Your Guide to Making an Epic Climbing Video

Filming

Nothing proves that you’re a hardcore climber like a well directed and edited climbing video. And while here at Crux Crush we’re still waiting to make our film debut, we’ve analyzed the top climbing clips to bring you a step-by-step guide to making a climbing video. This tried and true formula is sure to get your video posted on Epic TV, 8a.nu, and climbingnarc.com and maybe take a run at Reel Rock 10.

You may be thinking this is just a stock PC desktop wallpaper, but in fact the blurred leaves are an essential fixture in climbing films.

You may be thinking this is just a stock PC desktop wallpaper, but in fact the blurred leaves are an essential fixture in climbing films.

Step 1 – Get the right vibe: Choose an obscure song, preferably dubstep, that no one has ever heard before so that people know you’re totally “in” with the underground music scene.  As an added bonus, this makes the canyon where your parents usually walk their dog look uber-thug-life-cool.

Step 2 – Set the stage: Fade in, pan out, zoom side to side, bring it into focus and then out again – all while using the latest drone technology; better yet – throw in a shot of your uniquely designed, groundbreaking filming technology you’ve rigged up, while simultaneously building the suspense for this “total next level project”.

Yes, believe it or not - this is a film about climbing.

Yes, believe it or not – this is a film about climbing.

Step 3 – Set the mood: Like a well-planned romance, complete with rose petals and champagne, you’ve got to set the mood for the sendage that’s about to go down. Key shots include the climber sipping coffee poured from a Euro Moka in addition to the climber waking up the morning of the send (this demonstrates that the climber is so committed that they have cameras running while they sleep).

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The bouldering pad walk-in, a must for any epic climbing film.

Step 4 – The approach: Cue shot of walking in with a bouldering pad. This is essential. If there were a modeling cat-walk for climbers, this is it. We need to see what the approach was like and how they carried that bouldering pad. This allows the viewers to connect with the climber: “I SO KNOW what that is like walking in with a bouldering pad. This climber is just like me!”

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The chalk-up sprinkles magic into your climbing video.

Step 5 – The chalk-up: Now I know at this point you’re thinking, we’re halfway into this video and the climber hasn’t even touched the rock, shouldn’t climbing be next? But that is where you are mistaken my young grasshopper. The chalk-up’s mysterious misting conjures an image of magical pixie dust empowering the climber upward. As the cloud of chalk clears, the job at hand becomes clear.

The pantomime is yet another necessary piece of any climbing video.

The pantomime is yet another necessary piece of any climbing video.

Step 6 – The gaze: I hear you chomping at the bit to see some climbing, but patience my friend – this ain’t no JackAss youtube clip. This is our glimpse deep into the philosophical mind of the climber as they gaze with (well-rehearsed) determination upward. We zone in as they mime the choreographed dance they will conduct. We catch a glimmer of the endless days of work they’ve put into the route or problem, that furrowed brow of concentration, and a sparkle that declares this time it will go!

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No climbing film should go without big crimpin’ close-ups

Step 7 – The close-up (of the hands): Critical to a well-made climbing video is the climber crimping the sh*# out of the rock, preferably with taped fingers indicating what goes into sending hard stuff.

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The dyno – obvi.

Step 8 – The dyno: It doesn’t matter if the problem is straight slab, you better have your climber dyno-ing. And I’m not just talking some big ups, we need to see feet cutting, wild flailing, holy-crap-is-she-going-to-stick-it, DYNO!!!

Step 9 – The climb: As this is a climbing video, you should probably show some climbing.

Step 10 – The send: Oh ya, and the send.

And there you have it folks, the essential 10 scenes to a climbing video that is sure to win all of the awards at the next Climbing Film Oscars!

Climb on! ~Cate

Film/Photo credits: Click through each of the images above for video source and to watch the full climbing video.

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2 thoughts on “Your Guide to Making an Epic Climbing Video

  1. Hootie says:

    i think it’s essential that any climbing movie include the obligatory philosophizing about why this climb is about so much than just the climb because it’s a) linked with a non-profit b) about reaching the next level of releasing the totally immaterial inner-self c) dedicated to someone who is now part of the cosmos.

  2. missy says:

    haha, I love this, completely approve

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