I’m a self-shooting producer/director and editor of adventure travel-related films. In autumn 2012, I went to western Mongolia for a short jaunt on horseback, bringing with me an old pocket camcorder and a notion of documenting the trip. I cobbled together my exceedingly rustic footage and produced Wild Steppe, my first* short film, as well as a micro piece about packrafting the Khovd River.
Since then, I’ve continued to independently shoot and edit my own projects. To date, my films have screened at over thirty film festivals and events worldwide, including over 45 countries via Wild Spirits TV. Some of the locations I’ve filmed in include; the deserts of Uzbekistan, steppes of Kazakhstan, Siberian rivers, Tuva’s taiga, Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor, and Iran’s highest peak – which was a collaboration with Hot Aches Productions and a joint commission from BMC TV, Trek + Mountain Magazine and Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports.
I’m not an über-world-class or multi-award winning** filmmaker, but I enjoy making and sharing visual stories from far-away places (this includes hauling all of the requisite gear and the countless bleary-eyed hours editing).
If you need a filmmaker for your project, require post-production assistance, or have any other questions, then ping me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*I’m not counting Bittersweet, which was a comically bad student drama film I made with some school friends when I was 17. My character – a disgruntled and listless teenager – was killed off two minutes into the film, murdered by a skateboard. Much to my surprise – even to this day – it won an inter-school film competition in Hong Kong. We were supposed to meet Jackie Chan to receive our award, but unfortunately, the event was cancelled by a raging typhoon (no joke).
**I do have one film award to my name: A Portrait of Orozbek – Best Environmental Documentary at the Mountain Film Festival 2015 (USA)
Working knowledge of the following; Adobe Premiere Pro CC; After Effects CC; Audition CC; Photoshop CC; Lightroom CC; SpeedGrade CC; Illustrator CC; InDesign CC; Media Encoder CC (Official training also provided by O’Reilly Video Training, Infinite Skills Inc.)
Adobe Creative Cloud; Sony X70; Canon 6D; Canon 60D; GoPro 4; Canon 40mm 2.8; Canon 50mm 1.8; Canon 10-22mm F3.5-4.5; Canon 24-105mm F4L; Rode Wireless Audio Filmmaker Kit; Sennheiser EW100; Sennheiser MKE600.
ExWeb Dispatches | Series 2: Antarctica | Episode 1: Hercules Inlet (2020)
Series 2 of ExWeb Dispatches continues with international mountain guide and ExWeb Ambassador, Ryan Waters, as he and his three-person team venture to Antarctica for a 52-day skiing expedition from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole.
ExWeb Dispatches | Series 2: Antarctica | Episode 2: Skiing to the South Pole (2020)
Episode 2 follows Ryan Waters, Jaco Ottink and Paula Strengell’s journey to the South Pole, towing 100kg+ sleds, skiing in whiteout conditions, and battling headwinds.
ExWeb Dispatches | Series 1: Elbrus | Episode 1: The Approach (2020)
Series 1 of ExWeb Dispatches teams up with international mountain guide and ExWeb Ambassador, Ryan Waters, to take a look at what it’s like to climb Elbrus: the highest peak in Europe.
ExWeb Dispatches | Series 1: Elbrus | Episode 2: The Ascent (2020)
Episode 2 covers the route of ascent up Elbrus with Ryan’s clients, in addition to a brief history of the first ascent of the peak’s east and west summit.
ExWeb Dispatches | Series 1: Elbrus | Episode 3: Summit Day (2020)
The final episode of series 1 provides an insight into what it takes to reach the summit of Elbrus, starting early in the morning from the final bivouac hut, up to the 5,416m saddle, and the final ascent up the fixed lines leading to the summit.
WindSled Dome Fuji Expedition (2019)
January 2019 saw the conclusion of WindSled’s Unexplored Dome Fuji expedition. The Spanish team of four, led by Ramón Larramendi, completed a 2,500km return journey from near to Novolazarevskaya base to Dome Fuji (3,768m) in 52 days traveling in a series of customized sleds with built-in living quarters and powered entirely by kites. Since the project’s inception in 1999, the WindSleds have been used on 11 expeditions, covering more than 20,000km in Antarctica, Greenland, and Canada.
Filming in the Karakorum: Behind the Scenes (2019)
Broad Peak, directed by Leszek Dawid and based a true story, is the world’s first feature film shot above 5,600m. The biopic focuses on Maciej Berbeka, a legendary Polish mountaineer who, together with his climbing partner Tomasz Kowalski, disappeared during the first winter ascent of Broad Peak (8,047m) in March 2013.
Damavand: An Iranian Dream (2015)
A ski-mountaineering team from the UK set out to climb Iran’s highest mountain, Mount Damavand (5610 m). The team is lead by Shirin Shabestari, an Iranian woman now resident in London. As the team ascend the mountain the film examines the pivotal role mountaineering played in Shirin’s upbringing and discover just how much this summit means to her.
Tangra Tower: In the Spirit of Cory Hall (2016)
James Monypenny (UK) and Max Fisher (Canada) venture to the Karakorum Mountains of Pakistan to climb a new route in memory of their friend Cory Hall passed away in a tragic climbing accident while on a motorbike-Pan-American climbing odyssey.
The Steppe of Misfortune (2015)
In 2014, Jamie undertook the first ever expedition to cross the Betpak-Dala or the ‘Steppe of Misfortune’ on foot, from its eastern extremity along the shores of Lake Balkhash, to its western edge adjacent to the Sarysu River. Jamie also ran 190 miles, or nearly eight marathons, back to back over the course of eight days through the desert. Together with his two-person driving team they faced challenging off-road conditions, fuel shortages, and complex navigation along long-abandoned military tracks.
A Portrait of Orozbek (2014)
This mountain culture travel documentary aims to take the audience on a visual exploration of his life and those of the other ethnic Kyrgyz in the remote and often nomadic communities around him. As the film progresses and Matthew and Jamie spend more time with Orozbek, the true wonders and mysteries of the Pamirs begin to reveal themselves; ranging from ancient mines, archaeological discoveries and a mysterious organic painkiller.
Through Grains of Sand and Sun (2014)
An early experimental film focusing on one runner’s reflections of a camel-supported journey through the Kyzyl Kum Desert of Uzbekistan. It is a film melding abstract moving visuals with an honest narrative inspired by the writings of desert explorer Wilfred Thesiger and Haruki Murakami’s own musings on running.
Wild Steppe (2013)
Matt and Jamie, two footloose addicts of Central Asia and Alpamys, a young nomadic Mongol-Kazakh eagle hunter venture on horseback in to the wild and windswept steppes of Western Mongolia. Both totally clueless about how to ride a horse, the aim for their mini Mongolian odyssey is to learn the essential skills in long distance equestrian travel which they later hope to use for an 1100km crossing of Eastern Kazakhstan on horseback the following year. If you have a lust for the near-mystical lands where eagle hunters and nomads dwell, the light-hearted and lively ‘Wild Steppe’ is one worth watching!
Packrafting the Khovd (2012)
The Khovd River flows for over 500km from the Altai Mountains on the Mongolian-Russian border to Khar-Us Lake. Matt and Jamie get their first taste of wild water packrafting by descending a section of the Khovd starting in Olgii, the capital of Western Mongolia. They soon find how the fast approaching winter and their lack of paddling experience combine together to make a deeply memorable jaunt in the wilderness.
Crossing Siberia (TBC)