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Friday, 19 April, 2002, 15:29 GMT 16:29 UK
Rush Hour: Your views
A series of amazing rooftop stunts in a BBC short film are all genuine, it has been revealed.
Frenchman David Belle leaps across London rooftops, at one point jumping between two buildings 60 feet up.
The 28-year-old does not use any safety wires, though some crash mats were placed out of view of the cameras.
What do you think of the film?
What a stunning piece of work. I think your objective of capturing the "new spirit" of BBC One has been perfectly realised with this film.
I was impressed before but now I know that all the stunts were real I am really amazed.
We take special effects for granted these days, but when you are told that Rush Hour is all for real then you look at it in the same way as you look at an Olympic champion.
Dave Draper, UK
A spectacular performance of athleticism, agility and grace during dangerous and exciting stunts by an exquisitely muscled frenchman. What more could a girl want?
Dip David in chocolate!!
I have never commented on any programme before but I have to tell you that the high risk advertisements are excellent. Music, stunts, man - all beautifully executed.
Keep up this quality.
I think Rush Hour is absolutely brilliant. I watched
it yesterday for the first time and thought it was a
prelude for a new movie.
An interesting and well made film, but I'm bored from seeing it too frequently. Nothing about it bears any relation to BBC One (apart from the red logo), so to my mind it misses the point. It wasn't until an announcer made the connection that I found out what it was for.
One major irresponsible flaw, and not what one would expect from the BBC. The stuntman switches his TV on using the remote control, which means he left the set on "standby" - it's potentially dangerous to leave electrical appliance switched on in this way, and it's definitely not environmentally friendly. If the guy is that fit, you'd have thought he'd be able to walk a couple of yards and switch it ion by hand. Shame on you!
Angus Davidson, UK
Great film, but should the licence fee be spent on this type of thing?
Although the stunts are undoubtedly clever, what purpose do they serve? As far as I can tell...
1. They cost the licence payer money that could have been used for valuable programming 2. Programmes are running shorter (or start later, finish earlier) because this is fitted in at the end/beginning (the same applies to the increasing number of "adverts" which we seem to be bombarded with).
I expect my licence fee to be put towards quality programming instead of
this repetitive self-congratulatory waste of viewers time and money. Oh,
did I say repetitive? Well, if it's on "several times a day" it must be a
repeat - nothing new there then!
Rush Hour was a good piece to watch, the first few times, but like
everything starts to get irritating after a while. The only thing that
really bothered me was there being no fish in the fish tank - just empty water.
some people are never happy!
My flat mate and I have been arguing about this for a few days. We both agree it's fairly fantastic, but I thought it was done on wires and bluescreens, whereas he believed exactly what he saw!
Looks like I am wrong, and that is rare. I almost had him convinced that it was just too good to be true!
If you stick this public admission on your news site his gloating will be
Gul, Twickenham, UK
Great commercial (sorry promotional film), unfortunately I'd rather have the
BBC spend the money on programmes.
From the very first time I saw it, I thought it was really good. To me it is
"original", a celebration of physical challenge and it also has a sense
of humour, especially when you are shown the faces of people in the street!
Mostly, it is a pleasure to watch.
Now I'm left thinking he's both skilled and brave ... but still wishing we
could get on with the programmes instead of all this stuff in between.
When I saw it a few days ago a couple of us noticed that at the beginning he
strips off in an office and gets down to boxer shorts, then when it switches
outside he has trousers on, did he get cold and put them back on??
It's a bit confusing as to know why it is there to start with, but it makes for compelling viewing! I'm not sure why there is a nude woman sat at a computer half-way through, but I enjoyed that very much!
Seems to have more than a nod to the opening sequence of The Matrix, but when
you realise that this bloke is actually doing these things himself, it makes it
all the more incredible.
I can't see where the value is in displaying these stunts, you can be assured that there will now be a copy-cat, perhaps too young to truly understand the risks of this kind of activity. I have always respected the BBC for it's "clean views", this extreme effort to find greater appeal and promote yourself strikes me as poorly conceived and dangerous to the general well being.
BBC doesn't mean Barnum and Bailey Corp.!
Magnificent! Whether he has an immesurable amount of courage or stupidity I have yet to decide.
Very eye-catching, cool
I thought the chap's execution of the stunts was spot on! Admittedly I might
get bored with it after a few showings but the initial impact was one of
amazement, I thought the stunts were real when I first saw them.
