DVC professor Tal Skloot finishes second feature length film

Livermore adventurer Bob Coomber faces a big hiking challenge in the Sierra Nevada in 4 Wheel Bob. (Courtesy of Tritone Films)

Livermore adventurer Bob Coomber faces a big hiking challenge in the Sierra Nevada in “4 Wheel Bob.” (Courtesy of Tritone Films)

Chris Core, Staff member

The Kearsage Pass stretches 11,845 feet along the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

The hike consists of of narrow passageways and steep inclines which can cause a difficult hike for the average climber, but add camera equipment, a few horses to carry that equipment and the skills to record the perfect shot for a film, and the hike gets much more difficult.

Tal Skloot and his camera crew were up for this challenge.

Skloot is a film professor at DVC who has taught for 18 years and created two feature length films and over 30 narrative films and documentaries.

He gained a love for film at a young age when he began to make Claymation movies, which led him to pursue a career as a director.

His latest film is “4 Wheel Bob,” a documentary following East Bay wheelchair hiker Bob Coomber.

Coomber was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes in his early 20’s causing him to live his life in a wheelchair.

“The theme is overcoming obstacles,” Skloot said. “We all have obstacles in life and it’s all about how we overcome them.”

Skloot and Coomber became acquainted when Skloot happened to stumble upon an article describing a man who hiked in the East Bay that did it all in a wheelchair. Skloot contacted Coomber and from there grew a five year friendship that prompted the documentary to be filmed.

“What struck me about Bob was his easy going, sweet, and gregarious nature,” said Skloot.

Successful films are not the only impressive note on Skloot’s resume – the success of past students demonstrates his success as a teacher as well.

Skloot now has students who are teaching film themselves, with even one student helping him film, “4 Wheel Bob.”

Skloot urges students who are interested in the film industry to take advantage of the amazing offerings of film classes at DVC, start internships and, “get a lot of experience in every area of production.”

Skloot currently teaches history of world cinema at DVC and is focusing on spreading viewership of “4 Wheel Bob” with showings stretching as far as Germany.