Fellow Grit Visual producer Jonathan Cracroft is also the chief marketing officer of Swoob, a Utah based women’s active-wear company. Swoob’s main product is a sports bra with pockets for your phone, keys, cash, etc. The idea for the company actually came about when Swoob’s CEO was out rock climbing with his girlfriend, and her phone fell out of her bra and shattered on the ground below.
The idea for this video was simple: capture Utah’s fall colors by making a climbing video of two local climber girls wearing Swoob apparel. Aside from the visuals, we wanted to tell a story that coincides with Swoob’s mission statement: to empower women to be strong, fit, and confident. We picked a date, recruited Laura Ewald and Tara Jo Dewitt, and headed out.
The climb we decided on filming was Black Monday: arguably one of the best climbs in Big Cottonwood Canyon. At 5.11a, we knew it was difficult enough to be impressive, yet easy enough for the girls to climb it multiple times while we filmed them. We wanted to open the video with a shot of the girls making the approach through the vibrant Fall colors. The beautiful backdrop helped set the mood of the video as the girls made their way towards the base of the climb through the orange and yellow oak brush. The follow cams that start the video were done with a Glidecam HD 4000. Once we reached the base of the climb, Tim was setup with the Lite Pro Gear Feather Crane ready to capture a nice craning shot as the girls reached the base. We had pre-fixed two ropes so that we could shoot video from different angles off the ground. One would be from right above the climb and the other was off to the side.
While on the ground we tried to capture as much of the interaction between the girls as we could. There are some fun detail shots of them getting ready, chalking up, putting on their harnesses, starting the climb, and cheering each other on. This was Laura’s first time redpointing Black Monday, and she was stoked! Tara was a great partner for this climb since she had already done it before. She coached Laura and cheered her on as she pushed through the crux of the climb at the top of the overhang.
The girls were so positive and supportive of each other, it was fun to see. We captured the climb in its entirety over the course of about three hours, and three or four attempts from each girl. It ended up being a perfect fall afternoon with great temperatures, mostly blue skies, and great model-athletes.
As well as everything went, we did have one scare. Not a fall, at least not what you might think. While tinkering with his gear, Jon’s camera strap released from one side of his camera, slid up around his neck, and started falling forward the ground 20 feet below. By some miracle, at the last second, quick instincts kicked in and he somehow got a few fingers on the last inch of the camera strap. It dangled at the end of his reach, suspended in air only seconds from destruction on the granite floor below. A $6000 piece of equipment, luckily saved from what would have been without a doubt a complete loss. The photography gods were with him that day!
After wrapping up on the wall we followed up the climbing portion of this video with some interviews down in the Hidden Falls area. This is one of my favorite spots in Big Cottonwood. It’s picturesque with the waterfall, tree-litter, pine trees, and gentle rolling creek traversing the side canyon. The girls talked about the climb, the Swoob apparel, and a little bit about the day. They seemed to love the activewear, and the concept behind the company. You can check out more info on Swoob at their website www.swoob.com. Thanks for following our blog, we would love your feedback, so let us know if you have any comments questions, suggestions, or ideas. Or if you know somebody that is looking for video work we would love that referral too!
And here is the final video: