Friday, December 26, 2008

Anna Stoehr

Well the pictures do a pretty good job telling the story here. Maybe I'll just leave it at that.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Innsbruck in December

Coming to Innsbruck in December to film bouldering? Pretty optimistic I know. We're getting bits and pieces however, and the crew in Innsbruck is one of the coolest and most talented groups of climbers anywhere in the world. This is the last trip I'm taking to film for PURE, and it's going well thus far.

Cody made fried cheese today. *Burp* Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Austria Update from Italy

First off, Merry Christmas. I hope everyone is finding a way to do something they enjoy over Christmas. I have spent the last couple weeks in Austria with Cody Roth. Things have been mellow thus far, with more skiing than climbing going on, but it looks like the weather is improving so maybe our attention will return to the rock soon.

Yesterday Cody and a host of other Austrians went to Italy for the day to go sport climbing around Arco. I had visited Arco earlier this year but this was my first chance to climb there. The limestone is very nice overall though it changes quite a lot from one climb to another. Also sadly there is a long tradition of artificial routes at Arco and many of the climbs have chipped holds or even rocks glued onto the face in order to provide handholds through a difficult section.

The routes we climbed on were natural however and quite enjoyable. The first one I did was about .12d / .13a and had a long sustained section of small pockets. I just barely got through the upper section, but the encouragement coming up from below was helping. The other difficult route we tried was a .13b called Dolce Misere, or Sweet Misery. Cody went up it first and sussed some beta, then Much Mayr (one of Codys friends from Austria) stepped up and flashed the route. I thought I was done for the day, having already un-taped my fingers and washed my hands in the spring, but after watching Much I was psyched again. I gave the route a solid flash effort, and managed to find a key hand jam to get me through the upper crux. I topped out the route and barely had the strength left to clip the rope through the rusty carabeeners at the anchor. Cody then rode the send train and the route saw its third ascent in about twenty minutes.

Afterwards, we got some pizza at a nice restaurant. Again, a humbling situation as the only non-German speaker at the table, with everyone trying to keep the conversation in English for my benefit. The pizza was awesome, and we drove back to Innsbruck and I fell asleep immediately.

The short winter days and tricky weather are limiting my filming activities, but I remain optimistic that I can find what I came here for. More on that as it develops.

Again, Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's coming...

My least favorite topic

So right now is my least favorite part of the video business, when most of the creativity is behind and I start transitioning into the phase best described as 'monetizing the asset' aka 'exploiting the creative work'. This is the phase where I have to negotiate a lot and really look out for the financial side of the project. It's important but quite stressful for someone like me who would prefer to be out in the woods bouldering. I think I'm an OK negotiator but it always stresses me out.

There is more creativity ahead, however. I have another segment to edit after I get back and a trailer to create.

This Friday I leave for Austria to film the last segment for the movie. Cody Roth is getting a producer credit for this segment, and I understand he has quite an agenda planned for the trip. Innsbruck is the first destination, but I imagine we wont be there for long.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kilian Fischhuber

If you are a boulder problem, this is not what you want to see, cause you're about to get destroyed.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Arco footage

I've finally decided to dig into the arco / magic wood trip footage now that Rocklands is edited. I got all the good footage into the Rocklands segment, and came pretty close to the 15-min time window I allowed myself.

I had forgotten what a huge event the rockmaster is. The footage is pretty cool. It's awesome to watch David Lama jump 6-feet horizontally in order to skip the carefully-set balance moves of Jacky Godoffe. That footage will be in the video for sure.

It's getting down to crunch time for Pure and I'm super stoked with the way the video is looking. Doing 5-minute shorts for the internet is awesome, but there's nothing quite as cool as knowing your work will be viewed in full-screen glory, the way it was meant to be seen.

