____ Easy Steps to Creating Your Own Climbing Video

I love watching climbing videos. I’ve even paid for a number of movies, solely about rock climbing. There are websites out there that will post clips of some amazing climbers working on some amazing problems. After watching a number of really well produced videos, it seemed to me like there was some type of formula. I’ve attempted to document this formula, so that you, and others, may create more climbing videos for the masses to enjoy.

The beginning of the video will obviously be the intro credits. Be sure to come up with a really cool name for your “production company.” Also, list a bunch of sponsors. Hopefully they actually sponsored the film, but if not, maybe they’ll see it and send you some free schwag anyway. While these credits are being displayed, there should be some really beautiful, artistic scenery in the background. Some mellow music will be playing, maybe some intelligent drum and bass. An absolute necessity is time-lapse video. Clouds, stars, traffic, wildflowers. Really just about anything will do, as long as it looks cool while moving really fast, with some stationary objects in there somewhere for contrast. And native animals let you know just how exotic of a location it is that you’re using.

This is already shaping up to be a pretty cool video. But it’s missing something. Climbing. And what do you need for videos of climbing? That’s right, a climber. Have your climber introduce themselves. Ideally they will be sitting in a cool spot outside somewhere. Imagine an overturned refrigerator in an otherwise empty field. Not only will they tell their story, but then they’ll let you know why they’re really stoked for a particular project / route / climbing area.

Now switch to a shot of the climber hiking an approach, while still having a voice over of the climber talking. This adds to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the location you’re using. Can they walk by any waterfalls or caves? Good, now you’re getting the idea. Get some shots of the climber on their project as the music shifts to something more upbeat, maybe some funk, hip-hop, or dub step. Show them falling a handful of times. This lets your viewer know that the star struggles just like them, but also that they work really hard and never give up. The music gets quiet as the climber approaches the crux. Get a close up of the hand and fingers sticking a totally heinous hold. Then the music can get all loud again as they top out or clip the chains while letting out a triumphant roar. If you can finish up the segment with something quirky right before the closing credits roll, all the better.

Now go forth, future Martin Scorseses of rock climbing media, and wow us with all of the knowledge that I have bestowed upon you!


Posted on November 23, 2011, in Climbing. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. HAHA! This is awesome. You should make a super cliche vid like this, I’d watch it. It has to include the refrigerator in a field though. I think that finalizes the artistic mood of the whole idea.

  2. Haha thanks Reed. I took my first crack at a climbing video; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjvMOySLWxY&feature=g-upl. No time lapse, and no overturned refrigerator unfortunately. but maybe I’ll save those for my next masterpiece 😉

  3. At least you got the “pan into the trees” exiting scene in there!

  4. Nicely done, Eric. Can’t tell you how many climbing videos I’ve been subjected to of late. Have I mentioned that we’re working on opening a bouldering gym? Guess I’m going to have to start climbing. Cross your fingers for us 🙂

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