National Geographic New Zealand Filmmaking Expedition
I genuinely love life. I love the planet that we live on. I love nature. I love air. I love the vast unknown. Those that know me well could tell you that I am passionate about the outdoors, the environment, and adventure. I am also passionate about filmmaking, and photojournalism. Living in Houston is rough for me, as a person that loves mountains and national parks; this wonderful city becomes an urban nightmare. I want to go out and explore, take videos, and learn. Last summer, I travelled to Guatemala for a service opportunity, where I was able to capture footage for a trip overview video I composed. The trip was definitely life changing, but I wasn't able to progress my video skills because it was a service trip, rather than a filmmaking trip.
However, this National Geographic Student Expedition is specialized with an on assignment film and video project. I would be travelling with filmmaking and photography expert Ulla Lohmann, who is a regular contributor to the National Geographic Channel and National Geographic magazine (France, Germany), and has appeared in several television programs for National Geographic and the BBC. Most recently, Ulla published a photographic book with National Geographic Germany documenting her yearlong journey hiking, biking and skiing Italy’s Dolomite Mountains. This kind of mentor helping me with my filmmaking will progress my skills significantly and shape me for a possible career in videography or photojournalism. I chose this destination because I love the mountains, I have never been to this region of the world, I would love to experience a cold climate for once, and most of all the itinerary is breathe taking.
We will explore forests of giant redwoods on foot, mountain bike, or horseback; and soak in thermal pools. We will spend a day black-water rafting through caverns lit by thousands of tiny glowworms, traveling to the cave entrance via zip line and finishing the adventure on a series of natural rock slides. We will take in the views on a sunrise hike around Lake Matheson. We will spend two days hitting the slopes surrounding Wanaka, one of the best skiing and snowboarding destinations in the Southern Hemisphere. Honing our action filmmaking skills, capturing local athletes doing jumps and tricks. We will get to kick the adventure into high gear with a mountaineering expedition on the slopes of New Zealand’s highest peak—Aoraki, or Mount Cook. We will soar above the snow- covered Southern Alps in a small plane, and touch down on top of the massive Tasman Glacier. Outfitted with snowshoes and ice picks, we’ll join expert guides to explore this wintry wilderness of glacial icefalls and otherworldly ice caves. We will head east to the colonial town of Oamaru, and try sheep shearing during an overnight stay in a farming community. We will see the giant spherical Moeraki Boulders on a visit to Koekohe Beach, and ride a high- wheeled penny-farthing bicycle.
I cannot concisely put in words how much I want to go on this expedition. Not only will I return to Houston seeing the world from a completely new perspective, I will also be able to share with all of you the breathtaking film I shoot during the best 18 days of my life.
Any contribution can help to fund this trip. You will be able to see what an impact you made once I come home and upload my film. All contributors will be thanked and listed at the end of my film (unless opposed), as well as sent a thank you card featuring my best photograph taken on the trip. Lastly, I just want to emphasize how meaningful this trip is to me and how grateful I am for any donations. Thank you so much!