Training For Jean-Claude Splits
This was a pretty wicked experience.
Ryker was the first of us to see it, and abruptly proceeded to show the rest of us. The Jean Claude Epic Splits video was downright hilarious! We were pretty much blown away by it, let’s be honest. We immediately started wondering if there was a way that we could try to recreate it. A few thoughts came to mind:
- Doing the splits on Tuk Tuks
- Doing the splits on elephants
- Doing the splits on ATV’s
*I should mention that we’re in Thailand, so these options are actually pretty reasonable.
The next problem, however, was that nobody could do the splits. A pretty big problem, seeing as that’s the whole basis behind the video. Parker, out of nowhere mentions he can almost do them. We were all pretty sceptical, but we gave him a chance to prove his worth. The hotel room we were in had two beds in it, it was perfect. Parker hopped up and let the beds drift apart in slow-mo, with he and Ryker singing Enya in painful falsettos. Sure enough, he did it. It was surprisingly low splits (even for a girl).
Download video: MP4 format
All of a sudden this video idea becomes pretty doable.
Training at the airport
The following day in the airport, flying from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, we all got those “luggage carts” to push our bags around with, and couldn’t help but notice the connection. These carts can totally simulate vehicles to splits on! So we get Parker over, and we get his second training session in.
Download video: MP4 format
Deciding on Scooters
*No elephants, no ATV’s and no Tuk Tuks
We were going to an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai, but doing the splits on two elephants was very realistic. Plus Parker didn’t want to fall from that height. So elephants are out. Tuk Tuks would be a pain in the ass trying to explain to two drivers what our intentions are with their vehicles. They wouldn’t be too excited I’m sure. So that idea’s out the window. ATV’s would have been our preferred option but the island that we were on (Koh Samui) doesn’t have quads for rent. They do tours at a certain place, but we wouldn’t have free time with the ATV’s to mess around and try the splits. So it has finally come down to it. There’s no way to avoid it any longer. We’ll have to use rented scooters 🙁
The Time Has Come
Weather wasn’t on our side for the shoot. It was raining, and wasn’t showing signs of letting up. So we rented our scooters anyways and drove off in the rain to find a good location to film. We spent the first half hour finding the location, and the next half hour trying to rig the umbrella on Russia’s head so that he could hold the camera with both hands while balancing backwards on a scooter, trying to film the shot without getting rained on. It was as difficult as it sounds. While we were getting that part sorted out, Ryker and our friend Tim drove up and down the road, trying to stay side-by-side on their scooters, as if they had a guy trying to balance the splits on the back. During their “rehearsal”, we overheard them mention how many times Parker would have fallen/bailed/crashed/died… it wasn’t the most motivating thing to overhear. But we were here now, there was no time to do it another day, so Parker bravely hopped up on the two scooters and we started our first attempt.
There were definitely a couple kinks to work out:
- Parker had a hard time balancing on two scooters (was terrified)
- Ryker and Tim couldn’t keep the bikes in unison very well
- Russia had trouble filming while moving backwards on a scooter holding a camera
- Jordan (front driver) was still getting used to Russia’s orders during filming
After 6 or 7 takes, we had some decent shots to use, but we had a little more time to spare, and Parker said he was down to try a few more. Our tenth and final take was the best one we got all day, and that’s the one we used in the end.
Check out the video here: