Interview: Alpine Mockumentary

For a little fun I wrote a short interview with photographer Kaare Iverson about his plans to make an Alpine Mockumentary this summer. This is just a first glimpse; a larger piece to come will tell more about the film-maker’s goals to show both hilarity and beauty at altitude.

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(photo from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Snowpatch.jpg)

I sit at a small wooden table across from Kaare (pronounced “Korey”) Iverson. Through the large window to my right, the roof of a parked car is wet from rain and shining in lamp-light. Mist is slowly being pushed across the street onto blue awnings of downtown shops.

He says, “I want to find some high-quality magazine stock like this to print on.” His thumb holds up the edge of a page and slightly caresses it. He then carefully turns the page.

He’s wearing a collared blue flannel with his sleeves rolled up almost to his elbows. A teal blue undershirt is visible where he’s unbuttoned the two top buttons.

“So tell me about your project,” I say.

He pulls an olive from the porcelain appetizer dish and sticks it in his mouth. As he sucks on it he says, “So.” He discards the pit to continue.

He’s working with another photographer, and his long-time friend, Dan. They share styles and get along well. But, he confesses, the project is, “largely targeted to get me working at Osprey where he’s working now.”

He puts another olive in his mouth, then says, “It’s an alpinist mockumentary .” That is, it’s a film meant to poke fun at the culture of people who climb in alpine environments.

His thick brown eyebrows come together and his forehead furrows as he looks up, “God that’s good. You gotta try the little dark ones,” he says. As he sucks on the olives he puckers and his mustache becomes more pronounced.

“We came up with the idea while delirious at altitude in the Bugaboos last time.” They had thought up a natural-history feel for the film. He imitates a David Attenborough voice to playfully describe the feeding and mating habits of climbers.

Two deep lines appear between his eyebrows as he looks at me directly to explain how beautiful imagery will be vital to the film.

“What imagery?” I ask.

He pictures rivers running and ice melting and ptarmigans doing whatever ptarmigans do. He licks his fingers after swallowing yet another olive. There will be climbers in action setting up belays and climbing. He says he wants to make it, “beautiful and inspiring as well as funny.”

He talks with his elbows on the table, palms slightly cupped and fingers pointed up, moving his hands with his words, back and forth from me to him.

He looks to the table next to us. “That looks damn good,” he says, referring to the marinated chicken breast fresh from the kitchen.

I ask what inspires him about this. It’s the production of the mockumentary, and it’s an opportunity to develop a reputation as a videographer. “But,” he adds after some thought, he’s really just “thrilled to get back to the Bugaboos.”

He describes thousand-foot granite faces he wants to climb. After using his hands to show me the shape of the mountain, he shakes his head a little and closes his eyes while he says, “It’s just stunningly beautiful.”

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