There’s a moment in Free Solo during Alex Honnold’s historic, rope-less ascent of El Capitan when the audience sees cinematographer Mikey Schaefer doubled over, so sick with anxiety that he’s unable to watch what’s happening. It’s a powerful moment. And, after speaking with Co-Directors Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi, it seems to accurately sum up what sounds like the most stressful production we’ve ever heard of — a production they weren’t even sure they wanted to take on:
Observation is an act of creation. Whether or not that’s true for the cosmos, it’s true for clichés: they don’t exist until we notice them ⎯ or someone points them out. Creative Director Andy Baker (Nat Geo, Netflix) pointed out a cool German term for this, which you can read below. But suffice it to say that clichés abound, and they’re more prevalent than ever. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.