In March 2011 Joe Beaumont fell off a mountain. He is very lucky to be alive.
Joe sustained multiple injuries down one side of his body and lay in a coma.
Thanks to the hard work of the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team he was airlifted to hospital where he began his long journey towards recovery. Joe has just taken his first steps unaided since major operations to rebuild his leg.
This autumn he will embark on his biggest challenge to date, I will be there to tell his story and capture the expedition as it happens. In the process we will be raising money for Mountain Rescue to whom Joe owes so much.
We will be posting videos, photographs and updates on the ‘In the Frame’ FB page here -http://www.facebook.com/pages/In-the-Frame/113860555470413
So hit like, find out about Joe’s challenge and support our project.
Alas I am not. A lot has been going on since I last posted and things are beginning to take shape for the year ahead. After settling in to business I have found Facebook to be an easier platform to post my recent work and musings so if you are keen, head over there and stay updated. I hope to get back to the blogging soon.
I will leave you with the finished Edgeland project of which I am very proud, it was a real joy.
Last year I was lucky enough to be part of The Big Shakeout at Thornbridge Outdoor Centre in the Peak district. I was there to document the event for the team at Alpkit, and to enjoy the film, music, outdoor activities and friendly banter on offer. I even ended up in a late night rock jumping competition with Johnny Dawes! I went with my 6 year old, Leo and my partner Hel, and we all had an amazing weekend, with activities tailored for everyone. The events and activities for kids were especially good. The highlight for me was standing round a roaring fire with a bottle of fine ale listening to this man, Rick Warren singing the blues -
There is no way we would miss The Big Shakeout this year and I’m very happy to say I will be running one half of an Adventure film and photography school with Alex Ekins, a talented and well respected climbing photographer.
The course will be tailored for keen amateurs who hope to take their skills up a notch or two. Together we will capture the many activities that will be ongoing thoughout the weekend. As well as many ‘on the go’ topics that come up, we will look at:
~ What kit?
~ Using and protecting your kit in harsh environments.
~ Basic capture settings and frame speed.
~ Dynamic shooting – movement and style.
~ Engaging your viewers! Subjects and stories.
~ Behind the edit. What the viewers don’t see!
Participants will be expected to bring their own equipment along, preferably a DSLR or high end compact and lightweight tripod. As we all know though, it isn’t the technology, its the person using it. So if you don’t have a spangly camera, just bring something that records video and plenty of creativity and adaptability.
Here is an example of my work -
You can see a list of available courses at this years Big Shakeout here -http://www.alpkit.com/bigshakeout/schoolofadventure
And here is the video I made from 2011, hope to see you there this year!
Its been quite a frustrating week for video, but I managed to get some pictures that I am pleased with.
Keeping to the creative theme, I spent a couple of hours creating an Edgeland title the old school way. Using hand cut templates and moving lights, I’m very pleased with the results. Not gonna reveal the video just yet though!
Another quick shoot the other day. More Cumbrian Industry.
The gradual collection of footage continues. Still on the industrial theme, I recently arranged to collect some footage of a tree harvester at work. I think it is one of the coolest machines I have ever seen, though alarmingly destructive I think you will agree!
I have been in talks recently with a number of producers in the hope of getting a music score written for Edgeland. I have settled on a very talented local sound designer called Ben Metsers and the score is underway and sounding amazing already. I’m so excited about this!
Here are some links to Ben’s work -
Recent work with Louise Mary Martin
After a failed attempt to collect footage in Barrow (on a very windy day) I returned to pick up where I left off. I spent 12 hours filming in and around the town, capturing its industrial character and dramatic setting, and trying to convey some of the pride that the locals feel. Many people disregard Barrow as a place to visit but I have enjoyed every minute I have been there, the pride and community is evident at every turn and the landscape, with its mix of industry, mountainscape and seaside is incredibly dramatic. Here is a selection of photographs from the shoot.
Edgeland has been an ever changing process, it re-forms and mutates every time I pick up my camera or look back to the planning process. This is what I love about working within a creative industry, the ever changing nature of my work. I knew from the word go that this project was going to be multi-dimensional and not just focus on documentary filmmaking. I have been working on some poetry/spoken word for the opening sequence of the film, it is an unfamiliar medium but I have really enjoyed it and am confident that it will add a really emotive and creative element to the finished piece. All I need now is a deep, gravelly, gripping voice for the part, any ideas?
Cumbria is looked upon fondly by many people as a dramatic and beautiful landscape of lush green hills and glacier carved valleys. All of these things are true, but having grown up in the county all of my life, I see a great deal more than just the idyllic beauty of the National Park. Cumbria also has a dramatic industrial past, from the steel and ship building factories in Barrow to the treacherous slate mines in the central Lakes. Although there is a boom in tourism, the landscape has been shaped by hill farming and quarrying and it’s history is multi-layered. One of the fascinating and sometimes shocking things about Cumbria is the diversity within it. Travelling along Windermere shore you can snatch glimpses of £2 million homes, whilst 20 miles away to the coast as the crow flies, people live in very real poverty in some of the most deprived wards in the UK. My intention with the Edgeland project is to capture all of these elements and show Cumbria as much more than just a swelling tourist destination.
So we all went our separate ways on Friday evening from Langdale, having spent two weeks touring with the Odyssey team. After a couple of days off to rest and spend time with my family I have started looking through and converting footage before I leave for the Dolomites on Friday. I wanted to give a little run down of the trip, its highs and lows and share some of the photographs that I took on here while I have a little time.
So our route took us first to Northumberland where we visited three of the county’s most well known crags – Back Bowden, Bowden Doors and Great Wanney. All gave a good introduction to the intricacies of sandstone climbing, with run outs, marginal gear and ground fall potential. The northern wind certainly woke us up a bit!
Our plan after this point was to head North and get stuck in to some steep routes at Dumbarton, but the weather just didn’t play ball. With rain and possible snow forecast in Glasgow we opted to head north with the risk patchy rain hitting the whole country, but with high hopes of finding something in nick. We set our sights on Llanberis and got on the road for a long 5-6 hour drive. When we arrived we set up camp high above the town, overlooking the Dinorwig quarries and checked back in with the weather. It was rubbish! The amazing thing about North Wales is that it has both mountain crags and sea cliffs within easy driving distance so you can often escape the worst of coming weather. We headed out to Gogarth and were blessed with wall to wall blue sky. James and Caro headed off to do their own and thing and Hazel got stuck in to a bold lead of ‘The Cad’ on North Stack Wall.
So with a better forecast for the following day and some energy and excitement from Gogarth, we headed for an epic day at Tremadoc and ‘Strawberries’ in our sights. Hazel was happy to look at the route as a head point, James was warming up for the onsight, Caro went for a flash on James gear and Hans waited patiently behind a rock for most of the day. It was so entertaining to watch these guys hit this route one by one. With such different styles and strengths it was clear that it would not fall easily for some. James powered up the wall looking strong but miss-reading the sequence a little he sailed from the top moves right back down to the belay. Caro showed unbelievable strength and determination as she fought her way up to the top section. Her talent as a competition climber shone through as she clung on to the very last moment but couldn’t go any further, she is a truly inspiring climber. Hazel showed how talented and dynamic she is, even in powerful reachy ground but again didn’t make it to the top out. Once these guys had had their chance, Hans popped out from behind his rock grinning and psyched out of his mind. we were all crossing our fingers and ready to will him up but knew how easily the route would spit him off. To our surprise and joy he read it faultlessly, stayed strong and nailed it. We were all overjoyed.
The slate was a big objective for us all from the beginning of the trip, so with a slightly dodgy weather forecast we headed in to the Dinorwig Quarries.Unfortunately we didn’t have such a productive time, the climbers found the transition on to the smooth frictionless rock a little difficult. Cold temps and brooding clouds also dampened everyones spirits. We finished the first day with little in the way of footage and headed back, determined to snatch something in the morning before we left for Pembroke. As promised we returned early the next day with Hazel and snatched a covert solo on bath time wall in Vivian. This would have to do for now.
