Outcrop Films

This was the website for Outcrop Films formed by Nick Brown and Richard Sharpe. At the time the site was live they were working on their UK Bouldering film "Life On Hold," which was due to be released April 2012 on DVD and digital download. Below are blog posts from achieved pages of the site along with information regarding the film from other outside sources.

Life On Hold - Trailer 2 from Outcrop Films on Vimeo.

Life on Hold is a new UK bouldering film from Nick Brown and Richard Sharpe, It follows Britain's top climbers and visiting stars around the UK, tackling some of the highest and hardest problems around. From the tough, mentally challenging highballs on the gritstone edges, to the short, powerful, esoteric testpieces of the limestone and everything in between. We've filmed the new emerging scene of strong boulderers and their tour around Britain's finest.

Featuring: Ned Feehally, Micky Page, Dan Varian, Chris Webb-Parsons, Michele Caminati, Shauna Coxsey, Katy Whittaker, David Mason, Alex Puccio, Mina Leslie-Wujastyk, Jon Partridge, Martin Smith, Ryan Pasquill, Ben Thompson

In association with Five Ten and Arc'teryx. With support from The Climbing Works, Wild Country, Tip Juice and Beastmaker.

REVIEW:

Life on Hold follows Britain’s top climbers and visiting stars around the UK, tackling some of the highest and hardest boulder problems around. From the tough, mentally challenging highballs on the gritstone edges, to the short, powerful, esoteric test pieces of the limestone and everything in between. We’ve filmed the new emerging scene of strong boulderers and their tour around Britain’s finest.

One of the most beautiful climbing films ever made, and featuring a wealth of British climbing talent, including: Dan Varian, Ned Feehally, David Mason, Micky Page, Shauna Coxsey, Katy Whittaker, Mina Leslie-Wujastyk and Ryan Pasquill.

ABOUT THE FILM

Release Date2012

Duration1:11

Genres: Bouldering and Climbing

Featuring: Ned Feehally, Micky Page, Dan Varian, Chris Webb-Parsons, Michele Caminati, Shauna Coxsey, Katy Whittaker, David Mason, Alex Puccio, Mina Leslie-Wujastyk, Jon Partridge, Martin Smith and Ryan Pasquill

Director: Nick Brown and Richard Sharpe

Producers: Nick Brown and Richard Sharpe

 

BLOG POSTS from 2011-2012

 

Progression?

Posted on 22nd April, 2012  by nickbrown

Along with the creation of Life On Hold and Tomorrow I Will Be Gone, I’ve been finishing university. I’ve recently completed my dissertation on the growth of rock climbing and thought I’d share a few ideas from it.

One of the main problems with the sponsorship of climbers in the UK is that the athletes do not deal with the specific companies whose products they represent (there are a few exceptions of course). Instead, the majority of athletes (including everyone interviewed for this research project) deal with the UK distributors for these companies. The problem that arises from this is that there is not as much money in the industry available for the athletes. These climbers are expected to write blogs, get photos of themselves climbing and attend industry events and all for some free climbing shoes and clothing. It seems to me that the coverage these companies are getting far outweighs the return for the climbers. A front page on UKC will get thousands of hits!

After watching Shauna Coxsey qualify in second for the IFSC Bouldering World Cup Final this morning, I got thinking… Shauna is climbing next to other women who get paid to climb professionally. Dornian (2003:287) is certainly wrong when he states that ‘focus can be kept on training and competition without the worry of taking time and attention away from athletic concerns to accumulate resources.’ Free shoes and clothing cannot pay for travel costs, entry fees and accommodation. In most sports, when an athlete has reached such a high level, they will receive some degree of financial assistance. Moreover, the British Bouldering Team is run by the BMC who provide very little financial assistance to their team. In terms of sponsorship, Britain is significantly behind most countries in terms of funding for athletes.

Furthermore, I think the UK is overlooked in terms of what athletes can offer companies. Climbers such as Micky Page, Shauna Coxsey, Dave Barrans, Ned Feehally, Dan Varian and Chris Webb-Parsons (I’ll include him as a Brit to bolster my argument) are all world class and for the most part are doing something different.  I’m bored of the ‘my 8c is harder than your 8c‘ media coverage. That’s all I read when I go on the main climbing websites these days. Micky has repeated the majority of Europe’s hardest boulder problems and is virtually unknown compared to other climbers in his class such as Daniel Woods and Paul Robinson. How hard could Micky climb if he was paid the same amount as the Americans to just travel and climb? The same goes for everyone else.

