FREE SOLO | HURT (Award-Winning Short Film 2022) | Squamish

23 Mar 2024

With his mental health at an all time low, a veteran Free Solo’s for what may be the last time.   
In years following the Oscar winning film, Free Solo, the act of soloing may have grown to become a glamorized endeavor. This film explores a man's controversial motivations behind free soloing.  
In today's climate, the amount of service members challenged with suicidal thoughts are at an all-time high. HURT is an 12min fictional short following a veteran who free solo’s recklessly as an escape when PTSD and heartbreak thrusts his mental health into decline.  
𝐀 𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐢𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐫:   
As a Squamish climber and helicopter rescue swimmer veteran struggling with PTSD, and having known multiple climbers who've died soloing in my community, I drew on my past to bring this vision to light in the hopes of preventing more deaths like those we've lost.
I created this film following military traumas combined with a hard separation which created what I can only describe as cerebral warfare. This evolved into a cycle of self-hatred where I didn't want to commit suicide, but I also didn't want to be here anymore. I didn't want to deal with the pain; a pain which seemed to go away when the stakes got higher soloing; when in actuality the stakes should never feel raised soloing.  
Pushing my limits eventually led to being stuck 5 pitches up a climb in a position where I didn't want to down-climb nor did I feel comfortable doing the next move up. If anyone was around, I would have begged for help. I felt the pump building; frozen on the crimps I was desperately gripping. I recall looking down and imagining, as though reality, my body bouncing down the cliff into the talus field below. For the first time I thought "wow, this is not worth it". Though I managed to walk away from that situation, I felt like I'd entered an alternate reality where I'd somehow survived. In truth, a part of me felt like I'd actually fallen that day.
Following this incident, I started noticing how prevalent soloing was in Squamish. So I started talking with members of the climbing community about the motivations behind certain peoples' choice to free solo and occasionally, their less talked about/less glamourous motivations. I learned that it wasn't uncommon for individuals in pain to look to this outlet to separate themselves from whatever traumas they were dealing with (breakups, loss of a significant others, anxiety, depression, etc).  Even soloing legends like Dean Potter and Alex Honnold had reportedly pushed their soloing limits following heartache.  

So, we decided to make a film, originally with the fairly humorous working title of "SADLO" (soloing sad), to highlight a yet to be shared perspective on free soloing.  

NOTE: Some scenes are better understood with headphones and subtitles on.
Written & Directed by: 𝘝𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘓𝘢𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦  
Produced by: 𝘝𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘓𝘢𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦 & 𝘈𝘭𝘦𝘹𝘢 𝘐𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘬𝘢𝘸𝘢  
Executive Producers: 𝘝𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘓𝘢𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦 & 𝘡𝘢𝘤𝘩 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘯  
John: 𝘞𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘔𝘢𝘵𝘻𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘥  
Sarah: 𝘏𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘢𝘩 𝘋𝘰𝘣𝘪𝘦  
Therapist & Podcaster: 𝘈𝘭𝘦𝘹𝘢 𝘐𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘬𝘢𝘸𝘢  
Therapist (Voice): 𝘋𝘳. 𝘊𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘛𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘭𝘢𝘺  
John’s Mother: 𝘊𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘦 𝘏𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳  
1st AD: 𝘈𝘭𝘦𝘹𝘢 𝘐𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘬𝘢𝘸𝘢  
Stunts: 𝘋𝘢𝘷𝘦 “𝘊𝘩𝘦𝘦𝘤𝘩” 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯 | 𝘝𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘺 2 𝘊𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘴  
1st Camera Unit: 𝘝𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘓𝘢𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦 | 𝘑𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘦 𝘏𝘦𝘯𝘳𝘺 | 𝘈𝘭𝘦𝘹𝘢 𝘍𝘢𝘺 | 𝘍𝘦𝘳𝘳𝘺 𝘎𝘰𝘥𝘨𝘰  
Edited by: 𝘝𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘓𝘢𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦 | 𝘈𝘯𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘺 𝘗𝘰𝘰𝘯 | 𝘑𝘢𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘳 𝘎𝘳𝘢𝘶  
Sound Designer: 𝘊𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘱𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘊𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘳  
Composers: 𝘑𝘦𝘴𝘶𝘴 𝘊𝘢𝘣𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘳𝘰 | 𝘐𝘢𝘯 𝘚𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘴  
Colorist: 𝘋𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘳𝘺 𝘒𝘶𝘻𝘯𝘦𝘵𝘴𝘰𝘷 
Foley: 𝘘𝘶𝘦𝘵𝘻𝘢𝘭 𝘚𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘥𝘰  
Award Winner: 𝘗𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘴 𝘔𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘦 𝘍𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘭  
Semi-Finalist: 𝘚𝘦𝘳𝘣𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘐𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘍𝘪𝘭𝘮 𝘍𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘭 (𝘚𝘐𝘍𝘍)  
Nominee: 𝘊𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘨𝘰 𝘐𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘦 𝘍𝘪𝘭𝘮 𝘈𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘴  
Nominee: 𝘔𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭 𝘐𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘍𝘪𝘭𝘮 𝘍𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘭  
𝐈𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐦: ⁣⁣  
𝐓𝐢𝐤𝐭𝐨𝐤: ⁣⁣  
WILDERTAINMENT MISSION: Bringing you Entertaining Wilderness Adventure Stories whether you're a rock climber, mountaineer, skier, hiker, kayaker or whether you love ice climbing, snow boarding or bouldering, join us in the backcountry for some Wilderness Entertainment!

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