From day one all the climbers were looking forward to Pembroke, with a big collection of hard routes and a friendlier climate it looked to be a productive leg of the tour. But we had to get there first! Oh boy, that was a long drive, the truck rolled in some 9 and a half hours after leaving Pete’s Eat’s in Berris. Finally we settled at what would be our most special basecamp, St petrox campsite. We let the climbers go off and do their own thing for the afternoon, take some time to get used to the climbing and find a route that they wanted to hit the next day. In two days we filmed a handful of E6′s, took some creative shots from the water, got badly sunburned and finished by filming James and Caro’s ascents of ‘The Jackals’ in Hunstman’s Leap.
Off to Nesscliffe! Again we gave the climbers a chance to look at some routes and sample the rock for the afternoon while we prepared for the next day. What can I say about this day……it was epic! Most hard routes ever filmed in one day by a single film crew? Probably not, but we got a lot done. We were at the crag by 9am and rolled back in to camp at 10pm with cards full of quality climbing. Sadly Hansjorg had left us the previous night to ready himself for adventures in Baffin, as had Matt Sharman who had other work to catch up with. They were both sadly missed. Routes filmed – E7 ground up, 2 x E7 on sight, 2 x E8 head point, E8 on sight and an E9 squeezed in at the end!
There was some talk of Devon as a last stop of the trip, but the weather in the Lakes was stunning, and that doesn’t happen very often. How could we finish the trip and not hit the Lakes? Again we packed up and got trucking for the last leg, rolling in to Langdale in baking temperatures and wall to wall blue sky. Weirdly as we were interviewing James the clouds began to roll in and we were treated to a booming thunderstorm of warm rain. We took off our t-shirts, played football and slack lined in the downpour for over an hour. It felt really good to be back in the lakes.
We set out early for the last day of the trip with our longest walk in ahead of us. Our limbs felt as heavy as our packs and the sun was scorching. I quickly began to enjoy the gruelling walk up and got my head down, looking forward to the mountain crag experience. The wind was whipping round Pavey Ark and cooling things down enough to make some hard climbing possible. We had two routes to film, an on sight ascent of ‘Sixpence’ from Hazel and a flash of ‘Impact Day from James. We rigged while the climbers warmed up…..actually, I sat and ate a sandwich feeling a little guilty that Diff was doing all the hard work. He had insisted though so I let him get on with it. With a cool head once again Hazel effortlessly floated up ‘Sixpence E6′, showing that she is, without doubt one of the most naturally gifted and fearless trad climbers in the country. To step up and on sight E6 is impressive anywhere, but up on the high lakeland crags is totally inspiring.
With that in the can James got sorted and set off up ‘Impact Day’, an E9 put up by Birkett a few years ago. James showed, like Hazel, that he has amazing talent as a climber and added his some muscles to the mix climbing right up the steep wall to the high crux. Upon reaching a slopey rail in the hard 7a crux, James tried to find the crucial foothold that would stop his body swinging…but missed, and took another of his signature flying trips right back down to the belay some 20 metres below. Nutter. He promptly got back on and climbed it second go!
So there we have it. It was an awesome two weeks and a pleasure to spend time with everyone on the trip. I leave for the Dolomites on Friday to reconnect with my climbing and get my first taste of big walls, then the edit will begin. I’ll keep you posted!
There are lots more pics to see on the Hot Aches and Land and Sky Media Facebook pages too!
All photographs are the property of Land and Sky Media and cannot be copied without permission.
Well we kept this one quiet didn’t we!
As mentioned I have had two big projects in the planning stages, one being Edgelands and the other being a film for Hot Aches Productions, directed by myself, which we are announcing today. We will be leaving this friday for a two week tour of the UK with a team of climbers, film crew, a base camp manager and our driver Andy! The principle vehicle in our convoy will be this beast.
So lets meet the team!
‘Odyssey’ is a road movie that celebrates the best of British trad climbing, from the clean steep Basalt of Dumbarton Rock to the raging sea cliffs of Gogarth, four world renowned climbers take an exclusive tour round the UK to tick off some of our most fierce and inspiring routes. Cinematic filmmaking, cutting edge traditional climbing and a 7.5 ton converted truck – the Odyssey begins!