Well done to the BBC for showing some realism!
Andrew Lees, UK
The clips I saw were excellent, but I am sad to say I can see the headlines now: "Boy dies attempting BBC stunt" screaming across the front page of the Sun/Mirror/Daily Mail.
Good luck, but get (more) insurance.
I think the advert was a waste of time and money. What is the point in advertising the BBC on the BBC? If I've seen the advert then I'm obviously already watching!
Your advert's brill - amazing, shame you couldn't find a Brit
Rush Hour is a fantastic film. Everyone who watches it is enthralled with
the smoothness with which he executes his stunts. As my five-year-old nephew says, "It
looks like a series of skate tricks, but they've taken the skate board
away". Whether someone would go to those extremes to watch BBc1 is yet to
I think the BBC's short film Rush Hour is fantastic and is one in the eye for all those people who wanted to keep the balloon!! I like the dancers etc. Keep up the good work, remember, those companies that don't change die!
Man leaping off buildings - fine, seen a couple of times, but then why bother at all? I don't want or need an advert or new logo to make me watch BBC One.
Dancers - like the salsa ones, mostly for the music - but am already tired of all the others and preferred the gentle balloon against different backgrounds - shorter too. It has now got to the point where there are more "adverts" on BBC than ITV - both of which get the sound turned off if possible. If I see any more trailers that tell half the plot before the programme I shall scream - and especially trailers for the next immediate programme.
Just a printed list on the screen would do thank you and think of the money you would save and irritation from viewers you would avoid!
Jan Pearson, UK
Rush Hour is one of the best indent/adverts that I have seen in a long time.
The fact that the stunts were all un-aided is even better!
Shame about the globe though, after all the BBC is a global service, but
that might just be the comfort of "what we know" talking. The new indents
are very good all the same!
Sitting down one evening and saw this man running across buildings and
jumping huge voids, in what looked like a race against the traffic.
Called my wife and shouted "Look at this, it's amazing".
Now we learn there are no computer graphics - it's real! I think a
follow-up programme by the BBC would be a huge ratings winner.
It is really impressive, and David demands respect. I presume that as no special effects were used, it would have been cheap to produce. If so, well done, it's the most impressive thing I've seen on TV all year. I could watch it all night.
If it wasn't cheap, was it worth it? For an advert? With all due respect,
seeing David jump from roof to roof, isn't going to make me want to watch Robot
It's a flipping brilliant trailer, and I'm totally happy to see my licence fee paying for it. Any chance of having it available for download though, seeing as it's us that funded it?
As for worrying about pathetic things like the TV being on standby... you're watching a guy leaping 23 feet between 60 foot buildings. I assume he likes to live dangerously!
Where did you dig this guy from? This is too good and too brave. It's
stunning, absolutely stunning. I thought before reading this article it
was the best graphics programming before. But knowing it's real it blew
my head away. Just superb. Well done guys and what brave stunts by
Nice work, no words for it.
Astonishing film! Very exciting to watch and strongly reminiscent of The Matrix...
One takes it for granted these days that such amazing stunts aren't genuine but digitally manufactured or enhanced, so it's truly impressive (and quite hair-raising) to be told it's all for real.
I'm sure we'll see more of David Belle following these revelations...
Congratulations to BBC One for coming up with such an outstanding presentation! More!!
Although I do not like the new BBC "adverts" as I find them intrusive and pretentious in a way that the balloon never was, I think the balancing act advert is incredible, and all the more so if, as is stated, it is all real. I also like the unusual backing track.
I hated it though when it was the five second man jumping down to
Are You Lonesome Tonight - that was extremely annoying!
William Flowers (15), Lincs, UK
The first time myself and my girlfriend watched the short film, it caused a
20 minute debate on whether or not it was real. I was, of course, saying
that it was the genuine. So, thank you for clarifying that. I'm going to
do some "Big time" gloating tonight!!!!!!!!
I think that the Rush Hour short promotional film being shown on BBC One at the moment is absolutely spellbinding. I'm literally transfixed every time it comes on and can't take my eyes off it. It's more impressive than the similar scene in the film The Matrix, partly because you can recognise the city and think, "Oh, I know that building!" and partly because it looks so much more authentic (and is according to the papers).
Well done David Belle, well done Abbott Mead Vickers and well done BBC for using something so different.
I was nothing short of stunned by the ad, now even more so that I've
found out it didn't use effects. Many modern films have excellent
stunts in them but at the back of your mind you know they didn't do it
for real. I shall be watching out for this ad time and time again.
