We’ve featured a lot of inspirational sports documentaries here on Short of the Week. And, really, it’s easy to see why—when it comes to short form viewing, sometimes a life-affirming, inspiring 7 minutes is exactly the pick-me-up you need to get through a dull workday.
Above All Else, is one of those sort of films—a carpe diem, “live strong,” follow-your-dreams sort of joint. The message may be common, but it’s one that is often repeated because it’s so meaningful: when life gets tough, perseverance can get you through. Now, cue the Rocky score and go take life by the horns!
Produced by Live Unbound and directed by Yali Sharon, Above All Else tells the tale of skydiver Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld and how he managed to overcome a life-altering accident in order to pursue his stratospheric dreams. Sharon uses a combination of archival video, reenactments, and original footage to tell Brodsky-Chenfeld’s story in a slick and kinetic way (the film is based on a book of the same name). One of the more impressive technical elements of the film is the slow motion skydiving scene. These sequences were shot on the RED Dragon at 200fps by Craig O’Brien, the man behind the skydiving segments for Ironman, Godzilla, and Kingsman. The result is visually polished and mesmerizing to watch.
“This story is a reminder that when our will is strong, there is no wall that can break our drive.”
Sharon expands upon his cinematic goals: “I felt compelled to create this film because of the relatability of Dan’s story. We’ve all faced what seems to be an impenetrable wall in the pursuit of our dreams. There is a moment when we must decide if we’ll attempt to climb it or turn back. This story is a reminder that when our will is strong, there is no wall that can break our drive.”
Last year, we featured another Live Unbound film—Follow Your Fears. Above All Else seems to continue Sharon’s trend for making extreme sports short docs that have both style and compassion. Essentially, the things we are seeing from Live Unbound feel like expertly constructed filmic adaptations of those inspirational posters you’d find hanging in a high school classroom. And, you know what? That’s totally fine with us. Keep us dreaming big, Mr. Sharon!