We will be posting updates, photos and behind the scenes action on the Hot Aches and Land and Sky Media Facebook, so keep your eyes peeled for progress! Lets hope the weather gods are good to us and we’ll see you on the other side!
I have been hibernating for months over the winter as I have had two major film projects in the planning process, as well as a few little projects bubbling away too. I have also had a major house move to keep on top of but I am finally getting to a point where I can start filming scenes and sequences.
The Edgeland project is in full swing and I will be collecting footage and interviews all through the summer. I thought I would post a write up of the brief for those who are interested. I will also post little nuggets of progress as the project takes shape.
This is a hugely exciting project and is going to take me in many different directions, creatively and geographically . Here’s a little snapshot of whats happened so far!
On the 1st May I will be filming a very special ascent of Blencathra’s Sharp Edge.
Please see details below. You can make a small donation in support of the event
by contacting me directly – email@example.com
BLIND CHAIRMAN OF EDEN SIGHT SUPPORT
TO CLIMB SHARP EDGE
Henry Miller, the blind Chairman of Eden Sight Support, will attempt
a sponsored climb of Sharp Edge on 1st. May, 2012.
Henry will be accompanied by professional climbers Guy Lee & Dave Ridley.
Henry lost his sight at the age of 16, the result of a road accident when 7, and
simultaneously his hearing began to deteriorate.
“Today, I am totally blind and use two hearing aids, but
there is nothing wrong with my sense of humour”
“As Chairman of ESS I would like to combine my ambition to climb Sharp Edge,
as I approach 65, with my wish to raise awareness and much needed funds for
EDEN SIGHT SUPPORT”.
I climb as often as I can now that I am an adult, I still feel that child like urge to explore what’s above me and look down on the world. When I was a kid I think the urge to ascend was primal, and having had a child of my own I have seen that in him too. Perhaps it is our genetic connection with Apes that compels some of us to be up high, for me, I feel a very special clarity when I climb up through the melee and metaphorical fog of complicated life. I have spent many an hour perched on a chimney or gable end, able to observe but not having to interact with the world below. Just for a little while at least.
I’ve wanted to make a film about trees for a long time, mainly because this is where my first experiences of climbing took place, but also because trees are beautiful, symbolic and important to our world. This film cropped up out of nowhere really, inspired by Ben and his vision. I feel it has parts of both of us in it, and I am so pleased with the end result. I’m also very pleased to say that it won third place out of 24 entries in the SHAFF Shorts film competition. Me and Ben are keen to get this film seen by as many people as possible, so share it with others.
Fancy exploring the canopy and experiencing a different kind of climbing? Ben is keen to hear from others who feel compelled to get up in the trees. Get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org
So here is the film. Enjoy!
Thought I would post this new video promoting the BMC’s work around the UK, a great video courtesy of LWimages with additional footage from myself and Matt Pycroft.
Its funny you know, I grew up under the shadow of these mountains for so many years, but I never really noticed them. I had other things to do, trees to climb, dens to build and so much mischief to get into. I left school early and moved to the Alps with a group of solid mates, determined to ski and snowboard every day, and spend as much of ours lives as possible, travelling as fast as we could. I remember one day looking out of over a mind blowing alpine panorama and thinking, ‘wow this is truly stunning……but it doesn’t mean as much to me as the place I grew up’. It wasn’t long before I moved home.
‘Islands’ is a film about people and places, it has climbing in it, but it is not in my eyes, a climbing film. The project began when I happened to meet an intriguing guy at the bottom of Shepherd’s crag one day. He didn’t fail to make an impression as he spoke openly about his life, new lines and big challenges. The vision was his and his alone, not a quest for high grades or a pat on the back from the rest of the community; it was evident that climbing for him was a personal journey to find some peace, light and clarity. How strange to find safety in a place of such danger.
I knew after filming with Mike that I wanted to carry the project on and make something that I would be proud to show. A film can only be as good as the sum of its parts, so I chose my subjects carefully, and to an extent, followed my heart and my gut.
