Making Art as a Couple With Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi

Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi directed "Free Solo," an Academy Award winning documentary about Alex Honnold free soloing El Capitan. Learn what it takes to create a wildly successful documentary as a couple.


In June 2017, rock climber Alex Honnold climbed El Capitan without any ropes. His journey to achieve that climb, including the physical and emotional preparation, was all captured and made into a beautiful, Academy Award winning documentary by filmmakers Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi.

Aside from being incredibly talented filmmakers, Jimmy and Chai are married with two young children. They met in 2011 when Jimmy was working on his film, Meru, and their passion for film and adventure grew. Making a major motion picture involves a ton of effort, patience and skill. I was especially interested in what it was like to work on a project with such high stakes as a couple with kids. In this episode, Jimmy and Chai discuss the process of making the film together, their values and how it is possible to make art as a couple.

Listen to this episode if:

  • You’ve seen or want to see Free Solo.
  • You’re interested in movies or photography.
  • You love documentaries or adventure.
  • You’re a climber.
  • You want to work with your significant other.

Episodes to listen to:

Connect with Jimmy and Chai:

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