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Everest: Golden Camera prize for Serac Films
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Nov 19, 2004 22: 51 EST
Michael Brown and Serac films won another prize this week, this time on Graz Festival, in the 'Alpine Dokumentation' category with 'Farther than the eye can see.' Tomorrow (Saturday), Michael will do a live speech on the Festival website! (Find it in the links section)

This past spring, “Farther Than the Eye Can See” was nominated for two Emmy awards, and currently the feature is being shown at film festivals around the world, collecting awards. By following the links to the left you can view clips from the movie.

First HD TV and blind Everest ascent

The film follows the epic ascent of Everest by the first blind man, Erik Weihenmayer. It was also the first time a High Definition camera was taken to the summit of Mount Everest by a repeat Everest summiter and filmmaker, Michael Brown.

This summer, Erik and Michael also visited the Braille Without Borders school for the blind in Lhasa, at almost 12,000 feet on the windswept Tibetan plateau.

Bells and whistles

Along with seven of his Everest team mates, Erik selected a small group of six highly motivated blind students to teach his specially adapted hiking and climbing techniques. Some of his techniques include using two long trekking poles to feel the terrain ahead, and following bear bells attached to a leader's pack.

“During the entire trek,” commented Mike Brown to ExWeb, “the kids never complained, never got cold, never got tired. They just smiled the whole way. You go into something like this thinking that you are there to help someone else out but in the end you get so much out of it that you feel it was the other way around.”

Jetwinds and changes

Because the average elevation of Tibet is around 14,000 ft and it is a dry and dusty place problems with the eyes is all too common among children. Along with the altitude and dry dusty air, yak dung is used for heat in rural communities and the smoke from that results in a much higher rate of blindness in Tibet.

Before the school was opened the official word from China was that there was no blindness there, it was a struggle to keep the school going but now things are slowly changing.

Pioneers

Incredibly enough, back in 2002 - blind Erik was also the first test pilot for Contact 2.0 expedition technology! With Michaels help, he typed his own dispatches to a self-publishing website.

Michael was in addition the first to test run the new Contact GEO positioning system this summer, when sail racing with a friend who is currently waiting for a heart transplant.

Farther Than the Eye Can See is presented by Outside Television in association with the Outdoor Life Network and Aperture Films, Ltd. directed by Michael Brown, written by Michael Brown and Joshua Colover, produced by Joshua Colover and Chris Blum, Co-Produced by Erik Weihenmayer and Ed Weihenmayer, Associate producer Kim Morris with Les Guthman, executive producer. Original music by Kip Keupper of Coupe Studios.

Image courtesy of Erik Weihenmayer, courtesy Serac Adventure Films.

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