Back in the winter of 2008 I was lucky enough to be an cameraman for a documentary called Blind Skiers Edge. It is a film about Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind man to ever climb Mount Everest, his technique for skiing, and the state of blind skiing today.
I had met and worked with Erik on many projects before so I was used to regularly being inspired by him and his audacious adventures. What was really unique was the day we filmed a group of newly blinded Iraq & Afghanistan war veterans as they stepped into skis for the very first time. These wounded soldiers, who had giving their sight for our country, nervously approached this new challenge. They were learning to deal with their new disability in real-time, before our very cameras. When they each skied down the hill alone for the very first time and with arms raised triumphantly, realize they could still do anything they put their minds too, blind or not, I don't think there was a dry eye in the house. It was one of the most truely inspiring things I've ever witnessed.
This is a preview of that film, in a poor resolution, that has nothing of the soldiers in it, but I hope it at least gives you the basic idea of what it means to ski blind.
Was fortunate enough to go spend the last five days in my most favorite of mountain towns, Crested Butte, Colorado. Took four different images while mountain biking near Paradise Divide and then stitched them together into this panorama all using my iPhone. What an amazing little device and an even more amazing place.
Back in the Spring of 2007, I spent two and a half months in Nepal filming Everest: Conquering Thin Air 3D Imax, the sequel to the highest grossing Imax film ever made, with MacGillivray Freeman Films. For almost two of those months this was home, a tent at 17,500 feet at the base of the famed Khumbu Icefall. It was my first time ever working with Imax film and one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The film is due out in 2013.
I recently heard someone say, "What the World Needs is More Creativity!" Not to be preachy or a wannabe scholar, but here's what that question made me think about.
Creativity often results from situations where one is actually forced to act on their feet and come up with creative, novel solutions in order to succeed or survive. Take someone stranded on a deserted island for example. Well, in our current world of convenience and comfort not a lot of people willingly place themselves in these kinds of situations. Whether it's a product of laziness, a fear of failure, or insecurity; a lot of people greatly avoid the pressures of having to be creative because frankly they don't have to. They can get by without it. As a result we wind up copying and slightly altering the results of the few brave people who have made a leap to be truly creative. So often the progression of things is greatly slowed because so many people aren't willing to put themselves out there. They just want to stick with what works or what kinda works cause it's easier, because they can still survive that way.
So, while it's probably not the only thing the world needs, I'm sure some more creativity wouldn't hurt.
This was the very first film project I ever worked on. I had only been on the job for three months when the boss asked, "Want to go to Africa and produce a documentary on malaria?" I immediately dove into one of the most rewarding and educating experiences of my career. Three continents and months of post production later we had Fighting Malaria, a feature-length documentary on the global malaria crisis that later won three industrial film awards.