VIDEO: Free Flow with Hazel Findlay

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.

Chris Prescott films Hazel with a gimbal  © Hot Aches Productions
Chris Prescott films Hazel with a gimbal
© Hot Aches Productions

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.

Hazel runs over Crib Goch  © Hot Aches Productions
Hazel runs over Crib Goch
© Hot Aches Productions

'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:


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Hazel Findlay has been climbing for 20 of her 28 years, and started out trad climbing on the limestone sea cliffs of Pembrokeshire. She dabbled in competition climbing - she was the British junior champion six times - but...

Hazel's Athlete Page 45 posts 5 videos



28 Mar

Superb video - the first route is Californian Arete, and I identified the other two crags as Dinas Cromlech and Dinas Mot, but what are the routes Hazel is climbing on both?

28 Mar

Oh, the making of video says it’s Cemetery Gates at Cromlech, but what’s the other one?

29 Mar

Interesting to see it was Mr MacLeod doing the drone photography, Dave seems to be doing quite a good sideline with that with some lovely films from Scotland too.

Are there issues with using drones in National Parks? Do you need permits or anything official like that?

29 Mar

Dave Mac - strongest drone operator in Scotland!

29 Mar

Looks like Diagonal in the first clip where she traverses underneath the square roof. She tops out on a different route though - seems to be the top pitch of West Rib I think.

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