Sebastien Montaz: Filmmaker and Adventurer Extraordinaire Presents I Believe I Can Fly

Sebastien Montaz has been a mountain guide for the last 12 years. On a few trips, he’ll bring his camera with him. But he’s not just some guy with a camera, living at the intersection of film and adventure, Sebastien knows his stuff. The proof is in his latest film: I Believe I Can Fly. 

This incredible film narrates the story of the Frenchies, pioneers of a new sport called highlining which combines climbing, slacklining, and tightrope walking with base jumping. Sounds incredible? It is.

I watched the film trailer and it literally took my breath away. So, I did what we do here at Nerve Rush and figured out exactly how I could get Sebastien on Nerve Rush. I was able to track him down and thankfully he agreed to answer a few questions about his amazing film coming out today: 11.11.11.

5 Quick Hits With Sebastian Montaz: I Believe I Can Fly

Nerve Rush: How long did I Believe I Can Fly take to shoot? What went into it?

Sebastien Montaz: It took only 8 days to shoot it, which is extremely quick for the amount of nice images you have and a final 40-minute feature documentary. I was lucky to find the right conditions and meet extraordinary people on the way who really helped the story telling.

NR: What’s your background in extreme sports?

SM: I grew up in a ski resort called Les Arcs, in France and I am a professional IFMGM mountain guide for 12 years, so my background is mainly about skiiing, boarding, telemarking, rock climbing, bouldering, mountaineering and trail running.

NR: What drew you to this specific story of the Frenchies?

SM: I met them 3 years ago and started highlining with them which I loved. It is simply the biggest adrenaline rush I ever experienced. We kept filming together one new documentary each year. Two of them, Tancrède and Julien, decided to do free flight and went to the U.S. sky diving last year: they had an obsession in mind, jumping from a highline one day, which they did.

NR: What story or clip didn’t make it into the final edit? Any scary bloopers?

SM: Honestly I am really happy with the shooting results. It is far from being perfect. Some footage is out of focus, like when I am filming Bernhard soloing on the highline 1000 meters above the ocean. If you look carefully you will notice that he is out of focus and the focus point is mainly ahead of him. I focused on him to start, but then I started shooting with a steady camera to give some movement. He walked away and got slightly blurry. That’s probably my biggest regret! I opened my lens too wide 2.8 on the Canon 14 mm.

NR: What’s your next big project? And…can we come along for the ride? 🙂

SM: I love the fact that I do not know yet about my next project. It is a great period to get to find a new story…let’s take some time. Do you have nice stories or nice people to recommend ? I am open to suggestions!

Massive thanks to Sebastien for taking the time to talk to us. It’s an incredible understatement to say that we’re looking forward to the next time we get to talk to Sebastien here on NerveRush. Until then, you can check out the trailer for the film below (and impressive short-film on it’s own) and be sure to head over to Sebastien’s site in order to see the film in its entirety for free for a limited time. Enjoy!

Joel Runyon

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