Monday, January 11, 2010

Mountain Climbing Comparissons

For those who have read this blog on any kind of a regular basis, know that I often equate filmmaking with climbing a mountain. Not that I would ever really climb a mountain-- but something about Everest intrigues me. The last few years I've read lots of books and surfed lots of information, and watched all the documentaries and reality shows on climbing the worlds tallest mountain.

But the analogy is apt. Here's a list of why Climbing Everest is like making a Movie:
* The climb is made in the preparation, just like a film is made in prep.
* Tools are very important, but nothing matches pure determination and passion.
* Without the proper tools, you can fall to your death.
* You need climbing guides and partners who know their stuff, or they may get you killed as well.
* Most crashes/fatalities occur on the way down (post production/distribution/deliverables surprise people)
* A good route gives you the best chance to succeed-- a bad route often cannot be done.
* Sometimes, when the storm is blowing, you're snowblind, you've got to dig deep just to take step after step.
* When you get to the top, it's a beautiful site, but also you'll be surprised at all the garbage left there.
* When you're climbing, especially in the latter stages, you think "I'll never do this again." Only to find later, in the comfort of your house, you're planning that next climb.
* You can be a jerk to all those climbing with you, and it may even get you to the top, but it usually comes back to get you and it's a miserable way to live.
* Training is crucial... before you ever set foot on the mountain, you need to have climbed lesser mountains and trained with gear and people you'll be using.
* Sometimes, the sky clears, and the path opens up and you have a magical ascent. Other times, the conditions are horrible and it takes everything you've got just to take another step. Sometimes, those two polar opposite conditions happen on the same climb.
* A lot of Egos are bigger than Everest.
* Some people climb without clear purpose or mission.
* Some people climb with ego-driven purpose or mission and the bodies lay in their paths.
* Some people climb because they think it's all so cool.
* You have to raise the money for the climb.
* Sometimes, even total idiots make it to the top.
* Setting up Base Camp is the same as setting up the Production Office during prep.

I'm sure I can keep adding more and more, but I think you begin to get the point. For you filmmakers, there will be times that it's hard to get your breath, every step is painful and difficult, and you wonder why in the world you're doing this. It's at this point that you need your passion. If you don't have it, you'll fail here. If you have passion, it will be the juice that keeps your feet moving, one painful step after another.

If you'd like to learn more about this, I'm giving a seminar on how to get climbing in a movie on Saturday Jan 30. Go to for more info.

No comments:

Post a Comment