Have you ever watched a National Geographic film about some remote and dangerous place—and then wondered what the people behind the cameras had to go through to capture the action? Bryan Smith, an award-winning filmmaker for the National Geographic Channel, shares gripping, behind-the-scenes moments from his assignments to document extreme feats and high adventure in the world’s most challenging environments. An expedition kayaker who has paddled steep rivers in India, Peru, and Russia, Smith was inspired to take up cinematography while protesting a hydroelectric dam project that threatened rivers near his home in British Columbia. His first film, 49 Megawatts, received acclaim both for its extreme kayaking footage and insightful exploration of the controversy over river-based energy production. Smith has since built on his adventure film roots and developed a strong reputation in both TV documentary and commercial cinematography. With a knack for storytelling and an insane work ethic, his client list has grown to include National Geographic Channel, Discovery Network, Disney, Red Bull, Patagonia, New Belgium Brewing, Arcteryx, and more.
In 2010 Smith earned a National Geographic Expeditions grant for his work in Kamchatka, Russia. He has since worked as both a field producer and director of photography for National Geographic Television on shows including Alaska Wing Men, Explorer, Nat Geo Amazing, and Monster Fish. Most recently he co-produced and directed The Man Who Can Fly, about free climber and BASE jumper Dean Potter.
Hiking for miles laden with gear, trusting rigging on sheer vertical faces, and paddling waterfalls with a camera between his legs are all part of the adventure. While the footage he has captured will make your heart race, the story behind the camera will take your breath away.