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Posts from the ‘Films’ Category

Life on the Line

 

Over the past many years I’ve been fortunate enough to live a simple life of travel and balance, meeting amazing people along the way and accumulating a massive collection of video footage and photographs. I try my best to publish and share these documented moments with everyone but the reality is I mostly prefer spending my time outside creating new memories rather than sitting in front of a computer processing hours of footage and crunching away on long stints of editing. I like to think that in modern times I’ve found a delicate balance between these two experiences, which has allowed me to support a life of continuous adventure, but not too long ago I was only living out of my car devoted to the outdoors more than any other thing in life. Which brings me to my meeting with a friend named Jon Lang back in Oregon, whom a couple years ago approached me with an interest to edit some of my archival footage to use in a college assignment back at Oregon State University. We started hanging out together and began bouncing ideas back and forth about starting a production company and how we could go about getting a bit more professional with our documenting habits and obsession, but to summarize a long story short, we eventually went our separate ways as Jon was pursuing a career in the free skiing world and I moved out to Moab, Utah where my life became sculpted by the awesome community and sandstone cliffs that I now interact with everyday.

The video above is comprised of my collected archival footage from an expedition to Thailand with the Moab Monkeys, highlines in Joshua Tree/Moab/Yosemite, along with some additional video footage Jon compiled of the first annual Smith Rock Highline Gathering I organized and the many deep water solo lines I developed in central Oregon with the help of many rad friends. Looking back on all these memories always makes me smile and reminds me of the footprints I’ve left behind and gets me excited for the new adventures to come. There’s been so much progression in the sport of slacklining over the years that it’s obvious the passion and pursuit of balance will always see leaps and bounds as long as this passionate community continues to devote their lives to its obsession and progression. Jerry Miszewski has been a huge influence in the community, pushing the limits of length, endurance and innovation with the sport while Andy Lewis has been exposing the world to his ‘slacklife’ philosophy with his many crazy shenanigans, world traveling pursuits and awesome combination of parachute sports alongside a one inch piece of webbing. Both athletes are featured in this short video, alongside countless other individuals who have also spearheaded the progression of slacklining in so many other ways. Much of this footage has been locked away with my collection of hard drives and has yet to be seen by the public until now. So, sit back and enjoy this fast paced edit created by Jon himself.

In closing, I just want to say that it’s been an honor sharing these smiling moments of balance in nature with so many talented artists and I look forward to the new friendships and adventures that wait on the horizon. Until that next line is established or plane ticket purchased, slackers keep up the high life and stoke of balanced progression. The world really is watching and we’re just having a good ol’ time cultivating a happy life of smiles, vertical challenges and real adventure with our closest friends and heroes. What a time to be had!

~Brian Mosbaugh

Balance in Nature

 

A beautiful and cinematic short featuring some of slacklines greatest moments and evolving athletes over the years. In recent times highlining has seen some incredible progressions and Grant Thompson has dedicated his life to passionately telling the stories of so many of these balanced individuals playing in nature, from the staggering heights of Yosemite to the urban playground of Poland. Watching his storytelling craft continually improve over the years has been an absolute pleasure to see and I hope you enjoy his artistic pursuit and vision as much as I have. There is much to be said about this person but I prefer to let his work tell the story for him… If you wish to see more of his inspiring shorts just CLICK HERE and give him your support and stoke wherever possible.

~Brian Mosbaugh

The Progression of Human Flight and NEW WORLD RECORDS

 

Looking back at the past several months has been a whirlwind of travel, adventure and diverse activity, yet none of that seems obvious to anyone other than myself and the friends that were there along the way. I realize I haven’t sat down to share my thoughts on life for public viewing since last November, so I attempt to pick up where I left off now… After the death of one of my best friends I needed some time to clear my mind and do some global travel before getting back to the things I really love doing. I needed a break from the desert of Moab to explore new sceneries and refresh the brain from tainted memories here. BASE jumping has been one of the most incredible adventures of my life, but it will always come with its extreme ups and downs of emotional oscillation. It physically and mentally forces me to live in the moment and allows me to appreciate life for its fleeting beauty and potential, but it also makes me lash out at the world when precious people pass in its wild and dangerous pursuit… In short, to clear my mind I spent all of last December living in a tent pitched inside an airplane hanger in Lodi, California. It was a great time spent skydiving everyday learning new flying skills and improving my canopy control with some really inspiring and talented people at my side. The world of air sports never ceases to amaze me with the diverse and awesome crowd it attracts. These people are free from so many stupid “normal person” worries that they find more time to relax in the air and evolve into strangely talented individuals who play together amongst the clouds and at speeds upward to 180 mph. They all smile a lot and learn to tolerate the noise and smell of airplane engines in the morning so they can cram into small spaces to jump out of perfectly sound aircrafts from 13,000′ above the earths surface. Trust me, if you haven’t had the pleasure of falling with your friends in pure air I recommend you do so. It’s proven to cure your mind of all the petty mental obstacles we create for ourselves and is guaranteed to put you in the living moment. I loved every spent dollar at the drop zone and every raffle ticket sacrificed, which gave me 75 new intervals of fast paced fun and the freedom of flight with my friends. In general, skydiving may not be the solution to your financial debt problems or accumulating bills but I once heard it cured cancer for someone… It’s science, don’t question it!

