Imagine yourself just floating in the air thanks to one harness, hanging on a static rope that's attached above you. Already unimaginable for somebody with the fear of heights. Then add a SonyA7 camera with a 24-70 mm in your one hand and a 100 mm lens for close up details in the other and tangling on this thin rope, you have to switch the lenses! If it falls, it dies!
Harnesses are a great invention but to do it properly, we have to admit it's a bit painful after a while. Sometimes we think about proper Petzl equipment such as a seat designed for prolonged suspension, but more things mean more money to spend and more weight to carry. Normally climbing spots are from 10 to 30 minutes steep walking between loose rocks and you'll get used to your deep-brown socks afterwards ;) Moreover, a professional drone such our DJI Inspire is packed up in a really big box, that hardly fits on one person's back to being carried (let me know if you want to know more about our homemade drone backpacker, that allowed us to carry up the big black square to the top of the mountains). Add then a professional video tripod(s), lenses, micros, but also a static rope, climbing shoes, quickdraws, carabiners, strings, food and water etc. Imagine adding then one more object to our equipment...hmmm, for only two people to carry all of it! We were lucky that Joan and Neus helped us out a bit for this project!
Luis Rizo & Neus Colom during the production. Photo: Lina Schütze
I wanted to share the experience about filming sport climbing, and I've found myself writing down about heavy stuff.
One more issue we had to manage in this case was the overhanging wall. The lower you are, around the first 10 meters, the more distance there is between you and the climber. And for certain shots you want to be just next to your subject, so make sure you have extra equipment such as some friends or progression hooks to fix you close to the wall. This assumes some extra effort ;)
The photo illustrates that it's also a great teamwork. The subject you're going to film whether it's a climber, a model or a ceramic craftworker, no matter in how uncomfortable conditions you're at while filming, your subject is actually having the hardest job; doing something very special for you to film it. It's important to communicate with the person precisely and fast and, of course, always being kind and positive. This is super important and something Werner Herzog taught us in his Masterclass. If you are there, it's because you decided to be there, so it might be worth to assume the responsibility of all factors to be focused on the final result, but also enjoying the process. Every pain in the ass (literally) will be worth it, for sure!