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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Fresh Meat

Back in 2011 during the new route boom on the lime I was filming Sam Cattell on his project at Dinbren and thought it would be cool to go back to some of the new routes to get some footage and make a little video for the web. I thought it would be good to showcase them in a 10/15 minute short and would give me a little project. I started taking my camera out to the crag to document what was happening. The new routes came thick and fast that year, development was frantic on the A55 crags and the Ormes alike. One project in particular would be quite a coup and I spent a month filming Pete Robins and Neil Dyer on the project direct finish to Walking Mussel. I filmed countless attempts and progress was slow. Filming FA's takes such a big investment as you have to film every single go, sods law means the one time you're not up there the climber will do the route. As it dragged on I couldn't continue going down there for every attempt, i had some climbs of my own to do! Another month past and the route was still not finished. One day I was working the finger crack of Over The Moon which is just to the left of the project headwall. Dyer was having a redpoint so I clipped into a bolt and pulled up my camera. Low and behold despite not filming for weeks that was the succesful redpoint and I'd got it on film! All of a sudden I had a showpiece hard route for my film. I kept on filming bits and bobs but as time past I struggled for inspiration and ideas and my film lacked a plan or any structure. 2012 was a washout and not too many new routes occurred. I'd edited bits and bobs such as Megalopa but my Adobe Premiere timeline was not advancing too much. 2013 brought with it some better weather and the new routes started to pick up again. I was out filming a lot, I wanted to do justice to the lower grade stuff too as those boys are just as much part of the scene as the harder climbers. Pete Robins did the best roof climb in the country down Pigeon's Cave and Ben Bransby climbed his Diamond project - The Beast, one of the best routes in the UK. Capturing Ben's ascent was one of the higlights of the whole process. It was amazing being up next to him on such a significant FA and on such a stunning route. All of a sudden I was glad the film had taken so long, I wouldn't have captured these stellar FAs otherwise. The structure started to come together and i had a definite plan to finish it. It was surreal getting to the finishing point but very satisfying. Nowadays so many people are producing beautiful slick films for free. I would like to say my production values have moved on this my early stuff but it's not really the case. There is plenty of crappy audio, and shaky camera going on like my other vids but hopefully there is enough good stuff in there to make up for it. Some of the older footage is not as sharp as the newer stuff as I got a new camera halfway through and had to mix Mini DV and AVCHD on the same timeline. My main aims with the film were to showcase the routes and to give myself a 'little' project and I think I've achieved that. It's been a labour of love, taken 1000s of hours but its there as a historical record of perhaps the last big wave of development on these crags. The final 'locals' version was 1 hour 28 which I realised was a bit long for the masses but even with some ruthless editing I only managed to knock 10 minutes off it, oh well! North Wales is back on the Sport climbing map, the new hard testpieces coupled with the easier crags give enough good climbing to last people a very long time. It's fucking amazing!!!!

Fresh Meat:

Fresh Meat from Chris Doyle on Vimeo.