Skydiving Cinematography, Stunts, Airplanes, Locations, Skydivers, Sky Divers, Parachutes, Coordination of skydiving stunts.


Patrick De Gayardon     (from an e mail I sent to Adrian Nicholas at Patrick's request - April '98)

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Hey Adrian:   Here's some things on Patrick -

Where to start:

Perhaps the time we shot a Goldstar commercial in the Arctic Circle together. In the middle of nowhere, landing on glaciers and frozen ocean. We landed on thin ice together about a mile from shore. Patrick’s ski crunched through the ice. He said, "The ice is thin here." My heart leapt from my throat as I stripped the cameras from my head and laid flat. "What the fuck are we going to do?" I was saying, and we sat there together, afraid to move, not wanting to die. Then the Otter with skis landed to pick us up. The ice was six feet thick. Patrick had stepped on some kind of bubble in the ice. Embarrassed, we strolled back to the plane for another jump. Or the time he invited me to film jumps with him in Norway - but first he needed to arrange for the blue jet. Patrick talks fast, can be hard to understand. I figured, if he wants a blue jet, I guess we’ll have to get a blue jet. Three months later I learned he was talking about a budget. Or perhaps those many times I laughed, because he was laughing, not knowing what in the hell he was talking about. Or when his fax machine kept giving him crap - so he smashed it. I think it still works. Or when he hooked 360 in for a bitchin landing in Deland. As he surfed the turf past me, his toggle came untied and he tumbled twenty feet or so. If it had slipped maybe three seconds earlier....... Or when we went out to see Rob Harris DJ in Los Angeles. Patrick, in French tradition, took to dancing by himself. The floor was covered with people dressed in black. Patrick towered over the crowd in blue overalls white sneakers, and a bright pink shirt. He looked like an ax murderer. Or at the X Games in ‘96. We’d do interviews and I’d blab and blab. At one point he turned to my wife, Sissy, and said "I feel like a mute". Or in Chamonix, France jumping over the valley, spotting through clouds. Patrick suddenly waived off the dive. 300 feet below, the peek of some mountain was waiting.

Try to keep up with his schedule, and you will most likely fall flat. He lives for jet lag. Every phone call I receive from Patrick is from some foreign country. One week in Italy, a few days in Norway, then off to Fiji, Hawaii and California before returning to Deland. "Just passing through"

Patrick. I saw him first on a National Geographic special. Skysurfing didn’t exist. I had hundreds of jumps and had never seen it. But there was this french guy carving the sky. It didn’t quite seem real. It was the most extraordinary thing. Somewhere else, a guy named Rob Harris was watching the same show.

Legend, Innovator, Nutcase, Fearless. Just the kind of person to launch our sport into new and wonderful places. And many will follow to learn and to explore through the doors that he opens.
Adrian, Good luck on the book!!       jj