HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) Jump
Filmed in: Abu Dhabi
Ethan Hunt and Henry Cavill’s August Walker do a HALO jump into downtown Paris in order to meet a contact secretly. This would be the first time in history that a HALO would be captured on film in this particular way: with focus pulling.
“The HALO sequence is one that McQuarrie and I talked about for a long time,” Cruise says. “And there were a lot of people telling us it wasn’t going to happen.”
Because of its dangerous and technical nature, it was put at the end of the shooting schedule. Cruise had a few hundred jumps under his belt, but he was attempting something that usually called for around 10,000 jumps. Originally it was to be filmed at an English airbase, but due to scheduling issues (i.e. Cruise’s broken ankle) they had to move the location to Abu Dhabi. There they received assistance from the UAE military, which were even kind enough to lend them a Boeing C-17 Globemasters.
Since the scene was set at a particular time of night McQuarrie and Cruise only had three minutes to get the shot. That meant one chance per day. So Cruise would spend majority of the day training and doing rehearsal jumps until the magic hour came.
But Cruise didn’t just have to jump, he had to stay within three feet from the jumper in front of him who had the camera strapped to his chest. They had planned on being in Abu Dhabi for a week, and ended up spending around a month. The effort paid off when they got the shot.
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