Live chat by BoldChat
  0 Items

Loading Shopping Cart
Total Items: 0 ($0.00)


Filson Survey

Would you be willing to participate in a very brief visitor survey?

(This should take less than a minute)

Thank you...
(X) CLOSE
 

Behind the Scenes: Finback Films and the Story of Ed

February 25, 2014
Filed in: Depth In The Field, Filson 101, Travel

IMG_6722

Have you seen the feature fly fishing documentary Low & Clear? If so, you’ll know exactly why it was hailed as ‘the best fly-fishing movie ever made’ by Field & Stream and why Filson was a proud sponsor of this film throughout production. As soon as the credits rolled after the first viewing, we knew we would want to work with Finback Films — the production company behind the film — again on future projects. Now, we’ve finished final editing on “Open Door to Solitude,” and five more shorts are coming soon. Watch the film first and then go behind the scenes with Tyler Hughen, a partner at Finback, as he details the story of Ed Zevely for “Open Door to Solitude.”

 

 

Preparing for the Ed shoot was a lesson in efficiency. Our original camera gear was too heavy for the horses, making it impossible to take everything we wanted to. Every pound counted, and lenses had to be culled, food cut down to a bare minimum, and the usual luxuries of a pack horse trip were replaced with batteries, camera bodies, and tripods. Even with these reductions, the packs looked ridiculous. So, to ensure the horses safety, Ed forced us to cut down to the absolute minimum. Ed didn’t care so much that a certain lens had a “look” and we couldn’t live without it. If it weighed 5 lbs. more than we could bring, that was that.

IMG_6749I’ve been on countless adventures with Ed. He’s my Stepfather and instilled the drive for adventure in me at a very young age. This trip was no different. The goal was to go up with him on an ambitious ride, and try to bottle up what he’s been doing for the last 20 years— riding solo in the San Juan Mountains for weeks at a time.IMG_6765With our gear sorted, and a small weather window open, we charged out and started riding. Ed isn’t much of a talker, and although he’s a master horseman, he doesn’t offer advice unless you ask. He did give us one rule — don’t drop the reins. If the horse accidentally steps on them, they can break their own jaw or worse.

 

Within 5 minutes, Kahlil — one of our Finback partners –  saw a good shot, dropped the reins, and swung his Mamiya camera off his shoulder as Ed walked by. Ed calmly stopped, grabbed the reins, looked Kahlil square in the eye and said, “That’s one de-merit, don’t drop the reins again.” The seriousness of getting from point A to point B crystallized, and we decided that unless it was a one in a million shot we’d put our heads down and ride to base camp before we screwed this whole thing up.IMG_7455Horses can take you to amazing places. Places you could walk to, but the rapid transition from town to 12,000 feet without breaking a sweat was eye opening, especially with serious camera gear in tow. If you’re not used to it though, riding horses can be a little “uncomfortable.”  By the end of the day, Kahlil and I kissed the ground, pitched tents and tore into the camera gear. The level pace of the high country set in, and we slowly cruised around, hung out with Ed and got prepared for the big days ahead. What we didn’t know was that about 36 hours out was the now infamous “100 year storm” that wiped out Colorado last fall with a biblical rain storm.

IMG_7480Days passed, and eventually we worked our way up to the Continental Divide where we shared a lunch of sardines and crackers as our eyes stretched out over endless peaks. Ed had shared one of his favorite places with us, and we contemplated pushing further, up to some lakes few people make it to each season. Clouds on the horizon darkened, but we gambled that it was just the typical afternoon monsoons and rode up a few more miles to see what the pass looked like. We arrived on a bare ridge, with a trail leading out along an endless unprotected ridge top. The clouds darkened and it started to spit a light rain. It was a jumping off point, and we debated whether it was “doable” or not to make it to the lakes and back to base camp in the same day. Ed made the call — time to turn around.  As if on cue, the skies absolutely cut loose as a dark blue wall swept in, and the rain came down in a deluge. This was not a typical afternoon thunderstorm, this had a heft that I’d never seen, and the vibe turned serious as it was clear that we had to get down — now.IMG_6257I can remember the intensity of being exposed, lightning popping off directly overhead. It felt like it was time to panic, but Ed wasn’t saying anything — just head down, riding. More than once, I remember Kahlil’s horse in front of me going sideways, searching for solid footing as we bailed down the pass — no one spoke and Ed seemed calm. “I guess this is normal,” I thought. Hours went by and we finally made it to camp. “That was as close as it gets,” Ed said, and Kahlil and I cut loose jabbering over each other saying,“I thought so, that was crazy! I thought it was all over, but you weren’t saying anything so we figured it was all good.”

