Intern Adventures: Finding True North

Carly Harmon on an archaeology dig

January 10th 2015.

It had been two years since I had graduated with a BA in Anthropology and Museum Studies and I had spent those last couple of years setting free the pent up travel bugs that had accumulated throughout my college career.

Carly Harmon in the Red Wood forestI had biked from sea to shining sea and felt at home within the purple mountains majesty, gazed up at the gentle giants of the Redwoods and down at the steep icy slopes of Big Sky, endured the christening booty beers of white water living and enjoyed clicking glasses over new found friendships. It had been a glorious two years, full of geographical exploration and self discovery but that wavering compass needle that had lead me on so many adventures had grown daunting.

While unpacking back home in Ann Arbor I uncovered mementos from my fleeting past-life: the archaeological digs, art curating, environmental education, wildlife conservation…I had enjoyed each of these experiences, yet none held the magnetism to keep my compass pointed at any one cardinal direction.

Still rummaging, I came across an old flyer from the Banff Film Festival Tour, I recalled the nostalgic smell of musty theater seats and the venturous inspiration that had radiated from the projection screen. I had walked out of Missoula’s Wilma Theater envious of those people’s lives, but holding the flyer in my hands and crouched over a box in my parent’s basement I now asked myself “Why not me?”

From that point on, I occupied most of my time with various storytelling projects, experimentation with different types of software, and endless online photography tutorials. I browsed the web for film schools across the country, each search resulting in few key words: expensive, intensive, impressive, all of which I lacked.

Then I found the Adventure Film School. The course was exactly what I was looking for: a month of pre-production, a week of hands on camera experience in the Colorado back country, and 1 on 1 instruction from people who actually knew what they were doing.

Students at Adventure Film School getting hands-on gearCarly Harmon using the Kessler Crane Shuttlepod Mini

So, on January 10th 2015, I took a deep breath, paused to imagine the frosted pines and powder of the Colorado Backcountry…then blew out the 24 flames on my cake, having no idea that I had just ignited something else much more.


From The Editor:
On the heels of our course in the Colorado Backcountry, Carly Harmon joins AFS as our summer intern. We’re excited and lucky to have her. Follow some of her adventures on our instagram @adventurefilmschool and at