Lodi Flight

Once the plane engines quieted and I speed off into the distance back towards Moab, Utah my mind had time adjust back to the desert momentarily. As soon as I got back home I shared a loving embrace with my beautiful girlfriend and promptly rode off into the sunset with her on yet another adventure down south toward Puerto Rico. We spent close to a month practicing traditional yoga, acro yoga, slacklining, climbing, surfing, exploring and dancing with many wonderful people at the Redefining Balance retreat that my dear friend Adi Carter hosts every year. If you’re ever wondering how to spend your January or February months, and you have a week or more of freedom to indulge yourself (preferably as much time as possible) I highly recommend booking a cheap ticket down to this wonderful island paradise where you’re guaranteed to be immersed in an overwhelming amount of natural beauty and radical people all around. I kid you not, this little island hosts a huge abundance of natural waterfalls, jungles, beaches and island culture in all directions of its small land occupancy on this planet. Adi is also a really great teacher, masseus and yoga master who will point you in any direction you’re looking to seek out better balance, beauty and relaxation to spice up your life. Seriously, just message her and she’ll steer you in a good direction I’m sure… So to put things simply, I spent many weeks improving my balancing skills, playing in the tropical blue waters of the ocean and sharing continuous smiles with amazing people. A trip that was also worth every penny spent and a momentary detriment to my bank account… After many layovers and several more commercial flights I once again landed back in my home desert playground of sand and stone in Moab, Utah.

Demonstrating both balance and beauty, Adi Carter shows off her mad skills waterlining in Puerto Rico during this last years "Redefining Balance" retreat in Rincon. Many thanks and praise for bringing your awesome energy and wisdom during this radical experience.

Demonstrating both balance and beauty, Adi Carter shows off her mad skills waterlining in Puerto Rico during this last years “Redefining Balance” retreat in Rincon. Many thanks and praise for bringing your awesome energy and wisdom during this radical experience.

With only two days of getting settled back in my own bed I began packing again for another trip, one that swept me off toward Arizona where I started a new chapter of adventure filming and producing for an upcoming web series called Exit Point. I’m now currently in the process of following and documenting the life of some of my talented female BASE jumping/wingsuit flying friends as they travel the globe and jump off of various objects into space. Collectively they’re an awesome bunch of people who come from different backgrounds and share a committed passion of exploring human flight. How this project came to be is a funny story, but the gist of it goes like this… I put forth an idea back in December to a filming friend about wanting to document a series following a group of multi-sport female athletes as they traveled the world seeking out adventures through rock climbing, highlining, and BASE jumping. From this seed sprouted the real opportunity to actually pursue such a dream. Now we have an assembled team of athletes, a filming/traveling budget and several sponsors who have allowed this idea to take off and I’ve been busy filming and editing footage ever since. This new series will debut at the end of this month on the Limitless Channel, alongside another film project I’m spearheading documenting the life of “Sketchy” Andy Lewis. Andy has been leading the movement and progression of both highlining and BASE jumping for more than 7 years now and I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of the adventure for a good chunk of that time. As a group of talented friends and athletes here in Moab, calling ourselves the Moab Monkeys, we’ve also been traveling the globe establishing new highlines in exotic locations, jumping off fixed objects with parachutes and documenting the experience along the way. Our shenanigans have caught the attention of many TV networks and have been turning heads from several interests groups for a while now, which has lead to this new experience of paid adventures and a creative new web series also premiering at the end of this month.

