‘Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike’ will be an independently-produced 2 hour documentary showcasing England’s highest summit through the course of a year featuring all those who live, work, care and play around this iconic fell.
Extrafriends caught up with its’ Director, Terry Abraham, to find out more;
– Hi Terry, welcome to Extrafriends. Tell us about your latest project, Life on a Mountain: Scafell Pike
Thanks. Well, it’s been a real labour of love I began working on over a year ago. It’s been a brainchild of mine for some time and something I’ve always wanted to see of the area. Essentially, a scenic spectacle of Scafell Pike through the seasons but featuring all the people who live by it, work by it or on it, care for it and play on it. The film will be as much about the culture around this iconic fell as well as the care and protection it receives, to the pressures it faces with tourism along with showcasing it from all angles through changing seasons
– The Lake District is a beautiful place, what are your hopes for the documentary?
I hope to engage, educate and most of all inspire people to visit and respect the Scafells area. Various well known faces will crop up in the film and reveal their love for the area, along with lesser known folk who help protect it. For example, the National Trust teams do a tremendous amount of work in the area for little money! I’m keen to show their efforts and what it entails. We’ll see the importance of sheep farming to the area – not just culturally but also how the famous Herdwicks contribute to the appearance of the fells.
And of course, amongst all that, we have the general public who I’ve been busy filming too on the rocky crags and summit. Why are they there? What does it mean to them?
Thankfully, the likes of Eric Robson, David Powell-Thompson, Joss Naylor MBE, Mark Richards, Bill Birkett and Chris Towsend to name a few have all kindly volunteered to pledge some time to film scenes within the film covering aspects such as literature, the climbing history of the fells and backpacking. It’s all rather epic in it’s scope to be honest.
It does daunt me a little at times!
– Sounds ambitious! It looks like you’ve done a ‘little bit’ of this kind of thing before though….
Not really. I’m a self-taught filmmaker and photographer. A couple of years ago I was made redundant in my previous role in an IT company. At the time I was upset and worried how I could maintain my income for my family and so on. But I plucked up the courage to give my interest in film and outdoors pursuits a go as a job! In time, I developed my skills and equipment more and which lead me to producing my first feature length video ‘The Cairngorms in Winter with Chris Townsend’ a few months ago.
That in itself helped me with the challenge of producing this Scafells film all by myself on a shoestring budget! Of course, I’ve done lots of backpacking in all weathers and seasons before and I know the Western Lakes very well. The area resonates deeply within me and so it was a bit of a no-brainer that despite the many challenges involved, I’d go for it and give the idea of this film my best shot.
– So, what help do you need to get it off the ground?
Quite simply, money. I’ve raised some from various sponsors in some shape or form and I’ve tried to raise more from the general public via Indiegogo. In exchange for the public’s donation they receive gifts. It’s how I successfully raised the funds for my previous effort ‘The Cairngorms in Winter with Chris Townsend’. Without the public, none of what I do would be happening! I’m a rookie. An indie-filmmaker if you like (though I always think that sounds so pretentious!). I’d like to think the idea of the film appeals to the public and so they wish to see it happen – just like me.
It’s their support and kindness that spurs me on in truth. No joke. The determination within me to exceed their expectations and give them joy from what I hope will be a beautiful film of a popular area runs through me every day I’m out there. No matter how hard the work involved can be. Especially, when I’m stuck in a tent for hours on end sitting out storms, or trudging slowly up a steep fell with over 30 kilograms of camping and video gear on my back.
– Is there anything else people can do, apart from donate money?
Spread the word! Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and my blog. I’m always sharing how the progress of the film is going. I often tweet pictures of my camps, talk about my day (good and bad) and their morale boosting words help me immensely. I hope it proves insightful for folk and they feel like they’ve shared a journey in the film’s production and feel more proud to have played a part in it’s development when it’s finally completed. Every penny raised for the film goes towards my camping food, travel and all the filming and editing involved.
I intend (and have done so far) to squeeze every penny out of every pound in producing this film. The hours I’ve spent on the fells are countless. And I still have several months to go including winter!
– Great stuff. Well, best of luck and thanks for having a chat!
If you’d like to support Terry and help him make Life on a Mountain a reality, here’s a link to the Indiegogo page. We definitely think it’s worthwhile!
Indie Film Focus is where we place indie films centre stage. Here at Extrafriends we celebrate Indie Films. We think the dedication it takes to put together a production with very little or no budget is highly commendable and we’ll do what we can to help make it happen. So, if you’ve got one in the pipeline and would like it to get more coverage then use the contact form to get in touch or email James and the team on firstname.lastname@example.org. And you never know, it could be the very next one we feature!