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Boulder’s Matt Wilder climbs Cheating Reality, 5.14a R, on the Devil’s Thumb, in the Flatirons. His ascent is featured in the new film CORE, which premieres at the Boulder Theater on Wednesday night.
If you go

What: “CORE”

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Boulder Theater

Cost: $15

More info: chuckfryberger.com; bouldertheater.com

When Chuck Fryberger decided to make his next climbing film, he knew he’d travel far and wide for some segments. But for others, he didn’t have to wander far from his base in Golden for good filmmaking fodder.

Fryberger’s newest flick, “CORE,” does circle the globe. But it also features a couple of Boulder climbers and a first ascent on an iconic rock on the Flatiron skyline — the Devil’s Thumb. The movie’s premiere is Wednesday night at the Boulder Theater.

“I tried to pick people and events that summed up what I thought was awesome about the sport,” Fryberger said. “That’s not necessarily the highest-graded achievements, or the most hype or the highest cash-paying sponsors. But it’s my vision of the athletes who do the sport in a good style. Because for me, style is important.”

One of those climbers doing the sport in good style in the movie is Boulder’s Jamie Emerson, who is a route-setter at Movement Climbing and Fitness and runs B3bouldering.com.

“He’s 32, and he’s more motivated than most 17-year-olds to go bouldering,” Fryberger said. “He’s not the strongest, but he’s one of the coolest people on the scene. He’s passionate about it, and he’s reached a high level by sheer effort.”

Emerson said Fryberger’s focus in this film is a “real” outlook on climbing that he thinks many people will be able to relate to.

“A lot of the movies that come out, they’re in the Himalayas on some snowy peak, and for a lot of people, that’s not their experience” of climbing, Emerson said.

Fryberger says the film is more focused on characters — the people — but along the way, he captures big achievements in the climbing world, like Matt Wilder’s ascent of Cheating Reality (5.14a R) on the Devil’s Thumb, in the Flatirons.

Still, Wilder, a Ph.D. candidate in computer science at CU, said when Fryberger was shooting, it was clear he was trying to go deeper than just showing a particular ascent.

“When he and I would go out and shoot, we would shoot a lot of climbing, but he shot a lot of personal stuff just trying to paint a better picture of who I am and how the rest of my life fits into climbing,” Wilder said.

Fryberger got his start in filmmaking when he was 16 by shooting video of his friends.

“It just so happened that a lot of my buddies were quickly turning into international superstars,” he said at the crag. It paid his way through college and paid for climbing trips.

“It’s kind of tough to get to some of these places where climbing happens,” he said. “But I was out there anyway, because I was climbing. On my rest days or in between tries, I would pull out a mini-DVD camera, and it didn’t take too long before I realized there was a market for this kind of stuff.”

Fryberger graduated from the mini-DVD camera long ago. For “CORE,” he bucked up and shot it 4K ultra-high definition, which is immensely expensive, he said.

“I felt a desire to try to capture not just the athletic achievements, but the landscape and the lifestyle that surrounds my athletes,” he said.

Wilder said it was probably hard to go wrong shooting the Devil’s Thumb, though it might have been a challenge to do it justice.

“I’m just pretty excited to share with the rest of the world what this climb looks like, because I think it’s just an extraordinary climb, and I’m super psyched to have done it,” he said.

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