Courtesy photo / Chuck Fryberger Films
Mason Earle works his way up a crack just outside of Moab, Utah, in “Exposure Vol. 1.”

If you go

What: “Exposure Vol. 1”

When: Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 8 p.m.

Where: Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., Boulder

Cost: $13 at Boulder Rock Club, Neptune Mountaineering and The Spot; $15 at Boulder Theater

More info: After the film, there will be giveaways and a party at Shine, 2027 13th St.

When it comes to making climbing films, it’s convenient to be in Colorado.

“Boulder seems to be sort of a Mecca for professional climbers,” said Kyle Berkompas, filmmaker and director of Chuck Fryberger Films’ first video in the Exposure Series, “Exposure Vol. 1.”

“All these athletes live here and we have really close, good access to them.”

The local athletes Berkompas is referring to include three of the seven athletes featured in the latest climbing film premiering at Boulder Theater on Wednesday at 8 p.m.

“Exposure Vol. 1,” isn’t your typical climbing film, he says. Yes, there are problems and routes, and struggles and success, but Berkompas wanted to showcase the emotion behind the sport and what the athletes experience both on and off the rock.

“We wanted to show emotions, failure and psychological struggle,” he said. “We are really trying to dig into the psyche of these athletes — see what makes them tick, see how they are able to throw themselves at these projects for this long.”

For example: The segment on Boulder’s Angie Payne’s focuses on her attempt at the bouldering problem Freaks of the Industry, which she has been battling for three seasons. The problem is not only a physical challenge for her, but a mental one, too.

“The film takes a look at my process of projecting this problem and the inner workings of my slightly crazy mind as I throw myself at it,” Payne said.

Berkompas said within the many feats these athletes attempted — including Dave Graham on a 20-foot overhang containing two V15 problems stacked on top of each other, Payne’s V13 in Rocky Mountain National Park, and Cheyne Lempe and his partner Dave Allfrey’s attempt at The Royal Flush, a 5.12 route that spans 4,000 vertical feet on Mt. Fitz Roy in Patagonia — there is plenty of reality. “We see failure, we see anxiety, anger, depression, frustration,” he said.

“All these emotions are sometimes used in climbing films, but we’ll see it a lot more in this one than we ever have before.”

Along with the reality of struggling in the world of climbing and bouldering, he strove to create a film with amazing shots and top cinematography. In a segment with Boulder local Matt Wilder, he succeeds on a first ascent of a 5.12b-route on the Black Wall up at Mount Evans. “The wall is about 700 feet tall and tops out at an altitude of around 13,000 feet,” Wilder said. “The alpine setting definitely makes the climbing more committing with the potential of severe lightning storms and snow or hail. My route connects a collection of beautiful corners, cracks and face moves.”

And, Berkompas hopes, beautiful scenes in the film.

Berkompas said “Exposure Vol. 1” will provide inspiration for climbers and non-climbers alike. “We’re still staying true to our popular climbing audience that knows climbing, but mainstream people can still take away a lot.”

Contact Mattie Schuler at

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