Mike and I got our first taste of ice climbing at Peabody Ice Climbing Club several years ago. That experience not only had us going back to Peabody every winter to ice climb, but it was also a springboard for us to make annual ice climbing trips to the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) of Michigan. While we were based in Southwest Colorado, we went to Ouray and Silverton to get our ice-climbing fix; however, there’s nothing quite like Michigan ice and we haven’t missed a winter there since we started ice climbing.
Our story isn’t terribly unique; we’ve known many folks that got their first taste of ice climbing on man-made towers that our friend, Garrett Peabody, had the vision to create. There’s a great article about Garrett’s story of starting Peabody Ice Climbing that was written by My City Magazine.
While written articles and word of mouth have their benefits – in this day and age, videos are a superb way to market a business. With this in mind, and after seeing some of the work Mike had done on the Michigan Ice Film, Garrett reached out to us about creating a video that would help show what Peabody Ice Climbing is all about. Helping a friend and getting to ice climb for work is a recipe for a dream job. We loaded up our gear, for shooting and climbing, and headed to Michigan.
Peabody Ice Climbing Club hosts an annual Icefest, which has grown significantly every year. Now, the Fest welcomes a number of sponsors, which gives participants the chance to talk with outdoor industry experts that live and breathe the sport. It’s also guaranteed that there will be a crowd of lively participants – which makes for great video footage.
Mike used his Sony FS700 for low-light shots taken inside the clubhouse, to capture clips of people renting gear and suiting up inside before heading out to the towers. While this camera captures exceptional video and audio, it wasn’t something he wanted to carry around the ice towers for closer action shots.
After the clubhouse shots were done, we made our way outside to capture ice climbers working their way up the two towers. Mike whipped out his much smaller Panasonic GH4 for the outdoor shots, using a variable-ND filter to control exposure as the sun dipped in and out of the clouds. For some unique point-of-view footage, Mike perched atop the 70’ tower for a little while, getting up close and personal with the scrambling climbers.
Once he was secure, I did some property scouting outside and captured some BTS (behind-the-scenes) shots.
After his time suspended in the air, Mike set up a Lite Pro Gear Feather Camera Crane to capture some of the action on the towers – with the sun playing games on us at inopportune times.
Mike continued to get shots with the GH4 in hand until he had most of the shots ticked off of the shot list.
We swapped out gear to take flight…with the DJI Inspire. As Mike prepped the equipment, I gave participants a heads up that we were going to be flying a drone to record some of the action. Mike skillfully operated the Inspire to capture footage of climbers on the towers and the mixed wall.
We used every ounce of daylight we had to capture the footage for the video. Knowing Saturday was going to be chock-full of action, we met with Garrett the night before to record the voiceover pieces needed for the video on a Zoom h1. We all got in some laps on the towers that night, too. [All work and no play is no fun at all, “they” say.]
After spending the day working during Peabody Ice Climbing Club’s 2016 Icefest, here’s the final commercial we created for Garrett.