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What if he falls? Filming Free Solo Fri Night Vid

© The New York Times

This week's Friday Night Video takes a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Free Solo. The short documentary takes a look at the ethical issues surrounding filming a climber in a deadly situation. Filmmakers Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin discuss whether involving cameras in Alex's solo attempt at Freerider would become a distraction. They decided on a vérité​ ​​​​​​style of filmmaking; fly on the wall with minimal interaction.

Kendal Mountain Festival  © KMF
Kendal Mountain Festival 2018

Kendal Mountain Festival (15th-18th November) is an award-winning event that has grown in size and diversity over the last 18 years. It is also the main social event for outdoor enthusiasts in the UK. Thousands of outdoor enthusiasts plus media industry specialists, athletes, top brands & equipment manufacturers, artists, photographers, adventurers, explorers and inspirational speakers gather every year to share adventures and celebrate the very best in outdoor and adventure sports culture.

- There are still some tickets for the Sunday screening of Free Solo on the KENDAL MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL SITE


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Alex Honnold is a professional rock climber whose audacious free-solo ascents of America’s biggest cliffs have made him one of the most recognised and followed climbers in the world. A gifted but hard-working...

Alex's Athlete Page 25 posts 12 videos



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9 Nov, 2018

Well....watching that is stressful enough. I cannot quite wrap my head around the strain of being a film maker on this endeavour. I'm pretty certain I'm not made of stern enough stuff.

9 Nov, 2018

Astonishing viewing. Great piece. 

10 Nov, 2018

I thought the use of remote cameras and the reasoning behind that tactic to film a difficult section was interesting.

10 Nov, 2018

Agreed, did you note their understanding of by Alex having an awareness of being filmed, this would albeit in some small way effect the outcome of the climb.

11 Nov, 2018

An interesting conflict between, wanting to be filmed, needing to be filmed and wanting to have a singular solo experience. 

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