Have a good one!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Dilemma

So I'm down to the last few minutes of the Rocklands segment, and I have to figure out a way to edit the following into a total of three minutes of video:

Madiba V14
Amandla V14
Moistie Masie V14
Sky V14
Soul-ar Power FA V12
Hole in One FA V10


Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm gonna need a wider lens

Cody Roth definitely has the spirit for climbing. I'm editing some footage of his exploits in South Africa right now. For instance, he walked up to this boulder and put up a hard problem, ground-up, in about an hour of effort. If he ever gets on anything bigger I'm gonna need a wider lens.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Two tricks

Here we see Nalle Hukkataival performing two of his tricks: Flashing a V11 and opening a beer WITH A BEER. Please comment as to which you find to be the coolest / most important skill. Both of these amazing video clips are now part of the Font chapter in Pure, which features 98 V-points of climbing, several tricks such as opening a beer with a beer, and some of the raddest socks you have ever seen.

The beer in France is remarkably cheap. In fact, Nalle commented that if beer was that cheap in Finland there would be no people left to drink it because they would all be dead.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

Nalle Wins

As an update to the post below... (taken from the Finnish climbing website Slouppi)

Nalle Hukkataival took the anticipated first position at the bouldering Nordic Championships. The competition was climbed yesterday and the venue was Lillehammer, Norway. Also Kuutti Huhtikorpi showed strong performance and was placed third after Magnus Midtbø from Norway.

I met Kuutti in Rocklands this summer and he is a really cool guy as well. Psyched for him to finish so well in the comp.

Here is a youtube video of the walls being constructed:

The competition took place at the Olympics facilities in Lillehammer Norway. Perhaps someday the competitions will take place at the olympic arenas during the olympics... here's hoping.

Nalle Hukkataival in Font

I am starting to work on assembling Pure now. Until this point I have not done much editing... for some reason I like to have a good idea of what to do before I start to make edit decisions. The footage from Font was an exception, as I decided to cut it together right away after returning. I selected a couple cool tracks (one from KRS ONE) and chopped like crazy. I'm really happy with the look I've been developing for Pure. It's not the same as shooting 35mm film, but the system I use basically exposes the picture onto a 35mm frame and then the camera converts the image to HD video immediately. The bad part is that it's like operating a video camera and a telecine machine at the same time, which can make it tricky to film action sports.

Nalle was in good form during the filming, he has spend quite a lot of time in Font lately and has the friction pretty well dialed. He recently repeated a V15 problem called The Island and I was very impressed with the difficulty of the boulder. It's the picture above with Nalle in the red shirt. In order to make the span at the crux of the problem, Nalle has to release his grip slightly on the left hand hold, and then at full extension he can just barely reach the worst part of the right hand. Both holds are sloping, only the right heel hook has any incut at all.

In addition to climbing V15 in Font, Nalle polished off 'The Big Four', a set of classic problem at Cuvier Rampart. Big Boss, Fourmis Rouge, Tristesse, and Big Golden are all about V9 to 10 in difficulty, but completing all of them is tricky as they represent a variety of different technical and physical challenges.

On the last day of filming, Nalle pulled onto the rock (on problems averaging V10) a total of 142 times, judging from my logging report of the video clips. Afterwards he reported that he felt pretty tired. He is on his way to the Nordic Championships at this moment in Norway to compete for his home country Finland and hopefully win some more road-trip fundage.

On my last day in Font I went circuiting with Fred Nicole. He showed me an amazing boulder first opened by Patrick Edlinger (pronounced E-lon-shay) in 1984. The problem is very nice, aesthetically equal to Cedar Spine in South Africa... a tall proud arete, standing alone in the forest. You start the boulder as high as you can reach, and follow the only line of holds and features for about 18 feet to the top. I was able to complete the problem in 3 tries, which is good because each try was a ground-up effort involving quite a lot of moves. If I hadn't done it on try#3 then I doubt I would have completed it.

Fred, when he spots, whispers encouragement so quietly that you cant tell if he said it or if you just thought it yourself.

Today it's cold and there is snow on the ground. I'm looking forward to the next couple months of training in the gym, working on my video, and thinking about goals for next year.