If you were invited to jump from a 10 meter high diving board, would you go for it, or would you chicken out? This is what documentary filmmakers Axel Danielson and Maximilien Van Aertryck seek to discover with their film, Ten Meter Tower. The film uses 6 static cameras to record members of the public debating whether to jump or not. Many push themselves to jump, knowing that the adrenaline rush will reward them once they’re back on the side of the pool. Some decide to jump once egged on by friends and by the fact that other people are queuing below. A few decide to climb back down the ladder, amusingly taking longer to descend than if they just went off the edge of the diving board.

Edited into a mixture of split screens, slow motion shots of the moment people choose to take the plunge, and longer recordings of those needing a little more persuasion, Ten Meter Tower dives into the anxiety of potentially putting oneself in danger, even when the environment is mostly a safe one. Ten Meter Tower is an unconventionally structured documentary in that very much of its effectiveness rests on the actions of the people who participated in the film.

The most important aspect of the study of how people react to being asked to jump from such a height. Seeing how they react is enough to provoke anxiety even in viewers not afraid of heights; the film becomes a study of universal human psychology, and how we react when faced with a difficult decision that might hurt us. Plus, it’s great fun to see a 70 year old woman leap from the board without a care in the world while a muscly tattooed man goes weak at the knees at the sight of the pool below.

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INFORMATION

DIRECTORS: Maximilien Van Aertryck, Axel Danielson

CINEMATOGRAPHERS: Maximilien Van Aertryck, Axel Danielson

EDITORS: Maximilien Van Aertryck, Axel Danielson

SYNOPSIS: Ten Meter Tower invites 43 volunteers who have never jumped from a diving board to come and jump from the tallest tower, a 10 meter platform.