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International, independent, e-magazine on skydiving, BASE & tunnel

In Focus: Richard Scheurich

Richard Scheurich — by Monica Ericson
Richard Scheurich — by Monica Ericson

Name: Richard Scheurich
Age: 27
Freefall/tunnel time
2000 jumps / 100 hours of tunnel time.
Caracas, Venezuela
HDRPJ810b / Sony A7s II / Sony AX33
Vimeo Channel
Richard Scheurich
UPT Vector, Performance Designs, Cypres, Wilde Sunglasses, Larsen&Brusgard, Tonfly, ZG Apparel

Hi Richie, so I know you do a lot of your jumping these days in the US but you started jumping back home in Venezuela right?

Yes, most of my jumps are in Florida, but I started jumping in Higuerote, Venezuela, in December 2012.

Oh wow, so you haven't been jumping for that long, you must have gone pretty hard from the start do 2000 jumps in your first three years.

Yes, from the beginning I stayed as current as possible and tried to do as many jumps as I could afford, but all my money, energy, time and focus was on skydiving since the start.

So at what point did you find yourself gravitating towards flying camera?

I've always been interested in film, I really liked cameras since I can remember, and it's been cool to be able to express myself with camera and focus on the thing that makes me wake up with a smile.

Richie Scheurich leading (left), Hayden Galvin, Claudio Cagnasso over Skydive Byron Bay — by Kian Bullock
Richie Scheurich leading (left), Hayden Galvin, Claudio Cagnasso over Skydive Byron Bay — by Kian Bullock

That's awesome, did you have any background or did you just figure it out for yourself?

Back home in Venezuela I studied Visual Communication and graphic design, which included some film and photography in the program, that helped heaps.

You're mainly known as the FLY4LIFE camera man, although you have done other projects, how did you get involved with the FLy4Life crew? Or were you a part of it from the start?

I met Manny and Luis a month after I started skydiving. I started going to their camps in Skydive Sebastian, which made me progress really quick with the right tools and SAFETY FIRST always. A few months later I met Claudio, and we started spending a lot of time in Sebastian with Manny and Luis. After a year Claudio and me joined the team.

FLY4LIFE - November Angle Camp 2015

In the Fly4life camps do you get much input and ideas over how the jumps are going to go from a camera’s perspective or do you just get given a jump to film and figure out the best way to portray it?

Well, there is never only one way. I like to play a lot while I am doing camera projects, there are some jumps that I will plan in order for things to be synchronized, but most of the time I plan my dirtdive as a cameraflyer while I see the jumpers planning their jump. That way it gives me a challenge, and a better way of learning to improve my speed, dive, float, and control my whole body while focusing on the group. Also there are some jumps that I don't want to think too much so I just let things happen and hope for the best haha (while being safe).

So talk to me a little about your editing for an event, do you sequence it as it's happening and have it ready for the last day or do you take all the footage back and make the video in your own time?

Most of the time I make the videos days after the event, I prefer to enjoy and give my best as a flyer during the event, focusing all my energy in the flying, and during our flight camps in Deland, we do a compilation of all the videos from the camera flyer, but it is not a final edit.

CarolinaFest on the other hand, I do daily videos because that is the format of the event. But I would rather enjoy my time and not overload myself. I consider the result is better, at least it works for me. Especially because I don't want to stop jumping at 3pm in order to finish editing a video and because I want to shoot the sunsets.

Richard Scheurich edit of Funny Farm 2016

Something I've really been impressed by in your videos is the length of shots you put in. A lot of the style today is doing tight short clips but you will just put in a whole jump exit to separation in an edit, the level of flying needed to do that is super high.

Thanks for noticing that, I really put a lot of effort in creating the perfect shot from the beginning till the end of the jump, a lot of people don't realize that. I grew up watching surfing videos and I really didn't like watching a one trick wave, instead of watching Kelly or Curren in Rincon ripping for minutes! So if you see a jump from the beginning till the end you have to create a different line of flying in order to create a flow to the jump. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, there are a lot of factors that can affect the jump.

Do you have any specific inspirations or people whose work you look up?

I was really inspired from the beginning from Jean-Philippe Teffaud, the camera flyer of the Soul Fyers, Alex Aimard was a huge motivation for creating new stuff, Will Penny’s freestyle routines as a camera. Keith Creedy’s edits are epic. My teammates that I grew up flying with from the beginning and are the people I enjoy flying with. And I would say my biggest influence lately has been Martin Kristensen and Filip Crnjakovic, I attended one of their camps in Europe in September last year that really change my perspective about flying.

How do you approach the music in your edits, do you start off with a song you want in mind and then sequence the video for it? Or have a look first at all the footage and then find the right song for it?

I cannot edit unless I have a song selected already; if I don't have a song I cannot do anything, haha. I really like music, as much as I like flying, so it is a big part of my projects.

Talk to me about Part 5 Summer of Joy a little bit, that was an interesting one because it's a skydiving video with almost no skydiving in it. Was that always the plan or did you just find yourself with so much amazing ground footage and no place to put it?

It was my first year of traveling as a skydiver, I took a camera with me and took as much footage as I could everywhere I went. All of those shots in that video are really special people and memories, so it is a gift to many that helped me reach where I was, even though some people don’t understand it, it is one of my favourites videos. The first jump in that video was the first time the team jumped together and I was doing camera. It was epic.

Number 5 of Richard Scheurich's masterpieces of directing and editing, bringing a feature-film-like feel to the skydiving world.

I’ve not really seen much stills work out of you, is that less of a focus, or more one for the future?

I’ve taken some pictures I really like, but I would love to do more stills. When I have both stills and video cameras in my helmet, my performance as a flyer is influenced because I want to take stills, while just having a video camera my mind is completely focused on flying a smooth line that would work with the jump. But I would love to take more stills in my future projects.

Angle Group by Richard Scheurich — by Richard Scheurich
Angle Group by Richard Scheurich — by Richard Scheurich

You're going to my home country of Israel very soon, probably the first big name organisers to come there since forever! Are you excited for it?

I still can’t believe I am finally going to Israel. I grew up with friends with family from Israel and I’ve heard amazing stuff about that country, as well everyone I met from there is pretty epic in the skydiving community, they remind me a lot of Venezuelans, we are happy with simple stuff. Sharon Har-noy is epic.

I know you do some organising work to, what ratio of camera to organising would you say you do?

70/30, and it's good that way. I like to mix both, but camera flying is my favourite.

So what tips do you have for camera flyers reading this?

For people that are interested in camera flying, I recommend that you first learn how to fly your body in every position and angle, and then you start trying to do some camera work on groups, especially on high speed jumps. For experienced camera flyers I would say that never push the limits on doing something you cannot do. The flying nowadays is pretty fast, the camera flyer has to be in COMPLETE CONTROL throughout the whole jump in order to keep everything safe. Now with the progress of skydiving with tunnel flying, people are pushing the limits in skydiving without having enough experience in the sky. I really recommend people to jump and stay current. I've seen too many camera flyers making mistakes lately. SAFETY FIRST.

That is really good advice, thanks for talking to me Richie :)

Thank you bro!

Richie filming a swoop landing — by Monica Ericson
Richie filming a swoop landing — by Monica Ericson