Glad to see my licence money is spent on commercials for showing on the BBC. At least it's a good advert.
Perhaps we no longer need a corporation funded by our money.
Iżd rather see better programming
The new presentation ''idents'' are awful by comparison; drab, dismal and boring.
That is the opinion of our whole family and covers the range of my 88-year-old mother living in the north of Scotland,10-year-old grandson in Beds. and two 30-something other family members living in London. Also my husband and self, so a fairly reasonable section of your viewers. Bring back the BALLOON .
I have to say... Rush Hour is absolutely FANTASTIC. Even more so now that we learn that all the stunts were real. It's the kind of thing that you can watch time and time again and notice something new every time. WELL DONE BBC ONE!
Just one thing though, why not make it available to download for people on BBCi? I'm sure it would be extremely popular.
The short film Rush Hour in itself is fair enough as a piece of art, though I do feel it is another disgusting waste of money which could have been put to a better use, such as providing free TV licences to OAPs in Jersey, or even stereo transmission for those areas on the map which still haven't been upgraded.
All this nonsense about corporate ID. If you were to ask any average member of the public what colour the BBC logo was, most of them would not know and I'm sure they wouldn't even care. Wake up and stop living in a fantasy world discussing pointless things like logos in your boardroom meetings. How about checking up on the "quality" of service provided by the local stations? I personally would rather see the Channel Island news bulletin finish on time and without a clunk during the hand back to London! Maybe buy them a stop watch.
Yes the film is good, but so it should be with an endless supply of public money, though why there wasn't enough talent in the BBC itself to produce the film concerns me. Someone high up just been flash with the cash I presume!
Very good. But WHY??
I believe that it was done without wires, but at one point the man's trajectory as he flies through the air is clearly not natural and I am sure that some post-production work was used for that shot. Still very original, although how much did it cost?
Any chance of seeing more of the woman playing the piano?
What a load of rubbish by Doug Dix - modern appliances are designed to be kept on standby, in fact they will last longer than switching them on and off every time!
He should get out a bit more - on the rooftops!
Stunning stuff. A follow up or a making of would be a real ratings winner in my book.
Saw this on the news. One of the most amazing things I've ever seen. Please please please can you make the video available for download!
Several have complained this is a poor use of the licence fee. I can think of no better use that committing to film something so astonishing, athletic and beautiful. Spend more! Give us another intense 90 second burst of something truly unique!
P Rowland, UK
Absolutely awesome! It amost matches The Matrix without the special effects
I have seen this film and what a great little film it is - I much rather
watch films like this than game shows, please could you also make a link to
it on your website so that we can watch it anytime we like.
Yep, I've seen the rooftops Rush Hour film, and I think it's fab. I was mesmerized by it, as I was when I saw the brief promotion with two beautiful boys playing capoeira. Good on you for realising the huge potential of dance and movement in advertising. Like the Levis advert, these images make us all want to leap around and celebrate the summer and go out and get what we want.
When I first saw it, I could not believe how irresponsible the BBC have become. The only saving grace was that it was shown after the 9pm watershed. However, when I learned that it is being shown at all hours, I was appalled, and rang to complain. How many children will be hurt or killed trying this, especially now they know that it is physically possible, without special effects.
My next letter will be to the Broadcasting Standards Council.
Not only does Rush Hour create a terrible impression, but it is also an utter waste of money. BA has learned that people want a corporate image. The new idents (including this one) display no such image, and are a waste of the licence fee.
Russell Wilmot, UK
It's fantastic stuff and all the nigglers are probably killjoys in all areas of their lives. Stop quibbling and just enjoy it. Leaving the TV on standby, for goodness sake. Get a sense of humour! Anyone got any idea what the music is?
I didn't know what the heck it was all about but I was impressed. Now that I
know the guy actually did the stunts I am stunned!
Very good!! Although there is one point in the film that looks like it may be tampered with, I think it is the part where he jumps the 23 foot, maybe it is just the camera angles.
Nevertheless I think it is amazing and David Belle has a tremendous body that looks to me like he has done a hell of a lot of climbing, I also have climbed a fair bit in my life mostly on real rock in Places like the gorge de Verdun in the south of France!!
stuff, much better than the globe thing!! Look forward to seeing all of the
90 seconds of purely amazing cinematography, performance and choreography. Please make more things that make me think and take my breath away, who needs the programmes?! This is well worth my £9 a month.
