A climbing film about women, by women, for everyone.
This isn’t a film about gender imbalance or the sexualization of women or what it’s like to have your period at the crag. This is a film about 5 of the best climbers in the world doing what they do best: crushing. Pretty Strong will follow 5 female climbers* around the world as they explore new climbing areas, find projects, and push the boundaries of our sport.
This film is for every climber stuck on the couch recovering from an injury. This film is for that little girl who just started climbing, to show her that the climbing world is a place for her. This film is for the climber looking for that last nudge of inspiration to get off their ass and go to the gym. If you’re a climber, this film is for you.
*There are dozens of climbers we are considering for this project, but the final selection will depend on climbing objectives, funding, athlete schedules, and our production schedule. As we get more of these things confirmed, we will update you on who we are planning to include. Comment below on who you would like to see featured!
**Shoutout to good friend, designer, motion graphics artist, and creative genius Bryan Nanista for our badass Never Not Collective end card. Check out more of his work at http://www.bryanjnanista.com/ or on Instagram @bnanista.
What was the first major climbing film you ever saw? What about the most recent one? Chances are if you’ve turned on a climbing film in the last 18 years, you’ve seen male climbers dominating the screen. With more women climbers than ever, the numbers weren't adding up, so we did some research.
Out of 91 main segments in high production climbing films, there have been 8 segments that feature a female climber as the main character (and the same woman was the subject in three of those). Out of the 91 segments, 11 showed a woman climbing…but her part was a supplement to the main story about one or more male climbers. Out of the six narrative-style feature films we looked at, none have had a female climber as the lead character.
...And we want to see more women making media.
Not only are the climbing films being made today mostly featuring men on screen, but they are predominantly being created by men. We're hoping to foster a community and network of female media makers through Never Not (with this project and future ones). We want to build relationships with established female camera operators, editors, composers, animators, etc., and create opportunities for women who are new to outdoor media.
Below is a breakdown of the Pretty Strong budget. We are planning on getting half of our funding from Kickstarter and the other half from brand partners.
We are videographers, writers, photographers, and most importantly, climbers. With climbing films for inspiration, all four of us longed for movies that put female climbers front and center. As we developed individually as creatives and eventually founded this all-women's production team, we realized: We should make the film we've always wanted to see.
Started by four unapologetic women of the outdoors, Never Not Collective seeks to tell the stories of everyday people doing great things, brave things, things that are challenging, engaging, and gratifying—regardless of “success.” Action is exciting, but we believe that people, with all their complexity, faults, and flaws, are at the heart of every compelling story. Our deep commitment to collaboration stems from diverse backgrounds in writing, photography, video, multimedia, and analytics. This fusion of unique perspectives helps Never Not create refreshing content that connects with a wide variety of viewers.
COLETTE MCINERNEY After a decade of traveling the world as a professional climber, Colette started recording her adventures through photography and film in 2010. She found her passion at the intersection of photo, film, travel, and climbing, and since then she’s worked with companies like Red Bull, National Geographic, Prana, and New Balance to capture the story behind the biggest accomplishments. From summiting 14,000-foot peaks to scaling massive limestone walls, she can—and will—go anywhere to get the shot.
JULIE ELLISON As Climbing magazine’s first female Editor in Chief, Julie has spent a quarter of her life writing, shooting, and editing stories about climbing and the outdoors. With a genuine documentary style, her stories use adventure as a way to experience the world and help the people in it. She’s written about the refugee crisis on the island of Kalymnos, a climbing camp for cancer survivors, and seeing death firsthand in Mexico. In 2017, the OR Daily named her one of the 26 Most Talented People in the Outdoor Industry.
SHELMA JUN Shelma is a sucker for a good story. Whether it’s documenting cyclists of color in NYC or building a temporary community art park in the Lower East Side, she focuses on bringing people together and sharing their stories. She is the founder of Flash Foxy, a multi-media platform that celebrates women in climbing, and the creator of the Women’s Climbing Festival, a weekend of climbing, panels, and clinics. In 2017, she was named one of 40 women who’ve made the biggest impact in the outdoor world by Outside Magazine.
LESLIE HITTMEIER Working as an editor at Skiing Magazine, a managing editor at Teton Gravity Research, and a freelance photographer, Leslie became a fixture in skiing media before joining Never Not Collective as the group’s token young gun. She’s traveled to Chile, Japan, France, Jamaica, and all over the American West to document badass skiers, climbers, and adventurers in their natural habitats. As an obsessed skier and climber herself, Leslie plays and trains in her home mountain range of the Tetons.
Risks and challenges
We are trying to make a feature-length film about climbing. We know there are so many things that can go wrong, like athlete injury, bad weather, unexpected production costs, scheduling difficulty, and the high price of licensing a dope Rihanna song. But we are confident that with our diverse skill set and experience in media production we are prepared to deal with those challenges.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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