Anthony Cerretani , Alumni
I always wanted to be a director. Like any movie junkie that grew up in the 80s watching big budget adventure films with grandiose sets and exotic locales, I was hooked. So, I took on a film major and considered moving to LA.
But halfway through college, I realized I was more interested in the articles, stories, and films about adventurers, explorers, altruists, and real people dealing with everyday life, whether they were on the open sea, in the Colorado backcountry, or down the block.
The question was how to get the experience, education, and training from the right people; film pros that had in-the-field knowledge and would challenge me to think about every element of the storytelling process, from the philosophy behind the Hero’s Journey, to the logic of creating an intricate scene, to the brass tacks skills it would take to shoot quality footage, edit it, and produce a finished project.
I waited a while to find that combination of experience and education but when I heard that Michael Brown was starting a film school—and an adventure film school at that—I salivated at the idea of learning from the director of Farther than the Eye Can See and so many documentary productions, I can’t count—and I doubt if he can either.
Over the course of three separate schools with Serac Adventure Films, I completed a backcountry expedition to Peru’s Machu Picchu– which I filmed and turned into a 13-minute movie devoted to travel, adventure, and family– got schooled in the basics of editing in Final Cut Pro, and learned the art of creating short, web-ready clips.
Whether we’re creating a two-minute gear review or a five-minute travel film, my staff and I regularly use these tools and teachings on Backpacker.com. We even asked Serac to take our staff on a private, in-the-field training, getting them prepared to shoot in the field on assignment and edit the finished film.
I acquired more practical knowledge of adventure filmmaking with Serac than I did in almost four years of film school. Because of their philosophy of experiential learning combined with practical application, I’ve been able to use those skills both in work and play with great success.
Alex Williams , Alumni
If you love film and love the outdoors then Adventure Film School (AFS) is for you! Forget being stuck in a classroom all day, learning on location is far superior. I was sold the first moment I learned of AFS; from start to finish I was never disappointed. AFS has engineered a winning formula with amazing, exotic locations in addition to knowledgeable and enthusiastic instructors. Overall I’m a more confident filmmaker thanks to the Adventure Film School.
Aileen Torres , Alumni
The Adventure Film School (AFS) is an invaluable experience that compresses several months worth of education and training into one week. You will benefit from it even if, like me, you’ve never held a camera. My confidence in shooting, editing and filmmaking overall improved by the day, thanks to the presence and guidance of Michael Brown, Ryan Ross and the rest of the AFS team. I’ve been a freelance print journalist for six years, and after attending AFS, I’ve successfully added to my skill set and paved the way for a new direction in my career.
Troup Wood , Alumni
Film school taught me what I needed to know before I started a major project on my own.
John Gates , Alumni
Adventure Film School is a GREAT way to share your adventures!
Steve Zaccardi , Alumni
Great Instructors! Great Location! Great Experience! Great School! That is the first thing that came to me when asked about the Outside Adventure Film School. We (Brody and I) learned so much, and it was such a great experience to work on such a challenging project with my son. We were already close, but this brought us closer
Anthony Claudia , Alumni
Whether you’re already in the business or just getting started, I think Adventure Film School is one of the best investments you can make in your career as a filmmaker.
Filmmaking is more than just capturing pretty pictures and witty dialogue, it’s a complicated business. There are plenty of courses out there that will teach you all about that fancy camera you just bought and how to navigate the latest editing software. I know, I’ve slept through most of them. But what AFS delivers is unmatched by any other program available. You learn what it actually takes to deliver a film from concept to finished product. How do you tell a story? How do you keep your audience engaged? What’s happening in your scene? How will these shots cut? What the hell is my film about? You learn to wrangle your crew. Set up the shot. Stick to the production schedule. Haul and manage your gear. And finally you have to get it all done in time for the premiere. Now take all of that and climb to the top of Machu Picchu, or strap on skis and trek deep into avalanche country. Now you’re making a film. The terrain will inspire and challenge you, the schedule will exhaust you, and Michael Brown and his team will guide you every step of the way. No classroom experience even comes close. No matter what genre of filmmaking you are into, or what your role is on set, you need to go to Adventure Film School. I’ve already been on two trips this year and I plan on coming back until they kick me out. It’s the most authentic and rewarding experience out there.
Lennen Madere , Alumni
Studying filmmaking is one thing but living and breathing filmmaking in an exotic location is the only way to truly learn and understand every aspect of the craft. The Adventure Film School delivers, in real-time, all the answers to any question I had about pre-production, production, post-production, legal, marketing and more. The amount of information and knowledge available to me, from the Adventure Film School staff, was invaluable. The toughest part of the school was leaving my ego behind and allowing the Adventure Film School team to openly guide and critique me.
Definitely the most helpful and most fun video training I’ve ever had.
Monika Bunting , Alumni
All the instructors were easy to be around and fun to be with, creating a community of students and experts coming together around a common passion for film and storytelling. My experience at the Adventure Film School has impacted me on both a personal and professional level. I will certainly be coming back for more
Brody Zaccardi , Alumni
I had a great time. I learned so much in such a short time. It was long hours, but the time really flew by. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had. It set me on the right path to starting a career in the film industry.
Krista Barbour , Alumni
Absolutely the most invaluable and intense experience from the minute you arrive in the field to the time you have a finished film in your hands. Just as soon as you think you’ve maxed out on your learning curve, you’re hit with another round of priceless instruction, keeping you on the edge and continually improving your skills and storyline. Not only are these guys the top experts in their field, but they are excellent instructors who take a genuine personal interest in the success of each student and their individual films.
Arik Skromme , Alumni
Adventure film school was an enriching experience. The instructors challenged me to get out of my comfort zone and get into the action with the camera. They also helped me transform my footage into a short story that I enjoy showing to everybody.
Karen Malmqvist , Alumni
At the end of the school, every student emerges with a solid short film and the tools necessary to take their filmmaking to whichever horizon they seek. That’s untouchable.
Sam Bricker , Alumni
Adventure Film School is all about experiential learning mixed with personal training. It is hands down the single best investment you can make if you want to be an adventure filmmaker.
Jack McCowan , Alumni
I traveled from Australia to attend the Adventure Film School and it didn’t disappoint. It was awesome to be amongst fellow aspiring adventure filmmakers on our own adventure and having to take full responsibility for creating our own short adventure film. The best part of the the film school was being able to bounce ideas off fellow students and the instructors which often led to gaining a totally different perspective on the film.