Flying

Chasing down a Dream

To launch this film project with Andy we decided to start off with a bang… Inspired by the incredible edit produced by Seb Montaz and the “Skyliners“, who made the first, but unsuccessful attempts, to walk the highest slackline between two moving hot air balloons several weeks ago in Spain, we were psyched to give this challenge a go. This project was an incredible feat to tackle and through their initial exploratory efforts we were able to repeat it with some rigging modifications to make the highline a little more manageable to walk. The whole story of how this all came to be, how in 24 hours 24 different professionals were assembled in Las Vegas to attempt this stunt is an incredible tale to tell. I won’t try to put it all in words here but detailed video edits will be published soon to give evidence of our adventure. In essence, we quickly assembled our own team of world-class wingsuit pilots, BASE jumpers, highliners, Las Vegas balloon pilots, aerial performers, riggers and cameramen to give this experience a shot and it was executed with perfection. Documented by the Fenom Creative production team, which I’m now a part of, the end result was an awesome success of epic gravity sport shenanigans with an aerial Cirque du Soleil show high above the ground. The whole adventure will be posted on-line as of the 25th of this month, so stay tuned for more links to see the whole story of how it evolved and came to realization. For the time being, Cody Tuttle and myself edited and released a short trailer showing a glimpse of what happened on that day of February 18th, 2014 high above the deserts of Las Vegas, Nevada. It can be seen at the top of this post or viewed by CLICK HERE. This is only the beginning of a big adventure that is taking on more momentum and creativity over time with both the Exit Point team and “Sketchy” Andy Lewis.

Balloon Jumps

Sarah Watson chasing down Scotty Bob on our first project video shoot at Skydive Arizona.

Aside from a million details left out here and there, that’s the run of things as they happened since November of last year. As mentioned, keep checking back as I continue sharing links to the upcoming videos and adventures of the Exit Point team of female bad asses and “Sketchy” Andy Lewis’s crazy antics across the globe. To everyone out there in the world, stay psyched and keep charging the skies and earth wherever you are. Much love to all!

~Brian Mosbaugh

A Tribute to Mario Richard: A Life of Passion and Adventure

 

Death is inevitable. We all come in the door and out another at some mysterious time. The reality of not being invincible remains a commonality for all mortal beings where death eventually confronts us in the end… During the past 10 days, international headlines have bleed regularly as 7 BASE jumpers/wingsuit pilots have died flying from various cliffs in different parts of the world while pushing the limits of human flight. Tragically so, a recent addition to this growing list happened to be a local Moab hero, and one of the most talented jumpers worldwide who boasted an impressive history of over 20 years in the sport without any severe injuries. This discussion of risk vs reward has always been a common topic of discussion amongst the adventure sports community, which understands these risks far too well, as participants take on a high level of commitment in their passionate outdoor pursuits. Due to all the recent fatalities I felt inclined to share some perspectives on life and death as a whole, and provide some insight to the stories that are created in between.

It’s easy to attribute mistakes and death in the BASE world to inexperience and a lack of awareness, but when one of the most accomplished pioneers of the sport goes in, your mind can feel a bit jolted and confused about personal risk assessment decisions. This question of risk vs reward that comes up seems even more pertinent than ever before, leading to new ways of approaching everyday circumstances for some of us. The death of a friend or family member is so very real, more so than any personal injury or temporary physical pain, because it penetrates to the very soul of everyone around you, your family and the community. It illustrates tangibly the incredible influence that everyone has on each other in this world. While sustaining a life of adventure, death hides behind every corner you approach, leading its participants to think differently, live differently and appreciate all aspects of daily life differently. Confronting mental obstacles, physical set backs and potentialy fatal scenarios regularly, at some point puts you in a position of balancing the unknown outcomes of your personal decisions with the adventure you’ve committed to. When pushing the extremes in high risk sports, life and death simply become a bigger part of your daily thought process and chosen path. You begin to ask, what are your real motivations? At what point is the pursuit of adventure worth the outcome of not coming back on your next expedition? The questions go on and on and I don’t claim to know the universal answers, just the personal ones… There exists no universal response, in fact, but at some point when you’re putting it all on the line you have to be brutally honest about what you’re seeking in life. Is the pursuit of freedom worth dying for?… For some of us it is. This distinction is inherently what defines our personalities as extreme athletes and we accept the give and take of living so fully, while losing so much from time to time.

