SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — You’ve likely driven by one of those tall cell phone towers that dot the landscapes that you see all over the country.
You and I tend to take them for granted. But there are people who have to climb those towers every day. It’s their job.
Their careers are the basis of a new movie called ‘Vertical Freedom’ that made its big-screen debut Wednesday at the State Theatre in downtown Sioux Falls.
People left their offices and lined up to see where these guys climb the corporate ladder at their offices…..up here, hundreds, sometimes thousands of feet in the air on a tower, no matter the weather.
“There’s some things that happen on the tower where you get that ‘oh crap’ moment,” tower technician for Murphy Towers Angelo Wiggins said.
The film, which took two years to make, follows six tower climbers from all across the country, including Angelo Wiggins of Des Moines, Iowa.
“It’s a different feeling being up there, the film does make it look beautiful, but there are rough days, there’s days it’s super windy, maybe snowy I guess, you can’t really feel the true feelings of being up there just by watching,” Wiggins said.
Vertical Freedom was shot and directed by Storybuilt of Sioux Falls.
The director, Doug Lee, who did a lot of climbing of his own for this film, says the inspiration behind the movie was to showcase an industry not many of us totally understand.
The work they do as cell tower technicians keeps America’s wireless infrastructure up and running.
“There’s some people who work awfully hard working in some incredible heights, long hours doing great work for us, just so we can pick up our phone to start texting or calling, so that whole network out there, there’s people supporting that,” director Doug Lee said.
But no matter how high they climb, there’s always something that keeps them grounded; their own personal lives.
“We found that they have been through trials, they’ve been through struggles and difficulties, but they’ve just kept climbing,” Lee said.
From the opening scene to the very end, the film ‘Vertical Freedom’ will take your breath away.
“It turned out way better than I thought it would,” Wiggins said.
Storybuilt is working with a marketing agent in Los Angeles to get the film on several streaming platforms and film festivals.
Vertical Freedom will be shown to the public at the State Theatre in the coming weeks. May – Sat/21 @2pm, Sun/22 @1pm. Tickets will go on sale Thursday the 12th and are available to purchase through our website siouxfallsstatetheatre.org