Meru made the jump from film festival darling to silver screen surprise earlier this summer, and this month it has come to home theaters via iTunes and Amazon Video. The film follows mountaineers Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk as they attempt the first summit of the Shark’s Fin of Mount Meru in India. It racked up accolades at Mountainfilm and Banff Film Festival and was widely praised by the climbing community. It also debuted last week in the number one slot on the iTunes documentary chart and, on November 11, collected four Cinema Eye Honor nominations.
“The trick was to craft a film that spoke a universal truth that everyone could relate to and make sure that it still speaks authentically to the core community as well,” Chin told Outside on Wednesday. “That spread—from ten-year-old girls who felt like they got something out of it, to salty old alpinists—means a lot to me.”
To celebrate the film’s Amazon release, Chin, who co-directed the film with his wife E. Chai Vasarhelyi, hosted a Twitter Q&A where he answered everything from "Do you like Alex Honnold?" (Yes, very much) to "What do you always travel with?" (Music).
“It’s an interesting way to engage the audience because I think there are a lot of people who have questions and you don’t always get an opportunity to connect with them,” Chin said.
Here are some of our favorite responses:
@thebenshanahan asked: What is the most dangerous climb you've ever done?
The direct North Face on Mount Everest. It's a 9000ft face that starts at 20,000.Lots of exposure to avalanches... https://t.co/6fQkA6wWSe— Jimmy Chin (@jimkchin) November 11, 2015
@ADKinLA asked: Seems you've been everywhere! If you could only go back to 1 spot where would you go?
I would love to go back to the Garwhal Himalayas. Besides Meru, there are lots of other incredible mountains there. https://t.co/UCrCVnA2c0— Jimmy Chin (@jimkchin) November 11, 2015
@slow_beast asked: How do you carry your DSLR so that it's quickly accessible without impeding free movement? P.S. Meru was fantastic!
I've tried a lot of things but I still just carry my camera in a shoulder bag slung across my shoulder. https://t.co/tviLiofacO— Jimmy Chin (@jimkchin) November 11, 2015
@thebenshanahan asked: What risks are you willing to take to get the perfect shot?
I follow my gut instincts and draw from a lot of experience. I never want to endanger myself or my subjects. https://t.co/dH7O4di1tD— Jimmy Chin (@jimkchin) November 11, 2015
@HiRezLife asked: What's next for you? What camera do you use?
More films and photography. I love what I do and always want to improve. Most often the Canon 5D Mark III. https://t.co/1ECCmdOy5T— Jimmy Chin (@jimkchin) November 11, 2015
@Bjmack asked: A lot of you guys have spouses and kids. How do you balance that quest for adventure and being a responsible husband and dad?
Try to balance risking too much and risking too little. Life is short and both are significant risks.... https://t.co/Pyhk0QE8Im— Jimmy Chin (@jimkchin) November 11, 2015
@DrewBattleson asked: If you had to call somewhere besides Jackson home, where would that be?
I would probably call NYC my part time home as well....but my heart is always in Yosemite.... https://t.co/RVAoGkfFaR— Jimmy Chin (@jimkchin) November 11, 2015
@heythorp asked: Do you hate @AlexHonnold as much as @cedarwright does?
@ntoinettetadena asked: I'm studying your work for my photography class, how do you feel about that?
Great! Hopefully you're inspired to get out and go for it. I grew up in rural MN. If I can do it so can you.... https://t.co/bNcWWzTGWc— Jimmy Chin (@jimkchin) November 11, 2015
@phaedrus1988 asked: What advice would you give to an aspiring climber? And Meru was phenomenal!!!
Have fun with it and enjoy the time outside with your friends. Ultimately, it is really that simple for me. https://t.co/VLI9WCb7ug— Jimmy Chin (@jimkchin) November 11, 2015