Vesna Damljanovic last winter raised $4,585 out of the requested $7,700 in her Indiegogo campaign to make “Gone North,” a proposed documentary film involving the middle-aged New England climber’s solo exploration of some of Arctic Norway’s most challenging terrain. The biophysicist ultimately discovered that adventure film-making isn’t necessarily a one-woman endeavor, resuscitating the adage “that’s not the mountain I want to die on.”
And isn’t that just the way it goes sometimes (most times); isn’t it so true that how we picture it all going down (or coming up) is not the way it unfolds?
Case in point: Vesna’s October Campaign Update:
You’ve Received a Campaign Update!
Hello Cynthia ,
Here’s an update for you from the ‘Gone North – The Documentary’ team:
1 new Announcement:
All perks sent or on their way. Except the movie.
First I couldn’t even watch the footage because my old laptop kept crashing. Then last year about this time, I bought a Mac with the iMovie software. But just as I got the Mac, I went back to Norway, to stay. Ahem, yes. A much bigger adventure than my Lofoten trip and I almost did not survive to tell the tale (jury is still out). I mention it here only as an excuse for why it took me so long to start converting and watching all the footage.
I managed to get it down to about 20+ hours of usable footage (meaning there is SOMETHING visible or movable in it). About 50% of it is me skiing to/from the cliffs and about 45% is me waiting the weather out in the tent and complaining. Lots of opinions on everything, including stupidity of climbing and idiocy of trying to shoot oneself while climbing. The rest is me in the dark, me cooking and me ‘climbing’ . All of the climbing staged, because I gave up taking the cameras up with me after the first attempt when I was so distracted by fiddling with them that I almost fell, so I made a few outings just for the shooting. But even that did not help.
Although my movie was never going to be about action, I was hoping to have at least one short action scene, at least a few seconds. Ahem. There is about 30 min of beginning of an action scene, with several starts interrupted by fishing for the remote in my glove’s gauntlet (while hanging by my ice tools halfway up the cliff), then dropping it into the snow at the base, then down-climbing, digging it out, repeating, and just when I finally seem to have dialed it in, the battery had died. And I finally gave up. There is NO action scene, period. It was simply not possible to do it all on my own, even if I was willing to risk my life (but of course I wasn’t).
I have now watched all of it 3 times and I can testify that it will not make a movie I wanted, let alone a video story that others might find interesting.
In fact, I am thinking of WRITING an all-out story, instead of making a lousy movie with an endless succession of skiing, pulking, cooking and tenting, not to mention bitching.
But this will continue to drag because I am still in the midst of my last adventure and need to survive it first.
Stay put but don’t hold your breath!
Here’s my response:
I wasn’t a major contributor to “Gone North: The Documentary,” just a here’s-a-couple-bucks well-wisher. Even if I’d given more I think I’d call the debt good on the merits of your funny and honest update. Clearly you can write and I look forward to the “all-out” story in book form in lieu of a lousy movie. Welcome to the world of authorship! Oh, and if you need an editor …
P.S. What is pulking or is that puking in Autocorrect? 🙂