Peter Scowcroft, England
Absolutely excellent. I am a Batman (animated) fan and I couldn't believe it - give this guy a cape, this cannot be the only film of him you make!
I must admit to being very impressed by the advert. I had thought that some parts were well executed computer enhanced shots as some jumps were so extreme.
To find out that it is all the genuine article - wow!
Full credit to David Belle and the director/camera crew
and ad agency for their vision.
It makes the rooftop scenes in The Matrix and Blade etc. seem positively
Can we have more films like this one? As a relatively inactive 45-year-old I can imagine myself carrying out death-defying feats, and making myself so impressive.
I am lost in admiration for the stunt man. I really thought there was a lot of computer generation involved, and yet there was that certain heart-stopping something about the film that declared it real.
Well done BBC.
What an absolutely fabulous advert, it's just the sort of thing you dream
about doing yourself.
Jim Lockie, UK
After seeing your article, this is what I have got to say on the apparently "new spirit of BBC One" - utter rubbish.
The new BBC promotional film is a waste of viewers time and money, and I thought I was watching ITV when I switched the television on. Haven't we got enough BBC adverts interrupting popular programmes such as EastEnders and Casulaty during the credits? We have all got TV guides you know, this constant reminder of what is on next is enough to make viewers like me to switch to ITV, at least here we expect ads and don't have to pay for them.
I had already seen the comedy All of Me during the ending of EastEnders, when I know that the trailers only show the best bits, when the actual programme aired it was not funny.
Have I Got News For You last Friday just sums up the new BBC 1 idents.
I believe the new short film is currently more talked about than EastEnders. Certainly it makes for compulsive viewing and is rather unnerving to find it's all real. Two questions; will other such ideas be dreamt up? Secondly, Is Sue Tully, actress/director involved at all, as one woman in a queue featured briefly, looks identical to her.
One of the best bits of stunt film I've seen for a long time.
As I (56) said to my son (23), we should start a tape to record these things and keep them on! Where do we get the music? Cheers.
His courage and skill is outstanding, and although only having seen the clip once, I have already tried to find somewhere where I can get hold of the footage. Hope you will get a download of the clip up shortly so I can enjoy it time after time.
I thought it was FANTASTIC!! In fact, I can't wait to see it again.
The David Belle Rush Hour film is a real leap, no pun intended, of
imagination for promotional identity. It's a shame I can't say the same for
the new dance idents. I'm not sure what they are supposed to represent,
but whatever it is, in my view they have failed. Bring back the BBC
balloons. To me they really represent BBC's UK broad regional church - the
shots of the Scottish Loch (what looks like) Strangford loch in Co Down are
I just wanted to drop you a little note to say that I really did enjoy that David Belle stunt advert. Frightening but very impressive. I have done many satellite installations on tall buildings in London, and have at times been perched rather precariously on edges with a wobbling ladder! Not quite as impressive it must be said, though at some point I do go and sit down trying to tune everything in... and yes this also means I get to watch the BBC from roof tops!
I look forward to futher installments of your new adverts! Will a downloadable version be available to watch at our leisure?
I saw the film and was bowled over by it.
It came across as being genuine. I use the gym regularly and had empathy with the idea of taking exercise as a way of enhancing your life. Even enhancing your enjoyment of BBC One.
It played on the concept of balance. Keeping balance in your life and keeping your balance to save your life.
And he was so good looking...and what a body but the BBC just is like that; isn't it?
In fact the only "but" would be the cost, as I'm sat here I've no idea what that might be but knowing the BBC it'll probably be the equivalent of a small country's yearly income.
A shame if only you could get a slightly better deal now and again people
would be far more supportive of the BBC
I think that this promo is one of the most spectacular things I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. I would love to see it more often. I was quite surprised, however, to find that it isn't available to view on the web site, when you're showing the ads for BBC talent, no offence, but they're not exactly pulse-racing. I also recommend that you make a documentary about Le Parkour, you'd be first out of the traps with that one.
Fascinating film - amazing agility - love watching it.
I work across the buildings where the series of stunts were filmed and watched David perform most of the stunts live. He was very impressive (especially doing the 23 foot leap across the rooftops) and the BBC are probably right in saying that no computers were used to create the film. However, at least on one occasion we saw him use the safety wire.
