This time last year, I traveled with an incredible team on an expedition to the Arctic Circle. Our objective, as featured on our friend Tommy Baynard’s show Flying Wild Alaska, was a first ascent of a virgin granite wall. Beyond filming for the TV show on the Discovery Channel, the most ambitious task was to create a video for Nikon, providing an in-depth look at what really happens on an adventure from a climbing, filmmaking and photography perspective.
The result is Deep North: The Story Behind the Story, providing great insight with regards to equipment, technique and my methodology on how to capture adventure, while working in a truly wild place. The video is just under 20 minutes long and is pretty entertaining. Sit back with a coffee or beer (dependent upon your time zone) and enjoy our journey.
Like many expeditions of our time, in the end we were responsible for delivering a wide variety of assets to our sponsors. What resulted was a multi-faceted media project about the adventure. We produced an expedition journal video for Patagonia, as well as a product testimonial video & 30 second TV spot for Polartec. We also provided Nikon with 90 second and 3 minute cutdown versions of Deep North to be used at trade shows, conferences and online, a narrated slide show for the Nikon Learn & Explore site,a 6-page feature in Nikon World magazine (excerpt shown below) and an expedition summary for the American Alpine Journal.
Capturing all of this required hauling quite a bit of gear in to the wilderness. Dane and I each shot with a Nikon D7000, carrying a third body as back-up. These were paired with duplicates of the following lenses:
• AF DX Fisheye-NIKKOR 10.5mm f/2.8G ED
• AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
Additionally we shared a 300mm f/4.0, 50mm f/1.4 and a 24mm f/1.4. Each climbing team was issued a Nikon Coolpix P300. This was used by Tommy Caldwell and Hayden Kennedy to capture all of the footage of me shooting on the wall. Pretty amazing HD footage out of a point & shoot camera!
To compliment all the Nikon gear, the production also required the following:
• SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB SD cards
• Manfrotto carbon legged tripod with 701 head
• Litepanels MiniPlus
• Seniheisser G2 wireless lavalier and MKE400 Shotgun Mic
• Zoom H4n compact 2 channel audio recorder
• Kessler Cineslider
• Super secret 15ft lightweight aluminum jib
• Zacuto Z-finder
• Schneider Optics filters
To keep us safe, warm, dry and well fed, we packed our bags with:
• Patagonia outerwear built of Polartec fabrics
• Revo eyewear
• Therm-a-Rest sleep pads
• MSR stoves and cookware
• SealLine dry bags
• Platypus hydration systems
• Clif Bars, Shots and Bloks.
• Dynafit boots and bindings
• La Sportiva mountaineering boots and climbing shoes
• Black Diamond tents, packs, climbing harnesses, ice tools, crampons, gloves and lanterns.
• BlueWater Ropes static and climbing ropes
A huge thank you goes out to the team at Nikon for supporting this adventure. Nikon’s longstanding commitment to education has provided endless inspiration and continues to help raise the creative bar for us all. Another thanks to an amazing team in the field - Tommy Caldwell, Hayden Kennedy, Todd Offenbacher, Tommy Thompson and Dane Henry. Not only was Dane an integral part of the adventure, it was his vision and work with Novus Select that made this edit possible. Special thanks goes to Jim Tweeto for his fearless flying, getting us into the mountains, and back home again safely. Last, but certainly not least, a thank you to Tommy Baynard and Trans-Global Group for making this entire project a reality.