Water Powered Jetpack Turns Man into Sea Monster in Thomas Giddings’ Futuristic Short

Rising imperiously from the waves, making jet-propelled dolphin jumps and backwards somersaults, professional stuntman Arran Topham appears as a waterborne Ironman in filmmaker Thomas Giddings’ new short, Icarus. Taking its name from the Greek myth of the child who flew too close to the sun and fell to a watery death, the film stars Topham—who has appeared in The Bourne UltimatumX-Men: First Class and the upcoming Bond movie Skyfall—performing delphine acrobatics made possible by the Flyboard. Invented by world champion jet-ski racer Franky Zapata, the luxurious high-tech toy is designed simply for pleasure, allowing anyone to connect with their inner Flipper. “I found out about this machine and flew to Marseilles, where Zapata is based, because I just thought it was so insane,” Giddings recounts. “It has this otherworldly quality; it’s blowing the boundaries between flying and swimming, and as soon as I saw it I wanted to capture it.” During monochrome downpours on the UK’s Dorset coast, the director filmed from a small boat through dusk and dawn to capture the overcast sci-fi footage. For his next project Giddings is journeying deeper into the hidden world of stuntmen, documenting their lives behind the Hollywood scenes for a solo exhibition and book to launch in London and Los Angeles next year.