“Only the Essential” documentary invites you to experience the Pacific Crest Trail

by | Jan 14, 2016 | Community, Video

Pacific Northwest filmmaker, Colin Arisman of Wild Confluence Films, first treated us to a taste of his documentary, Only the Essential, at our last Collabor8 event. The film documents his journey hiking the entirety of the legendary Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, a trip that covered 2,668 miles over 5 months. It is a story about endurance, exploration, and reconnecting to nature. As much as the film invites you to step outside, it is also a reminder to appreciate what we have, to not take things for granted, and to remember the reality that exists beneath the façade of modern society.

Of particular interest to photographers and filmmakers is how the film was shot. As weight was obviously a big concern, Colin opted to shoot primarily with a Sony RX100, which he says offered a good balance between sensor size and portability. Additional photography was captured with a GoPro. One particularly impressive time lapse shot was created by placing the GoPro on an egg timer in order to a achieve slow pan, which worked surprisingly well. This film, and the still images that were captured, are proof that the right gear for the job isn’t always the biggest, most expensive option.

After a successful festival tour, the full 40 minute film is now available for viewing online. You can also read Colin’s write-up about the adventure at Outdoor Project.

Header image: Colin Arisman

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