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Adventure Video of the Week: Into the Mind

How deep can an action-packed adventure movie get? A new bar has been set, at least for teaser video and text.

Blur the lines between dream state and reality, as you perceive the world through the minds of many. Into the Mind contemplates the experiences passed between mentors and peers to paint a philosophical portrait of human kind. What drives us to overcome challenge? How do we justify risk? What forces are at the core of a mountain addiction? Unique athlete segments over a multitude of mountain sport genres depict the connectivity of Earth, and window into never seen before moments. Explore how we begin our perception of self, construct the foundations of confidence, and are ultimately led up the path of self-actualization.

As Buddha once said, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”

Into the Mind is about becoming.

 This week, Sherpas Cinema, the makers of All.I.Can, just released the above psychedelic dollop so audiences could get a taste of Into the Mind, their new feature film set to debut in the fall of 2013. The ambitious new flick asks a number of big questions, and will go to some of the most recognizable names in the adventure sports world to find answers, including skier J.P. Auclair, climber Jimmy Chin, snowboarder Xavier de Le Rue, and kayaker Rush Sturges.

After trying to wrap my head around the teaser—at least that's my excuse for spending an afternoon watching and rewatching the video and reading and rereading the text—I called up and emailed co-directors Dave Mossop and Eric Crosland to find out more.

The movie came about because Mossop has kept the revolutionary seed of an idea in the back of his head since he was a cinema grom. “I remember in film school my professor mentioning that big Hollywood producers usually turn down scripts that include 'dream-scape’ scenes,” says Mossop. “I was outraged and immediately wanted to prove them wrong.”

Since then, Hollywood films have employed the tactic with success, from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to Inception. Mossop fed off that, and decided it was finally time to do his own thing. “I love dreams and the metaphorical connections they seem to manifest,” says Mossop. “It’s the realm of unlimited creativity.”

The filmmakers picked icons pushing the limits of different sports so they could make an overarching adventure movie about making decisions and sharing experiences in numerous environments. They plan to connect those sports, people, and places through at least one key element. “We also really wanted to take a look at the water cycles on earth,” says Crosland. “The interpretation of all the different water cycles in every action sport genre—skiing, snowboarding, surfing, kayaking—all heavily interface on water.”

The only things more impressive than the big questions the team is asking and the quiver of athletes they are featuring are the tools and amount of time they are putting into crafting their masterpiece.

Crosland estimates the production company is about halfway through roughly 10 months of shooting in more than a half-dozen locations, which range from Bolivia, to British Columbia, to Nepal, to Alaska. To get the shots they want, they have assembled an array of gyrostabilized cameras to be mounted under helicopters, partnered with Kessler on a range of cranes and dollies, and built a custom six-foot long swing arm to get those trippy rotating shots of the horizon. They’ll be using all of those tools to test the visual boundaries of what an adventure film can be.

“I think the main idea is that everything that happens in your mind also happens in your real world environment,” says Crosland. “We were really looking at visuals of nature repeating themselves on macro and micro scales."

For the next year or so, they’ll be seeing all of those macro and micro shots in their sleep, maybe until their actual heads are spinning, if for no other reason than they’re doing little more than filming and editing and filming and editing. “The film has, and will, require thousands of hours of work,” says Mossop. “We have no lives.”

—Joe Spring