Synopsis: The first time Frank Sanders saw Devils Tower was in the sudden brilliance of a lightning strike. It sent a wave of dread through him, but the next day he climbed the tower. It was 1970 and the beginning of his long climbing odyssey through North America. Over the past 47 years, the Tower has remained a constant has remained a constant through addiction and sobriety. The 63-year-old has climbed the formation more than 2,000 times and operates a guiding service and lodge in the shadow of the Tower. Part wise man, all wild man, Frank reflects on happiness and getting old in this 10-minute short.
Frank and the Tower is the brainchild of climbing writer Brendan Leonard, who came to know Frank through years of visits to Devil’s Tower. Leonard reached out to friends and collaborators Forest Woodward and Fitz Cahall to realize his vision. Forest and Brendan spent a week with Frank in September of 2014 and then passed the project along to Fitz and his creative company Duct Tape Then Beer. “From the moment I started looking through footage, Frank gave me joy, and I wanted other people to feel how I did,” says Fitz. “It didn’t matter that there was no money, or that it was 1 a.m. Brendan was right. This piece just needed to happen.” Fitz’s and Brendan’s last collaboration, 35, was a grassroots phenomena that took home numerous awards including best short at the Banff Mountain Film Festival.
Fitz Cahall is the founder of the Dirtbag Diaries and thecreative director at Duct Tape Then Beer, which is a bizarre but wonderfulamalgamation of a creative rocket ship, grassroots community building agent and advertising agency. He likes ridingbikes in the nude and street riots on LSD. Currently, he is being flippantbecause he can’t think about what to write about himself. Only some of this can be confirmed by outsidesources.
5 Point Film Festival - United States - 2015
Pure Joy Award (Frank and the Tower, Duct Tape then Beer & Semi-Rad Production)
Port Townsend Film Festival - United States - 2015