Friday, April 29, 2011

Director's Statement

In spring of 2011, ski mountaineering in the Alps was horrible and my partner's shoulder was damaged, so I lurked around in Chamonix with the Seatons.

One day, Mark came to me and said he had this video footage from his historic 1996 ascent of Mont Blanc with Don Planner. A TV producer told him at the time that the video was useless since it was shot without a script, so it had never been used. He asked if we could just throw it up on YouTube or something.

Instead, we set up an impromptu camera in Mark & Jane's Chamonix backyard and shot an interview, captured the archival footage, photographed some newspaper clippings and gathered a few photographs. Then, instead of the skiing I had planned, I edited together this documentary about a first blind ascent on the highest peak in western Europe.

I'd just discovered Peach Stealing Monkeys, and their complex, unhinged music seemed a wonderful metaphor for the somewhat insane idea of a determined blind man picking his way up a long, technical and quite dangerous mountaineering route.

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