“From the beginning I committed to the whole process pretty wholeheartedly,” Free Solo’s Alex Honnold says of his well-documented successful attempt to be the only person to scale Yosemite’s El Capitan without ropes or any other equipment.
“So we all saw it through to the end,” the acclaimed climber added Monday at an AwardsLine screening of the Oscar-winning film from the now Disney-owned National Geographic
Already having achieved a remarkable athletic event up the 3,000-feet rock, Free Solo made over $21 million at the box office worldwide and snagged the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature this year. Now the film is now up for seven Emmy Awards.
Along with a directing nom for Jimmy Chin and E. Chai Vasarhelyi, the docu will vie in the editing, cinematography, interactive media, sound editing, sound mixing and music compositioncategories. In fact, the literal and figurative barrier-shattering Free Solo is the most nominated documentary of the 71st Primetime Emmys.
As you can see in the video above, fellow Emmy nominees Bob Eisenhardt and Clair Popkin joined Honnold and Vasarhelyi onstage at the packed Neuhouse screening in Hollywood on August 12. Eisenhardt and Popkin were the Free Solo editor and the director of photography, respectively.
“We set certain parameters, and it really came down to this elite group of cinematographers led by Jimmy who are professional rock climbers,” Vasarhelyi told the crowd. The co-director and producer also said the specifically picked team who went up El Captain “are close to Alex and who knew how to shoot this and who could rise to the challenge of shooting this.”
Getting a big laugh from the audience, Vasarhelyi noted that “gravity” was one of the biggest challenges for Alex and Free Solo, even with the camera team somewhat safeguarded by ropes.
Take a look at the Free Solo AwardsLine panel above. The Emmys ceremony will take place at 5 PM PT on September 22 live from downtown L.A. – without ropes.
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