My sister was going to compete at open nationals this year and I was going to tag along. I decided that I was going to make a highlights reel so I emailed Krista & Kynan at USA Climbing to ask for a press pass. They instead put me in contact with Jordan with the Louder than Eleven crew. He gave me a great opportunity by making me a camera operator.
Spectating? – Open Nationals 2014 Working with LT11 - Matt Grossman
The day that I arrived in sunny SoCal, the technical director Jon confirmed that I was going to be a camera operator. He asked me whether I wanted to be on a portaledge or be the ground crew. I immediately knew that I wanted to be the guy in the air. I packed some food and my walkie-talkie, got my belayer, and climbed up the back of the pillar to the ledge. I checked in with Jon and got ready. I adjusted the camera and a few minutes later we were live. The LT11 crew was broadcasting the event live so that anybody could watch it at the same time that it was happening. It was a great experience getting to see how a real production crew works.
On the second day the portaledge wasn’t up because we could get all of the shots from the ground. So, I was at the back of the venue shooting straight on. This meant that I was able see everything all the time. This was better than the day before because now there would be no downtime. We shot speed and finals on the second day. The best Russian speed climber who holds the current world record was in town during the comp and decided to drop in for the speed event. In the final round, he was up against John Brosler, from Texas, who had the previous USA record at 4.15 seconds. Apparently, stepping up the competition motivated John and he ended up breaking his previous US speed record with a time of a 3.95 seconds. It was truly an amazing experience witnessing the speed record being broken. Overall the second day was great and a lot shorter than the first day.
Watching the US Open Nationals event was awesome because I wasn’t competing or being nervous before a big climbing comp. As well I had a great time working with a professional production crew and being part of a Live stream event.