My goal is to create a short film that combines time lapses of the four seasons of Zion National Park and documenting the adventures of canyoneers and big wall climbers.
Those familiar with canyoneering know that Zion is one of the world's best locations for exploring slot canyons. Hidden in the national park is an extensive network of deep, narrow cracks carved in the sandstone from water and time. These slot canyons are incredibly beautiful places, like tranquil sanctuaries of rock, color, and light. Many of these slot canyons require technical gear and skill to traverse, and can be very dangerous places in the wrong conditions.
When people say big wall climbing, most people think of Yosemite and El Capitan and Half Dome. While Yosemite is deserving of the attention it receives, not many people know that Zion boasts some of the best big wall climbing in the country.
In this project, I will be documenting climbers and canyoneers as they explore Zion, pushing themselves to the limit. I want to bring you the extreme (and beautiful) side of Zion that few in the world get to see.
In August, 2013, I suffered a major setback in this project. I was caught in a flash flood with three others while filming in a slot canyon.
(Check out the youtube video)
The four of us were nearly killed that day. We were fortunate to survive the ordeal. Unfortunately though, my camera equipment suffered major water and sand damage as it was exposed to a wall of water. I lost more than three thousand dollars worth of camera gear.
Zion National Park is an incredible place. Millions of people every year are captivated by its beauty. But I want to take people off the beaten path and into places rarely visited. I want to tell the story of the adventurers that are exploring these wild places and doing things no one has done before.
I've been filming Zion for almost a year now, and I already have about half the footage I need in order to properly tell this story (Check out the project video to see examples of my time-lapse work). The flash flood I encountered has left me in a tight spot. I need to keep filming, especially during the fall season. But much of my camera equipment was destroyed. Only a few of my lenses survived.
Join me in getting this project back on track. By raising $3500 dollars I can obtain a new camera body and pay for the repairs to the lenses that were damaged. I'll be able to invest in additional rigging and climbing equipment to be able to capture more unique shots.
Be a part of creating a beautiful film of one of the world's most incredible locations.
To see some of previous film work, check out ericrhanson.com
Follow me on Twitter @ericishanson
Follow on Instagram @ericishanson
ESTIMATED COMPLETION DATE: September 1, 2014
Time-lapse work takes, well, time. In the last ten months of shooting I have accumulated approximately half the footage I need to complete this project. Yet I need more footage from this upcoming fall, winter, and spring in order to complete this project. My goal is to film through the next three seasons in order to be able to release the film by fall of 2014.
Risks and challenges
Filming in slot canyons is difficult and dangerous work. I know that firsthand now after surviving a flash flood. My gear and self are at risk each time I go film. Filming big wall climbing is no easy feat either. Getting interesting shots requires lots of time, creativity, and physical skill from the climbers and photographers involved.
Fortunately, I have learned a great deal over the last 10 months of this project. I know a great deal more about the weather, lighting, and shooting conditions and how to compensate for them. My skills in these locations has greatly increased, and the quality of my work has continued to increase with each shoot.
Hopefully there will be no more setbacks like the one I recently experienced with the flash flood. But as challenges arise, creativity, perseverance, and hard work will find a way to overcome the challenges.
Over the next year, I look forward to completing this project and presenting a piece of film that will be considered art.
- Music in the project video: "As Colorful As Ever" by Broke For Free (http://brokeforfree.com/)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)