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Eighteen year old Dave Gill of Kendal started making films when he was 13 years old after he got his first video camera, a 'Sharp something-or-other'. He has made several corporate, music and promo films and now he is turning his attention to climbing and last year established Steepmedia to do this. I asked him a few questions.
UKC Articles, Feb 2008
© Dave Gill Collection
Why the move to climbing videos, not much money in it compared to corporate work surely?
Made to order films often have specific boundaries so it's really cool to be able to get completely creative and swing around on ropes with my camera. I guess climbing films don't really sell in any great numbers, and it'd be hard to imagine even breaking even. Corporate work will always be a part of it.
So you are making a climbing film. What is it about?
It's unnamed as yet, but the plan is to take the viewer to some of the best places in the UK, US and Europe for rock climbing and hopefully will feature several climbers, and capture several disciplines; trad, dws, bouldering and sport. That's the plan anyway, there is still a lot of filming and editing to do, so anything could happen.
Living in Kendal must provide some inspiration?
One of the most exciting things in the Autumn/Winter calender for me is the Kendal Mountain Film Festival. The buzz of watching a new, good climbing film is awesome, and seeing people get inspired is equally awesome. I'd love to make a film that inspires people.
What climbing films have inspired you?
In the last year or so, there's been some outstanding climbing films. Josh Lowell's films have always been inspiring and so has Peter Mortimer's First Ascent. The UK seem to have it going on at the moment too. Favourite sections in some of this years batch include HardXS: Great White Fright, Psyche: Magic Numbers and the Balance It Is section in Committed. MomentumVM.com are doing something right too.
Got any film festivals showing your work?
Dave Gill filming George Ullrich on Anabolica 8a, at Campi Qui Puigui, Siurana, Spain
UKC Articles, Feb 2008
© Dave Gill Collection
All going well, this film will feature at Kendal Mountain Film Festival this year - if they'll have it - and be released at around the same time - I'd like to consider it 'good' rather than just try and finish it for a given deadline though. Two short extracts, 'Torture Board' and the 'Masters Edge' shown here at UKC are showing at Llanberis Mountain Film Festival in two weeks hopefully. I should find out in the next few days.
I see you have an Industrial Rope Access Trade Association qualification. Is this to help with all that dangling on a rope?
Yeah, that was a pretty intense course - I'm hoping it'll provide general work whilst travelling, and maybe provide a niche for industrial filming at height - we'll see though. It definitely helped. On steep routes, it's a bit of a team effort - having people on the ground willing to tension up lines etc is really helpful.
What equipment do you use for your film work, camera, software, computer?
I've just upgraded to High Definition and moved away from PC editing. The camera is a Sony Z1 and for editing I use a 17” MacBook Pro with Final Cut Studio 2.
Dave, thanks for sharing the Master's Edge short with us. I think it is important to showcase such work so that we, as viewers, can not only enjoy it, but also add our opinion. Do you mind if we also ask two established climbing filmmakers Alastair Lee of Posing Productions and Dave Brown of Hot Aches to critique it?
No worries - that'd be great. Cheers.
And here is Dave's short of George Ullrich climbing The Master's Edge E7 6b/c at Millstone in the Peak District, near Sheffield, England.
George Ullrich climbing The Master's Edge E7 6b/c, a video short by Dave Gill
The Master's Edge E7 6b/c FA. Ron Fawcett December 1983
George Ullrich, age 19, of Kendal climbed Dawes Rides a Shovel Head E8 6c at Raven Crag on Valentine's Day, then on 17th February he climbed Impact Day E8/9 6c on Pavey Ark. All reported at UKClimbing.com's News page www.ukclimbing.com/news
George Ullrich, like many climbers these days, is wall bred. He was introduced to climbing indoors at Kendal Wall then graduated to outdoor trad' climbing on a FRCC/BMC outdoor climbing course. He works at The Lakeland Climbing Centre (aka. Kendal Wall - www.kendalwall.co.uk).
George Ullrich is sponsored by Evolv Rock Shoes, Prana and Metolius