Earlier this summer, I had the chance to check in with Sherpas Cinema’s Dave Mossop, for a story about world-famous sherpas for a new coffee table book coming out from the Mountain Life crew, the Mountain Life Annual.
Mossop was wrapping up 2 years of filming for the Sherpas’ next opus, Into the Mind, preparing for the launch of FlyOver Canada, packing for a last minute shoot in France, and fielded about 12 phone calls during our conversation. Oh yeah, he’d just been ordained as one of Outside Magazine’s Adventurers of the Year. Dubbed “the auteur”, no less.
“They called you an auteur, Dave. I looked it up. It’s a real compliment.”
“I know. I had to look it up, too.”
It was a great interview and I can’t wait to share it. It was also a deja vu moment. The last time we’d checked in, he was deep in the Editing Hurt Locker on All.I.Can, a pain triggered by the Sherpas’ approach of releasing a teaser and announcing a launch date, before the film is even storyboarded. Committing, yes.
Our conversation, and Mossop’s commitment to the same modus operandi, inspired me to revisit this blog post that I wrote for Origin Design + Communications’ blog back then – How to Make Something Awesome, Sherpa–style.
1. Don’t be afraid of a big idea.
2. Commit yourself, boldly and publicly.
3. Give yourself a deadline. That you must meet. Or suffer public humiliation.
4. Trust your obsessions.
5. Make the process as fun as possible. Explore a question you are passionate and curious about. Take the dream trips for your research and shooting. Work with people you love and admire and have a blast hanging out with.
6. Be disciplined and dig in for the hard yards.
As Scott Belsky, founder of Behance says, great work is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.
2 years later… same song, different tune. A bigger crew, better equipment, an incredible profile… and the same feeling of over-reaching to try and serve a creative vision. As Mossop joked, about Into the Mind, “I’ve been dreaming of this film for a long time. It seems like we’re constantly calibrating our aspirations to be just an inch beyond what we’re capable of, no matter what.”