Adventure films have officially gone to the next level — which happens to be at 20,000 feet in the Himalayan Mountains. Teton Gravity Research just released a video of Ultra HD footage featuring Mt. Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam in the most stable, clear aerial shots ever seen.
Because of progressive camera equipment and technology, the outdoor film industry is booming with awe-inspiring footage from companies such as TGR, Sweetgrass Productions, and Camp 4 Collective. "What makes the footage so breathtaking is how it captures the details of the earth and the mountains in three dimensions," says Freddie Wilkinson, professional climber and video producer for Camp 4 Collective. "With digital film there's layers and scale and movement so you get a real sense of the enormity of the landscape."
Wilkinson recently returned from a Camp 4 Collective documentary shoot in the Himalayas that followed the same production process as TGR's new video. Wilkinson's crew partnered with Simrik Air in Nepal and bolted a 10-piece, gyro-stabilized Ultra HD camera to the outside of a stripped-down a helicopter to capture documentary footage of the mountain range. To accommodate the weight of the equipment, the helicopter could only fly with the camera, the pilot, the camera operator, and a quarter tank of gas to reach the thin-air altitudes approaching 20,000 feet.
The process required the helicopter to land in a yak field every twenty minutes to refuel and keep going. "Every time they would land and we would put more fuel in the tank, our camera operator and director, Anson Fogel, would get out and say, 'That was the most amazing flight I have ever been on and the best footage I've ever captured,'" says Wilkinson. "The fact that he would say that every single time speaks to just how cool and how special these videos are."