Reflecting on the recent death of Mario Richard, one of the most genuinely talented and unscathed BASE jumpers/skydivers/wingsuit pilots worldwide, this topic becomes very personal and emotional. I’ve always resorted to the poetic response that a life well lived is better than a life never lived at all, and I often find this to be the common cultural thread of connection in this adventure sports community. In the words of a dear Australian friend, Luke Chappell, who lived and died for the sport of BASE jumping, “everyone dies mate, not everyone lives.” Despite the roller coaster of feelings and emotions between friendships and partnerships living with heavy risks, you start to see the guiding philosophy behind these athletes and compassionate human beings. Accepting the fragility of life and the ever passing moments of time, we’re forced to consider that our physical lives will eventually end at any moment… Not necessarily tomorrow or the next year, but maybe today. Retirement plans begin to seem a scam and organizing life for the very distant future starts to feel like a distraction from living fully in the moment. This lifestyle of flight and gravity is what Read more

Behind the Lens

 

Life as a nomadic adventurer has no defined path or “how to” book on finding success. A lot of my personal experience in trying to “make a living” with this traveling lifestyle is built on the foundation of following my own intuition, committing to the adventure and trusting that it all works out in the end. There are moments of doubt and periods where I feel a bit disoriented without a real schedule to abide by, but the flip side of this coin is a self-directed path where I’m moving in unexpected directions of joy and new terrain. Throughout the many years of traveling out of my vehicle seeking various opportunities to play in nature, I’ve stumbled across many groups of interesting and uniquely gifted people who often think, act and live outside of the box. A modern tribe of pseudo-rebels and trouble makers defining their own rules to life, often far from the concrete jungles and confined indoor cubicles of urbanized society. Most of them happen to be outstandingly creative and coordinated athletes, while others are inspiring artists and free spirits who live by a similar code of passion in everything they do… I’ve concluded this to be the recipe for a truly meaningful life of creation, and I’m continually surprised by the many forms it manifests all around me. Whether your passion is growing a garden or walking a slackline high above the ground, it seems whenever you dedicate your life to cultivating meaning through personal action and interaction, a positive life is carved out in front of you. Decisions and experiences tend to gravitate toward a community of like minded people on a similar path of happiness and progression, and this is the real source of momentum that keeps the wheels spinning and the engine turning over time.

So who is Kyle Berkompas?… Many years ago I found myself in the desert of Moab during the Thanksgiving season, at yet another highline gathering of balanced athletes and artists from around the world. It was there that I noticed an unfamiliar face amongst the small accumulated crowd, which at that time was something of a rarity since our family of slackliners was even smaller and more close knit then. The popularity of Moab as a highline mecca, just 3 years ago, was still hidden under the radar and these gatherings were pretty small, exclusive and lesser known. When I first saw Kyle he was on the edge of a cliff, assembling a long camera crane for an upcoming video shoot with Andy Lewis. I became suddenly aware that a high budget film was being made and Kyle was at the forefront of documenting the slacklife-style which we had all been living. Upon striking up conversation, I learned he was working for Sender Films and was creating a piece on Andy which would later be featured in the Reel Rock film tour traveling the globe. We started working and spending time together then and I offered to help with the production over the next week… I think there was a moment of realization that came with this, that slacklining was slowly blowing up in popularity and the media coverage about our adventure lifestyle would eventually become a bigger catalyst for spreading our balanced gospel worldwide. Since that day, Kyle and I have cultivated a great friendship and we occasionally get the opportunity to team up on video projects together, primarily documenting the progression of the Moab Monkeys and other inspiring athletes who push the boundaries of outdoor adventure.

 

Over the years, Kyle’s camera skills have become more refined and his ability to get the epic shot in any outdoor setting has exponentially improved with his evolving craft. From commercial shoots with Alex Honnold to his upcoming film Exposure Vol 1, it seems Kyle is always traveling the globe documenting the most progressive achievements with the best “extreme” athletes alive today. Currently working for Chuck Fryberger Films and doing freelance projects on the side for large companies, Kyle is a committed artist ready to document the adventure anytime, anywhere. The success he has created over the years continues to inspire me as an aspiring professional cameraman and friend, and I’m very proud to support and share his work here at Slackline Media.

