Filmmaking On The Edge: Tyler Stableford’s New Film “Shattered”

Hi all, I am honored to introduce my short film Shattered, shot on Canon’s new EOS-1D X camera. This has been a true dream project, and today I am excited to share both the film and three behind-the-scenes episodes. Thank you, Scott and Brad, for your interest in the project!

Shattered is a deep journey into the mind of the legendary high-altitude alpinist and writer Steve House. While reading Steve’s award-winning book Beyond The Mountain last year, one of his revelations really struck me. Steve confessed that after he succeeded in climbing his dream route on Nanga Parbat, he returned home bereft, more broken than when he had begun his great quest. I knew immediately there was a short film in this unexpected emptiness.

Shattered is not so much a climbing film as it is a visual poem. As the writer, narrator and star, Steve brought a deep reserve of humility, honesty and courage to the project.

Steve is heralded in the climbing world for his bold and spare approach to climbing. We shot the visuals to match. As such, we went low-fi — no video rigs or monitors, no dollies, no cranes. Every element of our gear list was stripped to the bare essentials with one overarching goal: Connection. Connection to Steve’s soul; connection to the ethereal elements of snow, ice and wind. When I was shooting up high on the ice route, I brought a single camera body and a few lenses. In climbing, as in photography and cinematography, art blooms only when we are unencumbered by our tools.

Shattered premiered at the NAB show in April at the Canon stage and has been playing at film festivals worldwide. I am excited to share it online here:

Additionally, Kate Rolston directed three behind-the-scenes features on the making of Shattered. The first episode reveals Steve’s thoughtful writing process and our storyboarding — essentially the alchemy of joining our hearts to our hands, so when we ventured out to Telluride’s Bridal Veil Falls we knew how we were going to shoot.

The second episode shows the shoot itself: the challenge of working in a cold winter storm; the use of tilt-shift and shallow-focus lenses; and our team’s use of rigging ropes to keep us all safe on the ice route.

The third episode reveals the voiceover and editing process. In keeping with our spare shooting style, we trimmed, edited and trimmed again to include only the essential elements. Gradually, a poetic austerity arose in the film.

We shot Shattered and the behind-the-scenes episodes to help launch Canon’s new EOS-1D X camera. This has been the most memorable promotional project of my career. Colman Murphy and Erika Silverstein at Canon gave us carte blanche to make this film as personal and unique as it could be. It is rare in the commercial world to have such freedom, and I am indebted to them for their trust.

Thank you again, Scott and Brad, for the bandwidth today. And a sincere thank-you to all those who helped contribute to this film.

You can see more of Tyler’s work at TylerStableford.com, keep up with him on his blog, find him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.