Jaw-Dropping Neon Freerunning Lights Up Bangkok at Night

By Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg

Athletes sporting LED-studded suits cast neon streaks through markets and over roofs of the Thai metropolis in this colorful parkour video from Frank Sauer. Christina Zahra custom designed the suits for the team of freerunners, Jason Paul, Shaun Wood, and Anan Anwar, attaching LED (light-emitting diode) strips and batteries with duct tape -- hence the title of the video, Light Emitting Dudes. 

Sauer describes the adventure of shooting the video on his Vimeo page

Once the suits were ready, and we were tired of playing dress-up in the apartment and scaring the cat, it was time for the team to hit the streets. This opened up a whole new can of worms. It turns out, walking around the streets looking like creepy Neo S&M Power Rangers attracts unwanted attention, making guerilla-style shooting particularly difficult, to say the least. And the traffic police didn't take our presence at busy intersections light-heartedly either. Go figure.

The mix of dangerous stunts and exhaustion due to all-night shoots really tested our resolve to finish the video. Maintaining the suits in good condition was also a continual hassle. They needed to be disassembled from time to time so the batteries could be recharged, and damaged LED strips needed to be unthreaded and replaced. The schedule being what it was meant that the suits never really had time to air out. We had to work with the mild stench of men’s locker room on us the whole time. The low light conditions presented their own challenges for shooting, but did provide an opportunity to experiment with long exposure to create beautiful light stroke shots.

For two weeks we were out every night collecting shots and enjoying the confused look on peoples face when we walked by. Oddly enough the cool factor of looking like a general bad ass never wore off. I think a lot big kids dream of dressing up like superheroes and leaping around the city. That's something I can cross off my bucket list, now. We had a great time together. In the end, it's definitely worth it to create something new and unique in a way only you can.

For more work by Frank Sauer, visit http://www.frank-sauer.com/.

Via Vimeo Staff Picks.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/video/archive/2012/11/jaw-dropping-neon-freerunning-lights-up-bangkok-at-night/265680/