Breashears: From Everest to Fenway
Filmmaker who conquered famed mountain shoots ballpark
BOSTON -- Year after year, celebrities visit Fenway Park to see, be seen, and enjoy the thrill of autumn baseball. Few, besides the players themselves, come to work.
That's what David Breashears, huddled behind a large, unsightly contraption, was doing in the third-base camera well on Friday night. The director and co-producer of "Everest," one of the most successful IMAX films of all time, and a member of the 1996 Mount Everest expedition that claimed eight lives, was filming baseball on an IMAX camera for the first time.
"You know what?" said Breashears, as he outfitted his large camera with a new lens. "I've climbed Everest five times. And every time ... you're down here [at Fenway], there's an energy, and just a buzz in the air, that I find impressive."
Breashears, a New England transplant from Wyoming and Colorado who has lived in Marblehead, Mass., for 26 years, was contracted by Cherie Rivers, director of the of the Boston Museum of Science's Mugar Omni Theater, to film the Red Sox.
The Omni is currently undergoing renovations. As such, the theater's "signature film" -- "Celebrate New England," which plays for five minutes before every IMAX movie -- is gathering new footage. The old film, Breashears said, can look every bit of its 20 years.
"It still has [Boston's] central artery in it," Breashears said.
Earlier on Friday, Breashears' camera was flying on a helicopter over New Hampshire's Mount Washington, home of the highest recorded wind speeds on aarth.
"Part of the theme of this film is that New England is a land of extremes," Breashears said. "From the highest wind speed on earth to the beautiful bays and coves of the Cape."
"And," he added, "there are great teams."
Breashears' camera will also travel to Gillette Stadium to film the Patriots this fall. Later, it will return to Mount Washington in winter.
On Friday, Breashears planned to film the first two innings of Game 2 of the American League Division Series between the Red Sox and Angels from the third-base camera well, before moving the camera to two different sections of the stadium.
Nothing as strenuous as climbing the world's highest mountain, say, but Breashears could draw parallels between the two.
"This is all manufactured," he said, pointing to the outfield, where members of the Angels were warming up. "Every blade of grass. But you know what you have here? You have people who believe in excellence. People who are competitive. Climbers are competitive. You have passion for what they do. And that's what I feel is a sense of camaraderie among team members.
"But there's a big difference between here and Mount Everest. Here, you lose, you risk embarrassment and loss of pride. And [on] Everest, you lose your life and your fingers and your toes."
Alex McPhillips is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.