The Crossing tracks two Australian men who trekked over the largely uncharted arctic Victoria Island. Clark Carter and Chris Bray filmed over 100 hours of footage, which they then shared with director, Julian Harvey (producer and editor of The Tunnel ), resulting in a beautiful and candid portrait of what it truly means to adventure.
This type of story requires an exceptionally deep level of confidence from subject to director since the footage is "really private stuff," Carter laughs, "and you're handing it over to someone to tell a story- and not necessarily a story that you would tell."
"Adventure is great because it strips you back to the bare honest human being that you are"
The adventurers were introduced to Julian by a mutual friend shortly after their return home in 2009, and the trio were quick to establish a deep connection based on their passion for exploration. "The biggest factor for me was really trust- and I really did trust Jules because he'd done a lot of adventures before, and he got it. He just understood what we were about," Clark says.
Harvey explains that "before we started anything we spent a long time talking about of ethics of adventure and our philosophy behind it. I think adventure is great because it strips you back to the bare honest human being that you are." Carter ended up becoming a producer on the project, which required an effort on his part to not be "too precious" about the footage. In the end, it alowed for Harvey and himself to create the most genuine portrayal of the journey.
Harvey's principal role, of course, was in post-production, a process which he describes as surprisingly liberating. "Three quarters of the possibilities were gone so I just had to focus on the best thing I could possibly make," he smiles. "That forced me to get incredibly creative." Harvey endeavours to extract the "truth" of Carter and Bray's adventure, fully immersing the audience into the experience-the good, the bad, and the boring. "Adventures are actually 99% boredom," Harvey sighs. "But this is really an adventure almost purely for adventure's sake, and that captivated me. There's a lot of bad news out there, and I thought these guys could make you think that you could go out and do stuff."
The film took four years to craft, a process that Carter describes as "about as long and arduous as the expedition itself." Raising the money was tough. "Many financiers failed to understand the story because it didn't have the drama of Everest or The South Pole," says Harvey. "It's more subtle, more real, and more honest." Vitally, the integrity of the film was never compromised for the sake of funding. In the end, The Crossing tries to answer a question that the trio has been asked many times - why? - and the result is an incredible story of two young Sydney men who take on an island, and win.
by Bella Peacock