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Work / Film

Ten Meter Tower: Maximilian Van Aertryck and Axel Danielson’s tense film captures hesitant divers

Ten Meter Tower, a short film created by Maximilian Van Aertryck and Axel Danielson captures the reaction of 67 hesitant members of the public as they prepare to jump off a ten-metre diving board for the first time. The 15-minute film, created in 2016, has appeared at film festivals all over the world and was recently shown at the Sundance Film Festival.

“Ten Meter Tower is an entertaining study of the human in a vulnerable position,” says Maximilian on his website. “People who have never been up there before have to choose whether to jump or climb down. The situation itself highlights a dilemma: to weigh the instinctive fear of taking the step out against the humiliation of having to climb down.”

The tension in the film is created by focusing on the hesitancy of each diver, which makes for unsettling viewing. “We filmed it all with six cameras and several microphones. It was important for us not to conceal the fact that this was an arranged situation, and thus we chose to show the microphones within the frame,” the creators told the New York Times. “Ultimately, about 70% of those who climbed did jump. We noticed that the presence of the camera as well as the social pressure (from those awaiting their turn beside the pool) pushed some of the participants to jump, which made their behaviour even more interesting.”

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Maximilian Van Aertryck and Axel Danielson: Ten Metre Tower

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Maximilian Van Aertryck and Axel Danielson: Ten Metre Tower

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Maximilian Van Aertryck and Axel Danielson: Ten Metre Tower

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Maximilian Van Aertryck and Axel Danielson: Ten Metre Tower

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Maximilian Van Aertryck and Axel Danielson: Ten Metre Tower