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NEW REVIEW: Progression DVD from Big Up

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 Durbs 02 Nov 2009
[Progression DVD from Big Up Productions, 3 kb]I recently purchased (and subsequently watched) the new Big Up Productions film Progression.

The film offers a good range of climbing and as the name suggests attempts to show the progression of rock climbing in this current age.

It introduces Adam Ondra, including one of the finest bits of climbing footage I've seen with what felt like 5-minutes of perfectly tracked climbing with Ondra racing up one of Sharma's new routes with such fluidity. Truly inspiring...

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=2212

STAFF EDIT: This Review has now been posted in the gear section of UKC as an official review. The review now includes a Youtube Trailer.

Thanks go to Durbs for this review.

 remus Global Crag Moderator 02 Nov 2009
In reply to Durbs: Might be worth sending this to jack et al to see if they want to turn this in to a 'proper' review, its good enough.

A quick note on the technical problems you mentioned at the start: i had similar difficulties but it played perfectly in quicktime. so anyone looking for a quick fix: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/
OP Durbs 02 Nov 2009
In reply to remtherockclimber:

Ah - but I hate QuickTime with a passion, almost as bad as RealPlayer *spit*
 Morgan Woods 02 Nov 2009
In reply to Durbs:

cheers for that....i've been looking forward to it but will probably wait for the DVD.....any idea when this will be available in the UK?
 nathanmanc 02 Nov 2009
In reply to Morgan Woods:
Good review, great DVD. Worth getting the extra's as there is some really good footage on there as well.

Out now, you can buy here.. http://www.outside.co.uk/cgi-bin/psProdDet.cgi/1846||1846~@c~@b|0|user|1,0,0,1|1
Watched it last night.

Really good stuff. Wasn't too sure at the beginning, I can't usually get into sport climbing stuff on DVD but the footage of Ondra was really inspiring. Really enjoyed the footage of Tomy Caldwell trying his Yosimite project probably my favourite bit of the DVD.

The team USA stuff was pretty funny and quite impressive for a single seasons work! Enjoyed "E stands for EXTREME hur hur hur".

By the time it got back to Sharma on Jumbo Love I was reduced to shouting at the TV, and was forced to reconsider if I thought sport climbing footage really couldn't be produced in an interesting way.

Killer stuff.
OP Durbs 03 Nov 2009
In reply to willworkforfoodjnr:

Heh - spooky. HoP and UKC - might even manage real life sometime
In reply to Durbs: We will for sure if you get to the BJC next year, we're organising it in Huddersfield, get your self pre-reged!
 Silum 03 Nov 2009
In reply to Durbs:

Thanks for the review, agree with most of it.

Its not 1080 HD though.

I too had the sync problems but worked well in VLC and Quicktime.

Totally agree with the Ondra footage, its simply incredible.
OP Durbs 03 Nov 2009
In reply to Silum:

Is it not? I looked at the resolution of the footage and it said 1080. Maybe I'm going mad. Will check
 Pino 03 Nov 2009
I have the DVD and I must say the extras are great, too. Probably another hour of entertainment.
 alx 04 Nov 2009
In reply to Pino:
A bit bizarre and a contradiction i know, but for the first time ever I found myself a bit "Sharma'd Out" and at the same time he completely makes this DVD.

His exploits, talent and strength are the same as every other piece of film available, no progression there. However there is a single instance that makes the film. Sharma for once looking all too human when he has a moment at the bottom of Jumbo Love, the pressure of the cameras and everyone else around him simply waiting for him to climb it. This one human moment crowned the film for me.

Other exceptional moments is the competition coverage and Paxti's gruelling training regime.

This DVD displays moments when these rock gods and goddesses behave and feel exactly like us.

The net effect is I identify more with this DVD and the people in it than say something like some of the Dosage DVD's (which are not bad DVD's!).
 racodemisa 05 Nov 2009
In reply to alx:
> (In reply to Pino)
>
>
> Sharma for once looking all too human when he has a moment at the bottom of Jumbo Love, the pressure of the cameras and everyone else around him simply waiting for him to climb it. This one human moment crowned the film for me.
>
> Other exceptional moments is the competition coverage and Paxti's gruelling training regime.
>
> This DVD displays moments when these rock gods and goddesses behave and feel exactly like us.
>
> The net effect is I identify more with this DVD and the people in it than say something like some of the Dosage DVD's (which are not bad DVD's!).

yes I agree with your sentiments,overall the production and the usual feel for a coherent narrative makes this DVD exceptional.
My only critique is that it seems to infer the european comp climbers just climb on plastic,that there motivations are just competetive and that US sponsored climbing is somehow got more 'soul'(maybe this was Sharma making a personalised statement more than anything here-I admit).
Competition is getting very intense in Europe but alot of those climbers would be out in their vans (sponsored or not sponsored) touring europe kranking hard even if comps did'nt exist.
I feel this a distortion of the facts that for whatever reason gives a slightly negative aspect to an otherwise pleasantly diverse DVD.
My fave bit is the team America on grit,i watched Hard Grit afterwards and just thought wow!
In reply to Durbs:
I downloaded this from the Big Up website and watched it last night.

The download process was pretty painless and, most importantly, cheaper. 20 bucks works out at 12-13 pounds which I think is good value. Most importantly I could do the whole thing from the confort of my own home, and without having to wait 3 days for delivery of a DVD. I had a couple of issue with the audio streams using VLC, but nothing too bad. I'm not bothered by missing out DVD extras, they're not included in the main film for a reason. The quality of the HD output is noticably better than DVD, some of footage is breathtaking in it's clarity.

Suffice to say that if all climbing films were released like this, I would happily never buy a DVD (or any disk) ever again.

Right, so, onto the actual content. The film itself 90 minutes long, which is very long for a climbing film. The first 45 minutes are, frankly, superb. Sharma as always is incredibly camera friendly, as is Tommy Caldwell, who makes up for the annoying teenagers in the main bouldering section. It is at least as good as the best bits of King Lines or Dosage 4, and better than anything in Dosage 5.

Unfortunately after the half way mark the film starts to lose its way. The section following Kevin Jorgeson and crew, first on the grit and then in Bishop, feels like a separate story and doesn't segue well with the rest of the film - that's not to say that it's not good, it just sit right. Things only pick up again as we continue with the initial story and return to Sharma, this time in California.

I can't help feeling that they could have cut the middle section out and used it as a separate film. The remaining 60 minutes on their own, featuring Sharma and Caldwell as the leads, would have been much stronger film.

All in all it is a film that makes a strong case for the use of narrative in such films, and for "less is more". One can't complain about 90 minutes of excellent climbing footage for just over a tenner, but would it have been even better as two (or even three) short films, released separately for a fiver each?

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