My hope was to explain, promote and maintain the heritage and tradition within the climbing community in the Lake District, of which I am now a part. To celebrate some of its modern pioneers and their very individual qualities, and to readdress the balance, by placing equal importance on the person, the landscape, and the activity. After all, they may be people doing extraordinary things and believe me, they are inspiring to watch, but they are only a dot on the landscape.
I want to thank my wing man Matt Pycroft and Mike, Stu, Caff and Adam for being involved in this project. They shaped it just as I did, and I’m very grateful for their contribution. Thanks to all the belayers and extra cameraman too, Harry McGie, Duncan Sperry, Mike Norbury, Ben Scraggs, Sophie, Ali Keech and Dan McCann . And thanks to my girlfriend Hel for putting up with my poverty-stricken lifestyle and resistance to getting ‘a proper job’. And last of all, the sponsors of this film, who have shown their support all the way through, as well as providing valuable bits of kit for this and future projects. Wild Country, Red Chilli, The Epicentre and Alpkit.
Photos Matt Pycroft and Dom Bush.
You can watch the individual parts of the film below, or the full thing on my Vimeo here - http://vimeo.com/33874208
My film will be available to watch on UKC this week, so tune in and watch all three chapters. Hope you all enjoy it. Thanks everyone who got involved, its been great!
In can safely say that I have recovered from the Kendal Mountain Film Festival now, it was a great event and so much fun. I had a number of conversations over the weekend with people that genuinely loved my film, and it was so nice to hear so thanks guys. My film was pretty niche, and its so cool that it had a big positive effect on people. By monday it will be up on the front page of UKC for the world to see, which is a little scary, but hey…I made it to be watched!
Now that Kendal is behind us, its onward and upward, and time to get new projects underway. I can’t wait!
It has been a mental few weeks. Islands is ready to be shown at Kendal and lots of people are excited to see it, which is great. I’m really looking forward to the festival, seeing loads of films and meeting and catching up with lots of people. Anyway….
I had some very exciting news yesterday, which is still only just sinking in…..
I won a really exciting, experimental film commission through Kendal Mountain Film Festival and North West Vision and Media. I will have £6,250 to create a film, which will be finished this time next year. Heres the brief -
‘The Edgeland’ will look at the real and/or the perceived physical, social, economic and cultural barriers that divide the post-industrial and economically depressed urbanised communities located around the fringes of the Lake District National Park from the rurally remote settlements that nestle in the mountainous landscape of the National Park itself.
What I didn’t realise until I sat in front of the panel, was that I would have a selection of mentors, one of which would be Richard Else who create’s outdoor shows for BBC Scotland’s Adventure Show. And another, Keith Partridge, who has worked on amazing projects such as ‘Touching the Void’ and ‘Human Planet’. The clip below is from Human Planet, Keith was the main cameraman..
I can’t tell you how excited I am about this……….mainly because I’m so knackered I can hardly think what to write.
On another note, I wanted to take the time to share this video. It was made by a local guy called Justin, who lives in Shap. I think its a great concept and skillfully made. It is also right up my street as I love exploring places like this. Great vid Justin, thanks for sharing it with me.
Heres some pics from an abandoned Hotel we found on our way up to climb the huge conglomerate towers in Monserrat, Spain. Enjoy..
Inspired by a conversation with Adam Hocking, which drew upon a quote from much loved country legend Dolly Parton, I asked a friend if he could record this. I think it sounds pretty sweet really. It was destined for the end credits of Islands, but after some re-shuffling within the film, it ended up seeming a little obscure (much like this blog post!) so I left it out. Big big thanks to Paddy for singing it though. Enjoy
‘If you want to see a rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain’
Its so strange to have shared a space with someone, a physical embrace, a meaningful connection, a smile…..and realise that they are not there anymore. Last night I joined a group of amazing people, inspired, connected people, who see the importance of expression and celebration. Everybody danced, sang, talked rubbish and remembered a lovely bloke. It was so nice to see everybody smiling.
Great to have met you Ru. x
‘What lies behind us and what lies before us are but tiny matters compared to what lies within us.’