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Onward and upward

Cassidy Eames
Cassidy Eames the director of the documentary “Upward.”

A Weber State University alum, videographer and filmmaker Cassidy Eames, created a documentary called “Upward.” The film premiered in October at The Monarch in Ogden, located on 25th Street.

Eames graduated from WSU in 2014 with a degree in Health Promotion and again in 2017 with a degree in Digital Media and Marketing.

While at WSU, Eames was the Senior Producer of Studio 76 and worked on a series of documentary shorts called “Outdoor Obsessions,” which consisted of 5-minute highlights of people and their outdoor passions. Eames said she is drawn to stories about people’s relationships and love for the outdoors.

Since 2016, Eames has done videography and photography in Ogden for local businesses, restaurants and realtors.

“Upward” follows the story of Reid Woolsey, who broke the world record for most elevation runs in the course of a month. Woolsey used his passion of running to escape from feelings of anxiety and depression. During his experience, Woolsey had to deal with the challenges of hallucinations, running alone with little support and isolation.

“I feel honored to be telling this story,” Eames said. “It is a really powerful story.”

In October 2022, Woolsey ran 500,635 feet of elevation and a total of 933 miles to break this record. This meant that Woolsey was averaging running 30-40 miles a day.

The previous record for most elevation run over the course of a month was 400,246 feet. During Woolsey’s experience, people from the west coast were skeptical about someone from the east coast being able to get that much vertical climb over the course of a month.

Woolsey did this as a part of the 2022 “Virtual challenge: Max Vert Challenge” in which participants are challenged to gain as much elevation as possible in October. The Max Vert Challenge is going on its fourth annual year in 2023.

“I thought maybe I would do a little video interview with him … but once I heard the entire story of what he went through during the running challenge, I realized this was a huge story,” Eames said.

Eames has been working on this project for almost a year at this point and has done so in a largely independent environment. Eames feels that a project of this size is daunting to do alone.

“I’ve pulled a lot of inspiration from Reid’s story. It helped me to keep pushing forward on this project,” Eames said.

Eames hopes to show off her new documentary in Asheville, North Carolina, where Woolsey’s story happened.

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Cooper Hatsis
Cooper Hatsis, Culture Assistant Editor

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