Looking back over my production notes going back to 2004 I’ve found an evolution of this project. Seems it began as just a “climbing video,” then it made it’s way to something more historical and became a “documentary.” Over those years it has also changed in scope, style and attitude.
Part of the challenge of a project such as this is coming up with the story but at the same time not really knowing where the story is going to take me.
The title changes when I began to branch out and include the entire scope of Oklahoma climbing and bring in multiple types of climbing and people from all over the state. In some cases the thread that binds the climbing community together is very fine – some people climb in relative secrecy without many other knowing exactly what is going on where. Sometimes it’s not until months or years later that word makes it out about so-and-so’s new area or a new route. In terms of the early days of climbing in Oklahoma I think the history ties together a bit better than it does now – there’s just so many more climbers now and the number of opportunities for substantial advances seems more narrow. Then again, I suppose if a 5.15 trad climb was discovered somewhere deep in confines of Charons Gardens, word would spread like wildfire across the prairie.
I’ve dabbled with a number of possible titles, many of which I’ve run by my wife, and some of which I’ve tried out on friends. My brain-storming session on this is never-ending. I’ll think of something in the middle of the night and jolt awake – at the time it sounds like the perfect title. Then I fall back asleep. In the morning I muddle it over and “x” it off the list.
Thematically, there’s so many ways to go and each has its own goods and bads. Problem is I don’t want to slant the picture too far one way or the other. The title needs to speak holistically to a number of elements.
I’ve looked to titles of other documentaries that I admire – The Fog of War, The Bridge, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Vertical Frontier, American Movie – none of them speak entirely about the subject matter but tend to be more representative of a greater agenda.
Maybe I’m over-thinking this. I’m sure I’m over-thinking this.
At some point I’m just going to pick a title and stick with it. That’s it. The next update will be the title of the film.