The above short videos are samples of his recently edited work with the Moab Monkeys and other desert nomads who seasonally call this dry paradise home. I was fortunate enough to be hired on as the camera assistant/behind the scenes documenter for these projects, during which time I learned a lot about the industry and what it takes to capture adventure sports from unique perspectives. Utilizing state of the art camera equipment and progressive flying technologies, we teamed up with the amazing aerial filming experts at SkySight, based out of Boulder, CO, to capture these incredible sceneries from never before seen views using the RED Epic camera… For those of you unfamiliar to the world of modern camera equipment, this technological set-up with flying octocopter included, costs around $70,000 in total. The RED Epic is capable of capturing digital video at an incredibly impressive resolution of 5K and at mind boggling slow speeds for ultra awesome slow-motion sequences! This was the first time in history that these two technologies had been paired up together! It was an absolute honor to have them record the evolving shenanigans of the Moab Monkeys and Mason Earle’s newest/hardest crack project in our desert backyard. So as usual, sit back and crank up the volume on these presented short films! If you feel the love, share them and spread the works of Kyle Berkompas, SkySight and the Moab Monkeys as we constantly push the limits of outdoor adventure and human achievements.

To check out more work from SkySight click HERE

What’s going on in and outside the office of Chuck Fryberger Films click HERE

Stranger Than Fiction EpicTV Short Film Festival

~Brian Mosbaugh

WORLD RECORD FREE SOLO HIGHLINE WALK: 180′ without a leash

 

On August 17th of 2011, Andy Lewis officially became the first person to walk 180 feet on a slackline suspended more than 200 dizzying feet above the desert floor… WITHOUT A LEASH. To those of you who don’t understand climbing or slackline terminology, this is referred to as free soloing, where the practitioner is void of any back-up connection or protection to the slackline outside of his/her own ability to stay balanced on top of it step by step. The options here are: to either flawlessly walk the line from one end to the other, to fall but subsequently latch onto the line for dear life, or the the third alternative, being the most obvious and most dreaded, is death. It’s a specialized discipline of highlining which the majority of all slackliners and highliners world-wide will never attempt, which isolates an even smaller community into another sub-section of the most trained and confident balanced practitioners. It requires a sharp mind, a trained body, flawless movements and an unparalleled confidence in your own ability to fully live in the moment and respond to the slacklines energy. For many years, Andy has been developing these skills to achieve this type of perfected feat in a relatively safe fashion. I say “relatively safe” because nothing is guaranteed in this pursuit, but risk can be mitigated with proper preparation. Don’t be fooled, however, despite his composure in the above video Andy actually did bail/catch this monstrous highline on two different attempts before successfully walking its full length without a leash.

There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes leading up to this accomplishment, which is rarely acknowledged in a short 4 minute video. Having the courage to confront falling twice on this line, while still mustering the energy to try a third time is something poetically crazy and beautiful. It was somewhat nerve racking to film this walk on my behalf, but considering Andy’s long training background, my experience around his risky shenanigans and bold decisions, accompanied by the events leading up to this day I was ultimately supportive of the dream he had been chasing down for so many years. After walking the “Great Bongzilla” over 10 different times with various types of leashes, offering minimal safety and protection, and having free-soloed over 60 different highlines that same year without injury or death, it was obvious if anyone was prepared enough for such a challenge it was Andy himself. He was physically capable of walking the line without any safety aid, he just had to put confidence into action… That being said, understanding something is possible and actually experiencing it as a LIVED reality are two very distinct achievements and epiphanies to have. Knowing that you can confidently walk a slackline without stumbling or having a mis-step 99% of the time is one thing, actually doing it is quite another. With the added mental stress of exposure alongside the fact that your body is absolutely free of any attachment whatsoever can be difficult to manage physically and mentally. It requires an advanced level of focus matched with a philosophy of detachment, which allows you to fully let go of the future and only acknowledge the present moment. This, I assure you from experience, is a very different mental place to be in while trying to calmly balance across a single inch-wide piece of webbing, which moves with the wind and is constantly oscillating up and down/left to right because of your body’s response.

The above video piece is an original production put together by Andy Lewis for EpicTV. It features the above mentioned current world-record free solo walk at its conclusion with an awesome soundtrack of lyrics and guitar beats that match the tone and narration of the theme. It was an honor to be there that day, to witness, to document and be a part of history being made right in front of me. There were no commercial interests involved, or any other bullshit dramas to dilute the purity of what was happening on a very deep level for Andy. Step by step, he made a dream manifest into reality after years of perseverance and dedicated hard work on the line. The setting was merely a handful of friends gathered around a small campfire in the desert playing some music on the guitar. We were doing what we all love most, which was simply balancing on slacklines in space, isolated in the deep desert environment of beautiful Moab. I’m proud to say, this is the exact expression of what Slacklife has come to be for me and my fellow monkey friends. We live and die to fulfill our biggest dreams and try to never underestimate the moment to moment happenings all around us. Cheers to a life well lived, a dream come true and many more adventures to come along the way…

~Brian Mosbaugh