This raises other interesting debates. If money were to be given to these people, I think this group would strive to do something different to others that receive financial assistance. How many people got paid to go to Font and Switzerland last year and consolidate the standards that people like Fred Nicole, Klem Loskot, Malc, Ben and Jerry had already pioneered in the past couple of decades? I can think of a few and I can think of a few crap eliminates they put up and repeated too. All whilst Fred was probably off in the Himalayas somewhere.

So my argument is all jumbled, confused and more of a rant than anything. I do consider myself to be quite jaded with the whole climbing scene/industry and I think several things need to be done to improve the quality of media coverage and to help support athletes; these two things are interconnected. Firstly I think companies have the responsibility to help out climbers who strive to do different things, go to different places and who are committed to developing themselves personally. When this happens, the climbing media will become far more interesting. Less 8b+s that have been repeated more times than I count on my fingers and more first ascents in beautiful places, pushing the sports boundaries and hopefully less of an emphasis on grades. This is what I consider progression in the sport.

I respect no one more than climbers like Fred Nicole, Klem Loskot, Dave Graham, Chris Sharma, Dan Varian and countless others who perhaps don’t make the headlines twice a week , but are out there developing the sport. Sort it out.

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Vertical Life Magazine

Posted on 11th April, by nickbrown

Vertical Life Magazine is a new online climbing mag. You can download the first issue here: http://www.verticallifemag.com.au/mags/

I did an interview with Ross earlier in the year about the state of the climbing film industry. Can be read here: www.verticallifemag.com.au/tomorrow-i-will-be-gone/

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Guest Blog: Dan Varian – UK Bouldering

Posted on 3rd April, by nickbrown

We’ve just come back from our screenings around the country and I’d like to think the film went down well. Dan Varian did a great job at introducing the film on the final few dates and thoughtfully gave some perspective and extra information about what’s been happening these past two years. Thought it would be a nice idea to get it in writing:

Well the film is finally out. But what is it about exactly? It’s almost got less 8Bs in than Woods can do in Hueco in a day. No one knows where or what half the bleedin’ problems are and there are a bunch of highballs in it. Sounds like a good description of how i see England on the whole. Crap. Old Crap and New Crap. Thing is, stick enough crap together add a few bright sparks and some kindling and you’ve got yourself a right old blaze, which is Life on Hold to a tee!

Life on Hold isn’t a UK or even a whole of England film. Because shortly after starting to film it Rich and Nick realised there was enough stuff going on around the Peak District, Yorkshire and Northumberland to fill a feature length film. Yet the quip of there being nowt to do in the UK is so often bandied about by some people in the upper echelons of UK bouldering. Yet this film shows enough bouldering for the strongest of fingers to go at for a while and I’d guess it shows only 10% of the best lines in the whole of the UK. There are many things it missed off. But what it captures is predominantly what us yoof are up to in the film with no one being over 30. Fresh knees and fresh tendons.

The film roughly splits off to show some of the hard classic Peak and Yorkshire test pieces as well as area classics. These give you a good sense of the varying rock types and styles in the UK as well as our inclement weather. The harder grit problems begin to cross over in style with the other main theme of the film which is highballing. This has emerged mainly from a why not attitude. As these big things are at crags where we have been going to boulder and it seems a real shame not to try them as boulder problems even if there is gear available, the satisfaction of ground upping above pads is much greater (especially from a mighter than thou puritanical sense) than when using gear as many different aspects come to light, easy upper ground that may have been well protected before becomes a zone of serious concentration. Many of the big things in the film are highballed ground up with the exception of…

The Prow: Kyloe in –  this was checked on abseil by all of us, but not top roped.

Sampson: Burbage – Ned got scuppered by the filthy rock so ended up abbing it to give it a good clean.

High fidelity: Caley  - This is shown in the film with Mick abbing it. It’s a bit different though as its supposed to be a hard test piece rather than purely a highball

Those above were only abseiled, and mostly out of the concession for clean holds being necessary on hard moves when ropeless at height.

Hopefully what emerges from  the film is a real ambience of what it means to boulder in the UK. Its many facets, its specific yet intangible, unique factors that make it (and every bouldering area worldwide) special. It is a film for the heart.

