What if He Falls? The Terrifying Reality Behind Filming “Free Solo” | Op-Docs

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What if He Falls? The Terrifying Reality Behind Filming “Free Solo” | Op-Docs
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What if He Falls? The Terrifying Reality Behind Filming “Free Solo” | Op-Docs
Alex Honnold is the foremost resale in the world that no one else can to free solo means the climb without ropes or safety equipment. One false move one slip, and it’s over watching partner in husband. Jimmy Chen is a professional, climber and you’re interested in making a feature-length documentary about his friend Alex. When I first talked about making a film about him, we were talking about the character study. Why is extraordinary, but we realized Alex’s dreaming of doing something, much bigger, much more dangerous. The only thing that would justify making a movie with me did they dream is always been free song. I’Ll cab is the culmination of anything I can imagine in history of climbing, but is it ethical to film someone as he risks life? When I found out, I was thinking about free solo. Every journalist in documentary filmmaker goes into situations without knowing what happens next. This is the truth of nonfiction, be mindful not to put the needs of a film before those of your subject, but how much precaution is enough? We had this ethical question. Is he more likely to fall when you were there, because we can be a distraction that if he is by himself, I’m aware that a camera changes the dynamic in some small way and when the margins of success and failure very, very thin? You just don’t know what it’s going to be, that might tip yeah, yeah buddy, hey guys in the mountains. Are you okay, bye Alex is going to do the climb with her without us, but we decided that to be able to live with ourselves, filming it. We needed to set certain guidelines. First, Alex’s safety was always going to be the already, and second, we needed to protect the Integrity of his experience, Cruise critical, professional climbers who understood what helps with doing cap. Even though we thought, through every scenario carefully, it was still difficult to film Alex the people we chose for the crew had to be not only great at shooting, but also very strong, climbers and able to work on her incredibly stressful situations and not make any it. Also helps that the crew is made up of Alex’s friends, that added a layer of comfort, camaraderie and trust, but I also understand the reality of when something unexpected outside of your control, and then it doesn’t matter how good you are it doesn’t matter how talented you Are by the wall and a piece about the size of a small backpack launch and Jim is below me days – is below me, Reddit. Being professional climber is identifying and acknowledging the risk assessment of minimizing them and then moving. So why are we up here again, Sears in the process of Alex training to free solo, El Cap? Are processes, depend on them on the route and refine our choreography for the big day. One thing we knew was that in certain instances we needed to give him more space a good example of the boulder problem. The hardest part of the time, Alex issue is not that he could possibly die was that he didn’t want to die in front of his friends. So ultimately, we decided to film that section remotely to minimize our presents are remote cameras, because we want to stay out of Alex’s line-of-sight. It was very technical. Tell me the climbing it was dangerous, it was extreme and at the same time we had capture Alex’s, most intimate moments and try to get to know this person, who is very, very uncomfortable with intimacy. As he’s preparing for the most difficult thing, you’ve ever done, the guys were still coming down from the wall. You know clear pocket and I would be on the ground and start this. You know second way it was Alex and filming where he had to explore ideas that were very personal, the Verte filmmaking with a lot of it. We spend six or eight hours on the wall, doing very physically coiling work and I get down and then there’s another camera with a different crew. That’S all fresh and ready to hang out the whole evening and I’m like I’m so pooped. I just want to lay down: is it kind of a key moment in which the film and you know I get that, but it’s so you know hard, sometimes more more pressing questions. We followed him for two years as he practiced in Wade, whether to attempt this. It’S early June 2017. I can tell that Alex is kind of speaking in terms of his training and everything he’s doing. We had everybody dialing in our plans when you free, where everybody needed to be what their shots were, but I refuse as a personal line that I’m not willing to cross it ask Alex when he thinks he’s going to do it. The directive, out of his sight, unless you were filming with him, our goal was to reduce any sort of external pressure, and I really focused on giving him the purest experience that he could have June 3rd 2017. He decided he was ready to do it. Are you definitely not going back down he’s coming up he’s only going one way, I’m running through all the different scenarios you if you felt like, but if it sounds like what I would say to people after it. What I don’t know like what the footage would be like you know, I’m just like in my mind, I just I almost couldn’t control it for almost 4 hours here on the edge of our seats, watching Alex, make his tail cap achieving something, no human and ever Done before give me, how do you feel
In 2017, when Alex Honnold made his stunning free-solo ascent of Yosemite’s El Capitan, he was taking an unimaginable risk: nearly three thousand feet of climbing without any ropes or safety equipment. But was the climb made even riskier by the filmmakers who accompanied him?

In “What if He Falls?” filmmakers Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin take us inside the process of documenting Honnold’s quest for climbing glory — and the ethical calculus of filming a friend who could, with the slip of a finger, plummet to his death.

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