At Sender One, one of our core values is to share our passions with one another. Recently Sender One staff member, Jessica Cisneros, shared her passion for filmmaking with the climbing community by creating a short-film documentary, Ascent – The Life of a Climber. We asked Jessica a few questions to learn more about her passion for filmmaking and rock climbing. Check out her film, and what she had to say, below!
How long have you been climbing? What about filmmaking?
I have a weird relationship with climbing. It is very off and on based on the complexity of my schedule and the seasons of life. As of right now, it is very much on and I am loving it! If I had to say a time, it’s been about 3 years. Filmmaking, however, I have been doing for 2 years consistently. Prior to that I was a video editor for 5 years.
What inspired you to you to combine your passions of climbing and filmmaking?
They were both easily accessible! I think sometimes as filmmakers, we get stuck having to produce a story from a narrative that we don’t fully believe in or support. Under those circumstances, it becomes difficult to create. If I was going to be the pre-editor of this project, I had to be 100% behind the concept.
What made you want to make a film about climbing?
When I was brainstorming on ideas to produce a small documentary for school, I wanted to educate on a topic that would be attention grabbing! Documentaries can be a bit boring sometimes and I wanted to give people something enjoyable to watch that they could still learn from. I began working on this way before Free Solo, and other rad climbing docs, and the idea felt very original since these others didn’t exist yet. I scripted, carefully sought out my interviewees, pre-selected outdoor climbing locations, and prepared the schedule to get shooting with a couple of my classmates.
What was something you learned while making this film?
I learned many things while creating this piece. I learned about the dedication and passion from a climber’s perspective, and how important it is to preserve our crags. Overall, I learned that regardless of the type of climbing you engage in, practicing minimizing risk and not making rash decisions is extremely important – your life depends on it.