Claim your shot at Serac Adventure Film School in Lake Tahoe

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on February 17, 2010 2:28 pm

From the peaks of Kilimanjaro, through the jungles of Machu Picchu, and across the otherworldly landscapes of Antarctica, the Serac Adventure Film School is a world-roving, outdoor film school.

The next class installment lands on the shores of Lake Tahoe, March 21 – 28.   Scheduled to appear are absolute legends of adventure films, Greg Stump and Roger Brown (click here to check out classic clips from Roger Brown’s films).

The school’s real strength, however, lies in the present and with its founder, Michael Brown (pictured left).  He’s an Emmy-award winning filmmaker with over 40 international film festival and industry awards.  Brown’s resumé is beyond reproach.  He’s hauled a camera to the top of Everest four times.  His most recent ascent came in 2007 as co-director of Return to Everest in 3D IMAX.  Michael is, as you may have guessed, son of Roger Brown.

“I was brought into this by my father,” Michael says.  “I’d go around with a backpack, because he needed the free labor.  Weekends out skiing with a 35mm, shooting pretty shots for different ski areas, I was brought into it at a really young age.”

Serac in Tahoe will have an all-star lineup of professors with the beautiful backdrop of Lake Tahoe serving as the desk-less classroom.  “We try to make each film school unique.  It’s way more than making a film, it’s a trip of a lifetime, and on top of that you’re making a film.”

Michael and the current generation of filmmakers have long revered and been heavily influenced by Roger Brown and Greg Stump.  Count Bill Kerig, producer/director of The Edge of Never (now showing on Showtime) as one of them.  “Twenty-five years ago I was bartender and projectionist in a ski movie bar called The Slope in Vail.   We would show Dick Barrymore films, Warren Miller, Roger Brown, and all the great old films.  One day we got in this brand new film that came in this new package called video cassette, and it was the Maltese Flamingo (by Greg Stump).  I saw that and it just blew me away.”

It is Serac Adventure Film School, key word being adventure, free from the confines of confined studio filmmaking.  It’s a setting that provides a unique set of circumstances and challenges all its own.  “We want to provide the analog of the real deal.  All the things that are supposed to happen in the real world of filmmaking.  We want them to experience all the pain and frustrations of the outside world:  equipment meltdowns, changing weather, limited time and budget.”

With Roger Brown and Greg Stump on hand, the two will carry more than just their vast knowledge of filmmaking.  They represent a symbolic shift in action films.  “In the last 15 years, with few exceptions, they’ve really gotten away from storytelling,” says Michael Brown.  “The action keeps up with the music, someone does something really crazy on screen, and no one talks about it.”

So while the technical aspect is fully modern at Serac, its soul lies in the traditional art of storytelling.  “The story has to be thought out before touching the camera.  Much of the work is done prior to turning the camera on.  We want to get people thinking about that.”

Steal trade secrets from the legends of past and present in a hands-on, outdoor environment, while mastering editing software Final Cut Pro.  We all have a story to tell, what’s yours?  There are a limited spots left for Serac Adventure Film School in Tahoe.  Productions start March 21, click here for more info or to register.



Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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