Hot Aches Productions have released their new short Free Flow with Hazel Findlay. In the film, Hazel enjoys an epic day of mountain running and solo climbing in Snowdonia. Stunning shots combine with a considered soundtrack and introspection from one of the world's best rock climbers.
We caught up with Paul Diffley to find out a little more about the inspiration behind the film:
'The inspiration for Free Flow originally spurred back in 2014 when on set filming BTS with Danny MacAskill, seeing his short videos go online and go viral with millions of hits caught my interest. I guess naturally as a climbing filmmaker my brain went into the process of whatever could I make about climbing that would resonate with a wider audience the way Danny's videos did. It got me to start thinking about what made his videos so sharable and what I could make that would have the same effect whilst making something so visually beautiful that it would capture the attention of not only climbers but anyone who watched it.
Paul's idea went on the back burner for a couple of years, but the seed was planted. Eventually he came across an article written by Hazel which argued that companies such as Red Bull and Coca Cola had no place sponsoring climbers: 'What really got my attention was that she not only talked about the health side of the debate but she dove into the environmental side and the damage done by so many people drinking these plastic bottled drinks and the resulting waste.'
The original script for the film focussed on the juxtaposition of Hazel climbing and running through Snowdonia with a reusable bottle and the hoards of tourists who walk up the hills with a mass of plastic. Paul sent his idea to Hazel:
'I always intended that it would be a collaboration with Hazel. She would be heavily involved in the creative side not only to feature as an athlete. She would be the one to decide which routes she would be climbed and she would write her own script to be read throughout the video, so it would be her own words. As usual ideas and scripts evolve and change and at one point we had someone else writing and recording a voiceover. This version actually toured with Brit Rock. But after rewatching it a couple of times that version really didn't sit well with me so I text Hazel and we met up. After discussing what we wanted the end film to be she wrote another script which ended up being the final piece.
'It's always a treat to work with Hazel, she's not only super talented in her climbing but the way she talks about climbing is so eloquent. There are not many other climbers I think I could have made this film with!'
Watch the making of Free Flow: