In this episode of ‘The Alternative Sport Show’ Matthew Connell and Andre Dixon meet up with Latvian freerunner and Red Bull Art of Motion champion, Pasha Petkuns, as he takes on a life-size pinball machine in a new short film on Red Bull TV called ‘Human Pinball‘ which is released today.
This huge-scale and truly unique freerunning feat involved the creation of a wall which was 16 meters-high, with a 23 metre-high length (hypotenuse), tilted at an angle of 45 degrees to create near-impossible angles, jumps and catches for the world-renowned freerunner.
The angle of the wall is based on a bridge in Pasha’s homeland, Latvia, where he honed his craft as one of the greatest freerunners in history. After moving to USA working as a Hollywood stunt double and taking a road trip through North America, Petkuns discovered the nostalgic wonders of pinball machines and combined these two inspirations into a dream challenge of becoming a human pinball.
Following a 7-week set build, Human Pinball was filmed in London in May 2021, in a grueling 3-week shoot where Pasha’s physical capabilities were tested to the limit on the daunting wall.
The result is a showcase of Pasha’s unique athletic and stylistic abilities, playing into themes of his childhood where he first developed his passion, and setting new benchmarks which set him out as one of the greatest freerunners of all time.
The sport of freerunning itself is gaining traction across the globe, with the UK being the first country to recognise it as an official sport back in 2017. Following the resounding success of what many would consider more ‘niche’ sports making it onto the Olympic roster in Tokyo, there has been growing clamour for freerunning to be considered for future Games.
Pasha Petkuns, said:
“It’s been a huge personal dream of mine to create this film, and it’s so exciting to finally see this released for the world to see. It’s so cool to bring a creative idea to life from inside my imagination, and Human Pinball is the epitome of that for me. I hope everyone enjoys the film, and I’d like to say a huge thanks to the whole team for their support throughout the whole process!”
Human Pinball premieres today only on Red Bull TV, a free, on demand streaming service available on the web and as an app across devices big and small. Red Bull has also released a behind the scenes documentary showing how the project came to life.
The story of Human Pinball was created by Red Bull Media House. The film was Directed by Mike Christie (Danny MacAskill’s ‘Imaginate’, which generated nearly 100 milion views on YouTube) alongside Executive Producer Nico Martell, and the behind the scenes Director Liam Murphy.
Nico Martell said:
“There has been a generational shift in freerunning over the last decade, and Pasha’s profile and creativity shows that. Human Pinball is a pioneering moment for our sport, and from here the sky is the limit.”
- Production Co.: Red Bull Media House
- Year of production: 2021
- Language: English
- Action film duration: 6 minutes
- Documentary duration: 30 minutes
Watch the premiere here – https://www.redbull.com/int-en/films/human-pinball