Life on Hold is an attempt to celebrate the beauty of our sport and the brilliant places and situations it can lead you into without too much recompense to the grade-centric, sending way of seeing which is spreading more on the internet. The UK simply cannot satisfy the types of climbers looking to primarily bolster scorecards (as opposed to other countries). You have to adapt to survive as a resident climber here. That is not to say that Life on Hold isn’t biased towards hard testpieces, it needs the cachet of them to grab your attention. But this doesn’t mean one can’t look at the problems from a different perspective. An angle which shows more than just small holds and big numbers. More that the problems are part of the landscape. They are but an excuse to get out and enjoy the countryside and make the most of what we have.

Life on Hold was jokingly named “making the most of it” as its working title and those 2 short phrases are pretty much all you need to sum up the dedication of UK boulderers and UK bouldering itself.

Dan is one of the team behind www.beastmaker.co.uk

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We’ve made a film.

Posted on 22nd March, by nickbrown

For two years we’ve been filming bouldering in the UK. This morning I finished the film and my overwhelming feeling is ‘I’m glad that’s over.’ In my experience films never turn out how you wanted them to be. For instance in Life On Hold there are many things not in the film that I would have loved to include, things we never got round to filming. On that note, when I started this project I thought it would be easy to fit bouldering in the UK into an hour long film – after all it’s no way near as good as Font and we’ve got no rock. But apparently there are a few hidden gems and masterpieces out there, making me think the UK could actually be world class…

Originally I envisaged the film to be a contemporary version of the brilliant Stick It. Whilst it would be arrogant to compare our film to such a timeless classic, I like to think that I’ve learned from films like that and Stone Love. People like to see climbing. That’s what Ben and Rich at Slackjaw did so well. They made films about what happened at the crag, teasing a story out of the climbing and characters they filmed.

More recent films seem to have taken a different approach, basing films around interviews, narration and even sketches. Whilst both have their merits, I don’t think many climbing films have done this well recently. There are exceptions of course, Onsight and The Asgard Project, Alastair Lee’s two films spring to mind. These two use interviews and narration, as well as teasing a story out of footage at the crag to eventually tell a story about cutting edge movements or athletes in the sport. I DO NOT CARE if your latest 8c was monumental,  or how ‘gangsta’ you are. Show me a story, show me your travelling experiences, think of some interesting questions to ask, take off your bandana. You’ve done nothing Fred Nicole didn’t do 15 years ago.

When looking for inspiration for the film, I’ve found myself looking beyond climbing. Taylor Steele’s stunning surf films that display culture and beauty without the latest RED HD camera, have helped me get out of bed to film in the early hours. Life Cycles and The Art of Flight (countless others) demonstrate how modern cameras should be used. Internet shorts such as Dark Side of the Lens showcase narration at a level I only hope climbing films can achieve.

I would love for Life on Hold to have some of the features that the classics have. Nothing compares to being able to relate to the misery of Stone Love or Ben’s frustration on 8 Ball. Ultimately, I think Life on Hold is quite a different beast. Instead of showcasing the best climbing areas or a trip to one great area, we’ve tried to capture the change in UK bouldering through a select few people. Highballing is an obvious change. With the abundance of pads and changes to the attitudes surrounding their use, things are possible that weren’t ten years ago. Standards have greatly increased in this time too. Who hasn’t climbed Font 8b?! Every day I read that some 11 year old mutant has dispatched another of the grade. We now have a few climbers in the UK who can keep up with the best in the world.

I may have a tainted view of Life on Hold seeing as how I’m making it… It’s yet to be shown to anyone else and be fully critiqued. I would like to think that we’ve made a film that gives at least a glimpse into high end bouldering in the UK and how it’s changed. You’ll be the judge.

Love to see you all ‘on tour‘ next week starting with the premiere at The Climbing Works

About Outcrop

Outcrop Films consists of Nick Brown and Richard Sharpe. We are working on our UK Bouldering film "Life On Hold," due to be released April 2012 on DVD and digital download.

 

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Website Launch

Posted on 5th December, by nickbrown

We launched our brand new website today, but you already know this because you’re reading the blog.

To go along with that, we thought we’d show you a snippet of Life On Hold. Only a snippet mind…

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Tomorrow I Will Be Gone – Online

Posted on 3rd December, by nickbrown

Tomorrow I Will Be Gone is online – watch it, download it, enjoy.

OutcropFilms.com