If all the new idents are supposed to reflect "British Culture", why do we
have a French sport on our screens? And more, what is the point of a
90-second ident? I would be happy never to see it again, as I have seen it
often enough and it doesn't have the pace or atmosphere of Luc Besson's
Yamikazi film (from which it clearly derives its influence).
A shame resources aren't put into making watchable programmes rather than
mediocre, over-long self-congratulatory padding.
Yes, I've seen it, and thoroughly enjoyed it! I did think it was partially done by computers but now I know it wasn't I can't wait to see it again. I was not only amazed by the stunts, but by the fact that the change didn't fall out of his pockets when he was upside down. It's always nice to turn on the telly and get fit, half naked rather good looking men catapulting themselves across rooftops. I'm glad they didn't show what he was in such a hurry to get home and watch on BBC One - if it had been Neighbours it would have been a bit disappointing...
Can we do one with me flying across London on a Thursday evening to get home in time to watch Buffy on BBC2? I can't actually fly, yet, but I'm sure I could work on it.
Good ad but a waste of money advertising on the network you're promoting!
As for David Belle, I'm afraid I just don't get it - I can't see the point. He clearly hasn't developed that body while watching TV and it only serves to make me feel overweight and impossibly out of shape so I tend to turn it off. The main effect the short has had in our house is to make us appreciate the dancers more.
Yep, thought it was amazing - definitely didn't look like any trickery had been used.
Thought I was watching a Nike/Reebok advert and then I realised I was on BBC!
I was very surprised to read that no computer trickery was used for the
advert. I was impressed when I first watched the stuntman, even more so now.
This type of action has been found in Cantonese martial arts films for
decades so it is good to see that the West can offer a similarly spectacular
performance. The BBC certainly received my attention last night!
I've seen it and have two words to describe it: "Jaw Dropping".
Brilliant. This is the direction the Beeb should be taking their own advertising. Audiences need visual stimulation. Youthful advertising is the key. How good is it when you see an advert that you remember and talk about with your mates?
OK BBC, so now you are finally openly admitting to advertising!! Adverts, along with the MANY products that are now blatantly "pushed" in your prime time programmes can only mean one thing ... which is long overdue in my opinion ... it's time to get rid of the archaic and ridiculous licence fee!!
From a viewers point of view many of the excellent adverts (and the David Belle - Le Parkour ad is one of the very best!) available on commercial TV are frequently many times better than the actual programmes themselves. Advertising companies would fall over themselves to get an advertising slot on the very prestigious BBC, so what the heck are you waiting for?
I very much look forward to seeing the BBC put its coffers where its mouth is!!
I thought the promo was absoloutely brilliant!! much better than some
of the programmes shown on the channel!
I think the stunts are great! Took a while to prove to my dad that they were done only with crash mats for protection.
Any chance of more making the BBC even better!
I thought it was fantastic.
The clips are all very well, but surely our licence fee should be put towards better programming, not pointless and expensive BBC promotional videos like this.
Gripping stuff that had me transfixed from the moment I saw it. There seems to be a debate as to whether the BBC should be so lavish in funding such links. Well it may have been an expensive 90 seconds but well worth it, it certainly stops me mid-route to the kettle.
P.S. Loved the balloons.
Rush Hour is brilliant. I can't believe that computer graphics were not employed. Beautiful filming and stunts. So exciting to watch again and again. Well done.
I was shocked to learn that David Belle's "race" to beat the traffic
and get back home in time for BBC was REAL!! It left me with
my stomach in my mouth at the thought of something like that
happening to me, I am not at all good with heights - hence the
need to swallow my stomach afterwards! By the way could you
let me know the name of his coach, as I'm only 52 and would,
if I ever get over my phobia of heights, love to try it myself one
day when I'm bored.
Fantastic piece of athletics (or daily work out) and filming.
The film of the chap leaping from building to building to get home, to see a favourite programme, is absolutely brilliant.
Frankly, I find the rest incredibly depressing. It discourages me from watching the BBC. I've now started to switch the television off between programmes or switch channels. The balloon always had the "wow factor" and made me feel very positive towards the BBC. I tended to link it with the news coverage and your documentaries. It said "We've got it covered".
I do wonder if you've received any positive comments about the new links. All of the views I have heard expressed have been extremely negative. Surprisingly they also come from a wide age span.
Please change it back.
What a fantastic bit of film! I used to dream about that sort of thing as a child. Amazing to see someone do it for real. Any chance of a full documentary?
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