If anyone thinks that shooting Everest was an easy gig for all the actors, director and crew involved, then think again. Directed by Baltasar Kormakur Everest tells the true story of a climb to the top of the most famous mountain in the world that went horribly wrong.
On the morning of May 10, 1996, climbers (Jason Clarke,Josh Brolin) from two expeditions start their final ascent toward the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. With little warning, a violent storm strikes the mountain, engulfing the adventurers in one of the fiercest blizzards ever encountered by man. Challenged by the harshest conditions imaginable, the teams must endure blistering winds and freezing temperatures in an epic battle to survive against nearly impossible odds.
Making a disaster film set on Mount Everest probably sounded like a great idea on paper. The problem is, though, when it became time to turn that script into a reality, the cast and crew involved knew that they would have to confront the elements head on to truly bring the tale to life. And according to some of the actors who recently promoted the disaster thriller in Los Angeles proves that was exactly the case. Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes and Michael Kelly were forced to shoot in extraordinary conditions at which most of us would have opted out of after three minutes.
Throughout the early months of January 2014, Everest’s 44 crew members travelled from Nepal to the Otzal Alps in Italy, before they then shot further sequences in Iceland too. And it turns out that filming in each of these locations was rather tumultuous for everyone involved. Human beings really aren’t supposed to function at the resting altitude of a 747.
While the cast and crew of Everest didn’t quite reach these heights, Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Michael Kelly, and more each admitted that they were forced to truly experience the elements and were bombarded with real weather and snow that left them feeling punished. In fact, along the way, they were confronted with avalanche warnings, snowstorms, while sherpas even had to dig sets out from in some circumstances too.
I spoke with the talented cast and director Baltasar Kormakur about the treacherous conditions, shooting in IMAX-3D and whether or not they would endure such a climb in real life.
Everest opens in theatres on September 25th. Do yourself a favour and see it in IMAX 3D!