Monday, September 21, 2009

Interview > Louder Than Eleven > Colorado Glow

Jordan Shipman is someone we talk to now and then for advice on video stuff that we need or want to do, he's also the founder of Louder Than Eleven which is a small video company that makes some pretty fun films. He's just made a new one and as we're rendering files we have time to write some interviews! Enjoy the trailer for Colorado Glow and our little interview with the guy that was the brains behind the film

Colorado Glow Teaser from Jordan Shipman on Vimeo.

Name and job / title

My name is Jordan Shipman and I'm the founder of Louder Than 11

You run Louder than 11, what is it and what's it's aim?
For starters, here is the current official LT11 mission statement:
Louder Than 11's mission is to grow the sport of rock climbing by producing entertainment that captivates audiences and engages them directly through LT11 ensemble blogs and promotes the outdoor industry with creative advertising.

Essentially LT11 makes rock climbing videos. We want them to be very creative, original and especially entertaining. I think that's important. Climbers generally love watching hard climbing but non-climbers don't necessarily get a kick out of it. If we are to grow this sport, we believe climbing needs an image that gets people interested. We think that if we put some nitro in our videos, we'll attract more people.

I know you as a film maker that makes movies about climbing, do you pull down when you're not filming?
I don't climb nearly as much as I did before LT11. I've got a day job that takes up the usual full-time hours and I do LT11 work at night. It doesn't leave a whole lot of time for climbing these days--especially when its close to a deadline. I plan on having more time in the future as LT11 grows and I don't need another job. This is just how it goes when your starting out I suppose.

What's your favorite climbing destination?
I'm not sure. I've spent the most time at the New River Gorge so I'd probably have to say that. But I haven't been as many places as I want to yet so I'm sure its bound to change.

You have a new film called "Colorado Glow" that's about to be released, what was the idea behind it?
Well I tend to have a pretty fantastical imagination and it only gets worse as my skills improve. I had the idea long ago that climbers hands could glow and emit energy or light as the climbed. But the question was how or why? So i had the idea that some climbers could discover a new kind of chalk that glows when pulling certain moves typically cruxes and fast movements so it almost becomes a type of super power that comes from outer space and rides into earth on a meteorite. We wanted to make a bouldering video in Colorado so we took that idea and created the story of Colorado Glow.

Did you film everything that we see?
A lot of it. I definitely had a hand in everything you see. Its too much to do completely on your own in the amount of time we had. Jon Glassberg has a fantastic visual eye and he helped a ton with all the crane work. Donovan Craig is another talented guy and he came along to help out a ton with everything, especially camera work. Nate Draughn pitched in some too. It was a group effort and for LT11 that is what is all about.

What are you filming / editing on? (Hardware wise)
We shot on an JVC-HD7 with wide angle lenses and a Cannon HV20 with a 35mm lens adapter + 35mm lenses. We edit and composite everything on the turbo charged iMacs.

What's the hardest part of filming a climbing flick?
Hauling the gear around. Its bloody exhausting. Donovan had to go to the doctor after the shoot 'cause his knee was all tore up from hiking with the extra weight.

How long did C-Glow take to film?
We shot the video in 3 days 'cause thats the longest amount of time i could get off from work at the time. We hiked in at sunrise and hiked out at sunset then shot stuff for visual effects at night. Very little sleep for a few days.

Three days!?! That's mental! Who were the climbers? Were they climbing at their peak all the time because that's got to be hard on the athletes
It was mental! Just stupid! We should have had at least a week. Ha! The climbers are Jon Glassberg, Nate Draughn, Ryan Olson, and Carlo Traversi. All the problems were were ones that the climbers had sent before except with Carlo on Top Notch. That was a complete surprise, most of all to him. It was hard on the athletes, they had to climb the problems entirely a couple times plus repeating moves and certain sections for close ups and different angles. The conditions were not bad but not ideal either. Lots of lost skin, split butt cheeks and sometimes the holds were only good for a couple goes before the moisture ruined them. The athletes were climbing near their peak the entire time for sure but they never ceased to impress. Just flat out strong.

What was the budget of the film (rough).
Its hard to put a number on the budget because we don't really have any money right now! :D But if I had to put a number on it with expenses and all I'd say around 1k.

Are there any sponsors for the film?
We do have sponsors, without them it would not be possible. Our sponsors on this project are Deadpoint Magazine, Friksn Clothing, Project Holds, and Revolution Pads.

How long to edit?
Hmm...well editing plus all the visual effects and compositing...about 300 hours over 7 weeks.

Is it hard during the editing to keep the pace right, not too slow and not too fast?
Its not easy to pace a video because it is easy and almost inevitable to lose perspective when you are working so immensely on something like this. Jon and I would toss cuts and segments back and forth to get feedback and make changes. After a certain point you just have to trust your intuition and go with it.

Do you take any inspiration from people like Big Up / Slackjaw / BS Productions and their movies?
I've always been a fan of Big Up. I love Sender Films. I get inspiration from everywhere and everything I absorb.

So what is your favorite climbing movie and why?
My favorite climbing movie right now is King Lines. I like it because it blends documentary story telling and sports action really well. I think that climbing movie represents an important milestone in rock climbing videos. A friend of mine once said he didn't like King Lines because of all the talking, he just wanted the climbing . . . but he also admitted that when he shows a climbing video to a non climber, King Lines is the one he plays.

So you've not seen Big Ups Progression then? It's pretty well the best film out there right not IMHO! Do you want to compete with the big guys at some point?
I havn't seen Progression yet! I've been too busy on this project to stop and watch anything! I am super psyched to see it ASAP!! I bet its good! I guess I can't avoid competing with them technically because we make rock climbing videos but our goal is to be different not necessarily better. We have a different business model. They sell $30 DVD's and we produce free videos available streaming online and for download.

What else is in the pipeline?
In the immediate future by the end of the year we'll have a short vid produced at Moore's in North Carolina, Jon is editing a short New River Gorge bouldering video, I'm producing a commercial for Friksn and next year we have huge plans, like gigantic mercenary zombie

Well everyone loves zombies! Anyone you'd like to thank, give a shout out to?
We are zombie nuts :) I would love to thank all our sponsors, Deadpoint, Friksn, Project, Revolution--FlightTakers for hooking us up with some dope tracks--Laura Fryer for some gear support--Donovan Craig for being a true friend and champion, hands down--Jordan Olsen for his infinite generosity-- Jon and Nate for being bad ass--Zoe Wilson, my girlfriend for putting up with me working so hard--and everyone else and especially all the fans. Thanks so much!

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