John O’Neill
Special to the Daily

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June 8, 2014
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Emmy-award winning filmmaker, aspiring cinematographers to showcase work in Vail

the Antlers at Vail main conference room will feature kayakers cascading over waterfalls, climbers with spider-like fingertip strength, runners grinding in effort and even dogs diving for thrown buoys.

No, the Antlers did not remodel. Rather, the venue will host a presentation by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Michael Brown showcasing a spectacle of outdoor adventure films made by the Outdoor Adventure Film School students during the course of this past weekend’s GoPro Mountain Games.

Telling the story of adventure has become a lucrative industry to those that can do it well. Renowned outdoor cinematographer Michael Brown is a pioneer of this trade and has earned more than 30 international film festival awards and three Emmys. Brown grew up in Vail. He helped his father, who runs Summit Films, make outdoor movies as a teenager before starting his own production company, Serac Adventure Films, based in Boulder. Brown is no stranger to adventure; he is an avid climber and has reached the top of Mt. Everest five times.

Telling the story of the Games

The Vail Symposium has partnered with the Outside Adventure Film School in bringing Brown as a guest speaker to the annual debut of short adventure films made by aspiring filmmaker students during the course of the Mountain Games.

“This event has always been a huge hit in the past with just the students showing their short work,” said Tracey Flower, the Symposium’s executive director. “This year, we are coming on board and bringing Michael Brown — a veteran of the industry — who can speak to the audience and the students about his illustrious career.”

Brown will share clips from his videos and speak about the struggle, character, commitment and dangers of creating these mystifying videos. As a part of the Symposium’s Unlimited Adventure series, the town of Vail Public Library has sponsored the program.

Students from the Outside Adventure Film School, during the course of the Mountain Games, are tasked with creating a video that tells the story of the games. They only have days to find the story, film it and then edit it into a three to six-minute segment. The students will showcase their films, telling the trials and tribulations they faced in the short time they had to put the films together following Brown’s lecture.

“This event is unique for the outdoor enthusiast or the film fanatic,” Flower said. “In a few years, these students will be the ones trekking into the backcountry and bringing home awe-inspiring stories.”

John O’Neill is the program and marketing director for the Vail Symposium. Email comments about this story to

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The VailDaily Updated Jun 8, 2014 08:06PM Published Jun 8, 2014 08:06PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.