Nat Geo Documentary Filmmakers on Battling the Elements to Capture Nature’s Extremes (Video)

“By far the hardest part was not physical, it was the emotional mental aspect of it,” Oscar-winning “Free Solo” director Jimmy Chin says

National Geographic documentarians put themselves in harm’s way every day. But before they set out into some of the world’s harshest climates and most dangerous scenarios, they have to prepare for the worst.

On Wednesday at The Grill, TheWrap’s annual entertainment and business conference, panelists including Jimmy Chin, director of the Oscar-winning documentary “Free Solo,” talked about the intense preparation that goes into shooting. “Free Solo” follows Alex Honnold as he tries to climb Yosemite’s El Capitan with no ropes.

“By far the hardest part was not physical, it was the emotional mental aspect of it,” Chin said. You can watch the video clip above.

Other National Geographic documentaries on the panel included Guillermo Navarro, executive producer Nat Geo’s “Hostile Planet,” David Reichert, director of photography for “Hostile Planet,” Crofton Diack, field producer for Nat Geo’s “Life Below Zero,” Benji Lanpher, cinematographer for “Life Below Zero,” and “Free Solo” executive producer Shannon Dill.

“It is this luck factor of being in the right place at the right time with a lens ready and the camera rolling, because it’s pretty extreme,” Navarro said.

Watch the full panel above.

Margeaux Sippell

Margeaux Sippell

TV Reporter • margeaux.sippell@thewrap.com • @margeauxsippell



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