This modern world has brought us a swathe of unusual job titles. Certainly our grandparents wouldn't have a clue what a Social Media Manager does, much less an SEO Executive. So how about a Professional Fence Jumper?
This is how a man called Marcus Haney describes himself. But he's not a racehorse, he's a person who makes films of himself invading events to which he hasn't been invited, or doesn't have a ticket. And, as festival season hits full swing, Marcus has just released his latest movie documenting one of his most ambitious stunts: breaking into an exclusive music festival, held on a private island in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle.
"He's now the official photographer and music video director for Mumford & Sons."
To date, Haney has broken into over 50 events in several countries, including Coachella (twice), Glastonbury, Bonnaroo and even the Grammys. His MTV film 'No Cameras Allowed', boosted his profile and led to appearances on the front page of Reddit, Rolling Stone magazine and the Conan O’Brien show. He's now the official photographer and music video director for Mumford & Sons.
Perhaps it was this track-record that inspired the singer Ellie Goulding to publicly challenge Marcus to break into her Bermuda show.
As you might expect, he accepted and filmed his attempts to overcome sea, security and the Puerto Rican army, to get onto the island and into the festival before Ellie set foot on stage.
The result is ‘Breaking the Triangle’, a 25-minute film which premiered on July 6th and is now available right here:
The idea for the film came from the creative agency 'Mr. President', as a way to bring a touch of notoriety to the Bacardi Triangle festival. Although the agency were working with Bacardi in a official capacity at the time, this particular project was conducted away from the attention of the rum brand, and the details were only known to a very few people.
"This had to be top secret."
Jon Gledstone, Creative Director, Mr. President comments: “This had to be top secret. If people knew his plans he’d almost certainly get caught, or worse, be helped in. People knew about Ellie’s challenge on Twitter so there was a sense of anticipation, but even we didn’t know what he was going to attempt.”
The two year old agency has earned a reputation for taking a guerilla approach to its work for brands like Nike, Greenpeace and The Body Shop.
Gledstone explains, “A lot of other agencies would have thought of inviting an influencer like Marcus along for a freebie, but we had the audacity to go rogue and challenge him to break into it instead. The best creative only happens when an influencer’s or partner’s talents are the heart of the idea, so as an agency we make a point of never just using their reach as a superficial bolt-on.”
Whether you think this is a smart piece of multi-layered, viral marketing, or a man with more ego than talent making a name for himself by being a nuisance, is entirely up to you. However, it seems highly likely Mr. Haney's stunts will continue, and Fence Jumper is now officially a job title.
All Images: Effortless - James Marcus Haney
Magnus Shaw is a blogger and copywriter