Fifth Unit, Four Stories Down

Jack Dodd masterfully captures the process behind Markus Dell’s spontaneous descent down a Bristol building.

When I was a youngin, my brother used to climb the gutter of my house to get in if the doors were locked, and it scared the shit outta me. I shot this roll in Bristol whilst traveling with the Fifth Unit guys, who are based in Surrey, when Markus fully induced that same feeling I had when I was a kid.

The guys had actually just gotten back from touring around the US which (probably) inspired them to start hitting cat drop descents like these, as the technique kinda came from the States.

I remember that we passed this spot in the city and Markus looked up and saw the drops as a possibility. He immediately started working at it – like OGs on underbars – from the lowest level where there’s really no risk. It was gradual, and he comfortably moved his way to the next level after a handful of times and bossed it. At this level, there isn’t really much point in drilling it over and over as he already got the technique sorted, so after a couple more goes he moved on up to the top.

I had actually just bought a flash for my Pentax at this point (a fat one which cost a fiver in a charity shop), and really wanted to use it for a close-up of Markus dropping out the top. Naturally, he totally wasn’t cool with a massive flash in his eyes as he dropped out of a building backward, which is fair enough… so I settled for the shot from the ground. To be fair, that angle probably does the move more justice! He ended up hitting it from the top twice really speedy, so I got a few different angles that I’m pretty happy with.

We did some other bits around Bristol’s grotty spots, I finished my roll with some fisheye frames and then we called it a day! I generally don’t shoot color much because I can’t process it myself, but I was really happy with how these came out (s/o to Finn for the roll)!

Photos © Jack Dodds.

Follow Jack Dodds on Instagram and see more of his work on MURMUR Collective. Follow FIFTHUNIT on Instagram.

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