Paramount Pictures

We’ll start with the most obvious one – a huge portion of the film’s action scenes take place in France’s dreamy capital, as confirmed by the addition of the legendary Arc de Triomphe – easily one of the city’s most famous monuments.

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According to Hardy, the crew were given a strict time window to utilise the landmark. “For 90 minutes, the Arch de Triomphe was ours”, Hardy told 9Honey Travel, meaning Tom had just an hour and a half to nail the action sequences and call it a wrap.

This striking building in the middle of a busy roundabout stands at 50 metres high, with avenues radiating out of the structure like a giant spider’s web. Naturally, the views from the top are pretty spectacular – and visitors can climb to the top for the full panoramic Paris experience.

Mission possible: You may not be able to ride a hog around the city like a hoon like Tom Cruise did in the trailer, but Retro Tour Paris offer tours that let passengers experience the capital from the sidecar of a vintage motorcycle for around $106 (69 euro). If sweeping vantage points are more up your alley, then you can climb to top of the Arc de Triomphe for around $18.50 (12 euro).

Queenstown, New Zealand

(Paramount Pictures) The much talked-about helicopter crash from the movie was filmed in Queenstown, New Zealand. Paramount Pictures

It seems appropriate that the movie’s helicopter action sequence was shot in NZ’s very own adventure capital, Queenstown.

I couldn’t resist sharing one of my favourite NZ facts with Hardy – that New Zealand lays claim to having the highest number of helis per capita in the world . Yeah, that didn’t surprise him.

Top Cruise apparently spent around two years planning the helicopter stunt you see featured in the trailer. In between covering your eyes, you may have noticed some pretty dreamy mountainscapes in the background, blanketed in snow — say hello to Queenstown.

As a visitor, there’s not much you can’t do in this part of the world – from budgee to heli skiing, it’s the ultimate playground for adventurous types, like Cruise.

Mission possible: If you’re feeling really baller, why not embark on a round of heli-golf? Over the Top Golf offer unforgettable rounds from $444 (NZD$475) and apparently the course boasts the world’s most picturesque par 3.

Abu Dhabi, UAE

The Abu Dhabi Film Commission finally confirmed on Instagram last month what the world had known for ages – that Tom Cruise had been filming Mission Impossible: Fallout in the capital.

The commission posted an adorable shot of the film’s star next to a UAE airforce plane, used in the pinnacle skydiving scene.

Hardy revealed Tom trained for around four months alone to prepare for this stunt, which required free-falling out of a plane at such a high altitude, it necessitated the use of oxygen masks and specialised helmets and equipment.

Hardy was charged with the additional challenge of capturing the star’s face up close, so the effort of doing the stunt looked real and was worthwhile – the final footage was totally worth the effort in the end.

Interesting fact: Although filmed in the Abu Dhabi desert, the scene in the movie actually takes place in Kashmir.

Mission possible: For visitors with a lust for death-defying activities, you’ll have to look elsewhere for plane ejecting thrills, as Abu Dhabi only offer indoor skydiving. SkyVenture Abu Dhabi is the emirate’s only indoor skydiving facility, with sessions starting at $65 (180 dirhams). So you can still get your free-falling kicks, sort of.

Pulpit Rock, Norway

(Paramount Pictures) The spectacular Pulpit Rock, Norway, features in the film’s death-defying finale. Paramount Pictures

Mission Impossible: Fallout isn’t the first flick to feature this famous hunk of rock – in fact, it isn’t even the first Rob Hardy film to feature it (2014’s sci-fi thriller Ex Machina shot Norway’s spectacular Preikestolen to cinematic fame, effectively opening up the floodgates to tourists).

In the new trailer, Tom can be see dangling precariously over the edge of this vertical rock face, supposedly featured in the movie’s thrilling finale.

These days, Pulpit Rock is one of the nation’s most famous natural attractions, rising a nerve-wracking 604 metres above the Lysefjord and attracting nature lovers – and the occasional movie buff – from around the world.

Mission possible: For keen hikers up for an epic climb (we’re talking thousands of stairs over four to five hours), head to the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge to embark on the popular Pulpit Rock trail . Brace yourself for hilly terrain and lofty altitudes – only to be rewarded with one of the best vantage points to take in Norway at the mountain plateau.

Mission Impossible: Fallout opens in cinemas on August 2, 2018.

Source https://www.skydive-specialists.com/mission-impossible-fallout/

Source https://www.businessinsider.com/how-tom-cruise-pulled-off-the-halo-jump-in-mission-impossible-fallout-2018-7

Source https://travel.nine.com.au/recommended/dramatic-locations-in-the-mission-impossible-fallout-trailer/e9f00b95-a0b3-40ca-bde7-c403e2c14e24

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