Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Way Things Were at Horsetooth Reservoir (Circa the Year 2000)

Back in the year 2000 it was much more difficult to make a bouldering video.  Digital camcorders cost $850, and the resolution wasn't even close to HD.  The Apple laptop I made this on, using the original Imovie software, cost $5000, and it only had 5GB of memory.  To put together this 38 minute long video required editing it, and exporting it, in three separate sections.  I had no experience, or training, with filmmaking.  And I bought the video camera specifically so I could make this movie.  So this was literally the first thing I ever filmed!  I didn't even own a tripod during most of the process.  Which is painfully obvious as soon as the film gets started.

Once the movie was finished, there wasn't a viable internet video site to post it to.  This was recorded to about 200 VHS tapes in my apartment.  Labels were glued on, plastic cases were fitted with covers, it was stocked in a few climbing shops, and it ended up being sent as far away as Japan and Australia.  It's hard to comprehend just how little bouldering footage existed back then.  Just a couple bouldering films would be commercially produced nationwide in a year.  Today a couple professionally produced bouldering films seem to come out every day, and almost all of them are free.

The grades weren't as high, the pads weren't as thick, but it's obvious to see that we were having a good time at the boulders!  And I miss climbing with a lot of my friends from this film.  We had a great crew back then!

So the film lacks polish, it's got too much camera shake, and some of the top outs take way too long.  That's why I wasn't in any great hurry to get this uploaded to the internet.  But it is fun to look back at how things were fourteen years ago, and John Gill's insights still ring true.  The film shows what we were climbing, and also who was climbing, at Horsetooth in the year 2000.  And if you don't like it, just remember that it's free.  You don't even have to rewind the tape when you're done.

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