“No, that was serious,” Ed said with a slight smile.  Thankful to be safe, we worked hard to build a fire, dry out, and recount the details of the days treacherous ride.IMG_7487With no choice but to hunker down, we waited out the long night. At one point I woke up to see a river of water pouring through the floor of my tent. I thought, “Alright, I need the camera to be dry, and this jacket to be dry,” and stuffed them in my bag, creating a little island where I could stay on high ground. I remember laughing hysterically at how hard it was raining, and the excitement of being on an adventure with Ed again.

 

8 Comments

  • Very Nice story film and great pictures liked ist very much thx for sharing

    Posted by Matthias | March 14, 2014 at 8:53 am
  • What is that green shoulder bag of yours he is carrying? its not the carry on small. perhaps an actual camera bag by filson?

    Posted by David | March 17, 2014 at 6:49 am
  • Incredible story and video! I would love to do this just once with my boys. Ed is blessed to have the opportunity to do it every year. Great job guys!

    Posted by Chris | March 17, 2014 at 8:22 am
  • Really inspiring story about an uncompromising man, unaffected by societies rules and expectations. Beautifully shot and edited and seAmless brand integration. Well done all!

    Posted by Pete | March 17, 2014 at 8:44 am
  • David,

    It’s the Medium Field Bag. More info here: http://www.filson.com/products/field-bag-medium.70232.html

    Posted by travis.gillett@filson.com | March 17, 2014 at 8:58 am
  • …and the guy on the horse w/ the green Medium Field Bag is wearing which jacket?

    Posted by Joslin | March 17, 2014 at 3:42 pm
  • Joslin,

    He’s wearing the Tin Cruiser jacket: http://www.filson.com/products/tin-cruiser-sf.10408.html

    Posted by travis.gillett@filson.com | March 17, 2014 at 3:50 pm
  • Thanks TO fILSON AND TO THE MAKERS OF THIS GREAT VIDEO. I HAVE BEEN
    PRIVILEGED TO COUNT ED A PERSONAL FRIEND FOR OVER 20 YEARS. HE IS AN
    ACCOMPLISHED STUDENT OF THE HORSE AND EVERY INCH A GENTLEMEN. LIKE FILSON
    PRODUCTS, HE’S THE REAL DEAL.

    GREAT VIDEO. ED HAS BEEN A PERSONAL FRIEND FOR OVER 20 YEARS. HE IS AN ACCOMPLISHED STUDENT OF THE HORSE AND EVERY INCH A GENTLEMEN. LIKE FILSON, HE’S THE REAL DEAL.

    Posted by dAVE s. | March 18, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Leave a Comment

*REQUIRED FIELD

  • Follow @Filson1897 on Instagram
  • Cowichan knit sweaters, scarves and hats offer superior warmth in even the coldest climates: fil.sn/Cowichan pic.twitter.com/AL4UE8iRNR

    About 51 minutes ago from Filson's Twitter via Twitter Web Client

  • Follow @Filson on Twitter
  • Articles Categories

Our Guarantee for Over 100 Years Has Never Changed

"We guarantee every item purchased from us. No more, no less. Your satisfaction is the sole purpose of our transaction." — Clinton C. Filson, 1897

© 2014 C.C. Filson Co. All Rights Reserved
Back to Top