First Ascents in the Khumbu Himal

Expedition Filmmaking

As you may have learned from reading previous posts to this blog our expedition had its share of climbing, both successful and a bit heartbreaking.  Another side of expedition climbing is the life in camp and the villages you pass and the people you meet.  During the process there is also a lot of downtime.  Chris and I spent a lot of time reading and sleeping, but we also poured our energy into interviewing each other and filming.  I want to give you a view into what we did and how we went about it and also promote the movie that Chris is in the process of editing.

A typical day for us would look like this: Wake up, drink tea, eat, hydrate, set up and shoot for the film, trek and then sleep.  Sometimes we would have rest days in the villages or in base camp, but regardless of where we were or what we were doing we would shoot some footage for the movie.

I would classify myself as a rank beginner as a film-maker though I have a made a few of my own videos.  What I have taken away from that is the shear amount of footage that you need to create a film of any quality.  Chris, on the other hand, is a student of film and videography.  He was able to provide the much needed expertise in terms of sound and camera settings to get us on the right track.  He also has a discerning eye for composing the shot.

The interviews and many of the trekking shots were taken using a D-SLR Camera on a tripod with an independent sound recorder.  All the climbing footage was shot with Canon S100 point and shoot cameras.  These are powerful little tools that shoot HD video and are light weight enough to bring on alpine routes.

Overall I would say that we shot 8 interview segments each, but also shot trekking, bouldering and  alpine climbing.  I will leave it up to Chris to tell the whole story in the documentary, but my guess is that the film will be about the human elements of climbing as opposed to the climbing itself though that will have its place.  I look forward to seeing the finished product.

Here is some inspiration we found from literature to help us tell our story:

Both Ways

By AR Ammons

“One can’t
have it

both ways.
and both

ways is
the only

way I
want it.”

This short poem was the inspiration for the movie.  I think this embodies the way Chris and I feel about climbing.  We want to have our lives and careers at home as well as have our time to climb.  Hopefully our lives at home will wait for us and then pick up again when we return.  This is the way we see it and the only way we want it, but it is often hard for those that care about us on the other side of the world.

Posted By:

Geoff – back home in the US


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