They rebuffed Sherpas, rejected supplementary oxygen, and refused advice to turn back. Now, ten years after an unthinkable expedition, seven defiant mountaineers confront the long-lost footage of their attempt to climb the abominable Seven Summits...of the Great Plains.
THE VIEW FROM THE SUMMIT
Like many of my favorite documentaries, INTO THICK AIR started out trying to tell one kind of story but ended up channeling another. Most of the filming occurred in 2002. Many years after graduation, my high school friends and I are still quite close. So back in 2002, I planned a documentary of what it’s like for a group of friends to face the challenges of advancing adulthood--a story that would be overlaid with the drama of a long weekend journey. That project didn’t pan out; hell, it’s even boring me right now to write the words “face the challenges of advancing adulthood.”
However…the “weekend journey” part was interesting. Like wealthy, experienced mountaineers who climb the Seven Summits of the Earth to stave of midlife crises, we decided to climb the Seven Summits as well. But since we’re not wealthy, and hail from Kansas instead of the Andes, we decided to forego the highest peak on each continent and instead climb the highpoints of seven Midwestern states.
Stories of the absurdity, difficulty, and futility of that trip always entertained dinner parties over the years, so in 2011, at a high school reunion, I gathered all the original summiteers to give context (and hopefully some entertainment value) to our quest. Then I added a pompous British narrator to fill in the details. I think INTO THICK AIR tells a true story in a humorous way. I hope festival viewers enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it.
But to get it in front of festival viewers takes a lot of scratch. I've paid for everything in the movie out of my own pocket, and I'm getting a bit tapped out. Maybe you can help me help the film and give it the chance to soar like the heartful Heartland movie it is, and barnstorm the festival circuit.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? READ BELOW
"Climb Every Mole Hill" Outside Magazine (March 01, 2004) Outside, America’s leading journal of exploration and adventure, published a lengthy report on the expedition: http://www.outsideonline.com/adventure-travel/north-america/united-states/north-dakota/Climb-Every-Mole-Hill.html?page=all
"Into Thick Air" Telluride Daily Planet (May 26, 2012). A report on the film, its history, and its presentation at the Telluride MountainFilm festival. http://telluridenews.com/articles/2012/05/26/news/doc4fbffec985a7d400263378.txt
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges of completing this project are few: essentially, that film festival programmers won't understand the unique theme and story of INTO THICK AIR. That's why your support is key. With your help, we can target the festivals and screenings that provide the best fit for INTO THICK AIR.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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