Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk are not just the cinematographers of mountain climbing documentary Meru, they are also two of the three principal climbers embarking on the film’s central athletic feat that spanned over several years and difficult conditions.
As Chin tells Filmmaker Magazine, “Our principal artistic goals were to show the beauty and scale of the mountains and the difficulty and exposure of the climbing. We wanted people to have a visceral experience on the climb and feel the vertigo of hanging in space on a remote big wall in the Himalayas. We also tried to keep the camera rolling in difficult situations on the climb and to capture the most trying moments as they unfolded. It was definitely survival, run-and-gun style shooting on the climb. During the travel and around base camp, we had a few toys with us like a slider and a small jib, but in general we didn’t have the time or the bandwidth to get too fancy. It was a fine balance between trying to get nice camera moves when possible and not holding up the expedition.”
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