Review by: j_ung, 2005-11-30
[b]Full Disclosure: The company that manufactured this equipment provided it free of charge to RC.com and RC.com then provided it as compensation to the reviewer for his or her review. This company currently advertises on RC.com.[/b]
Ever have a wow-I-wish-I-thought-of-that moment? You know the kind, when somebody presents an idea that is such an obvious winner that you kick yourself for not thinking of it first. I’m having one of those moments as I watch the first issue of, [i]Pitch Video Magazine[/i], the brainchild of Producers, Trey Chase, Chris Faulkner and crew of Ology Productions.
[i]Pitch[/i] has what many other climbing vids lack, namely diversity of areas and an ongoing (quarterly) format. The first issue, Fall 2005, runs the gamut of styles and areas from southeastern trad climbing to New River sport routes, Wyoming alpine rock and Squamish bouldering. This issue’s brightest moments come during the stunning Squamish piece ([i]Straight Outta Squampton[/i]) and the mag’s bonus video, [i]Reflections of a Solo Sheepherder[/i], a hilarious mockumentary about a Carolina aid soloist training for an ascent of Looking Glass Rock’s imposing Brain Wall. I once heard it described, I think by RC.com user [user]iamthewallress[/user] that watching aid climbing is a little like turtle porn. It’s very exciting... if you’re a turtle. And yet, this short feature climaxes in a perfectly-timed, sudden switch from goofiness to seriousness as the main character climbs his target route in a beautiful montage of stunning clips. If [i]that’s[/i] turtle porn, excuse me while I spend a little j_ung time inside my shell.
[i]Pitch[/i] has a little way to go before it’s perfect, however. Its biggest shortfall is the cinematography of its other pieces. For one, the New River Gorge section is poorly rigged, with few decent climbing shots and a handful of cheesy interviews that would have been best if left out entirely. In fact, most of the mag’s interviews begin with the phrase, “Here we are at…” which translated means, “I have nothing important to say.” Pointed questions about the history of the each area and the character of the climbing in each segment would be appreciated. Nate B probably needs to script and rehearse his Random Tidbit a tiny bit more before shooting it. It’s subject, Canadian border crossing, would have been more interesting if he had. But, the tech tip, which I assume will be included each quarter, is a nice adaptation of a tried and true magazine component and the Pitch certainly makes a successful effort to appeal to a wide variety of climbers.
Faulkner and crew are close to perfection with this, in that their concept is a great one. (Who doesn’t like climbing videos? Who doesn’t like climbing mags?) Once they polish their technique, Pitch Video Magazine will be high on my list of best climbing periodicals. It’s available at the Ology website for $19.99 per issue or, I assume, one can subscribe. Ology Productions also produces paddling vids and the issue I have includes a trailer for their latest. If you cross over to water sports, be sure to check that out, too. [/size]