Maritimes from Above at Silver Wave Film Festival

The New Brunswick film festival called “Silver Wave” is showing our documentary we did for CBC plus a few other great local documentaries on November 5th @ UNB @ 2 PM and it would be great to have some friendly faces in the audience.

Tickets are for sale at the door (cash only), and the proceeds go to the NB Film Coop.

“A documentary showcase spotlighting the beauty of the Maritimes in films by Ryan Groom of Hanwell and Moncton-based Craig Norris is sure to be a treat for filmgoers. Both films are lively, full of humour and present incredible vistas.
They will play on Sunday, November 5, at 2pm at Tilley Hall, UNB Campus.”

Thanks,

RyanSig3

 

Maritimes from Above on CBC

Airing September 2nd, 2017 on CBC

This time last year the Trekkit crew was just finishing shooting for this film, now after hours of editing and working closely with CBC, its ready for TV!

It will be on the Absolutely Maritimes program on September 2nd at 8:00 PM on CBC, then available online global shortly after the broadcast.

Click here for the background on the story of how this project got started.

 

Please take a look at the teaser trailer below.

To hear my thoughts on the project and my love for the Maritimes please listen to the recent radio interviews where I had the wonderful opportunity to discuss the project on CBC Radio in Fredericton and Saint John.

Below is the links to the interviews:

CBCListen_Logo_Gem

Fredericton Interview
Saint John Interview

 

A big part for me doing these video projects is selecting the right music to help spur the emotion for each location. I used Caleb Miles, “Old Man on the Porch“ to close the film. Great song!

Click here to read about finding that song.

 

The true stars of the show where:

  • Meat Cove, Nova Scotia
  • Walton Glen Gorge, New Brunswick
  • Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick

In the show we do extensive aerial videography at each location and there are lots of cameos of places we have visited before and along the way. It did not go as smooth at each location so a few of the misadventures made it into the film, makes for some light hearted moments.

Special Thanks to the following folks and organizations for helping to make this happen

 

Ryan Groom

And of course, super special thanks to the crew Rodney McAffee, Paul Archer and Jacob Groom. These guys made the travels extra special.

We hope you laugh a little, learn a little, and go visit these fantastic places. For many of us these places are in our own backyard, so go enjoy them!

 

Safe and Happy Trekks,

 

RyanSig3

The Outsiders

Back in 2014 when “the crew” got back from Iceland, I made this video as a fun private video to the song, “The Outsiders” by Eric Church. With new YouTube rules (Mr. Church gets the ad revue), I can now share it. Being able to travel with great friends has been a blessing and this video sums our serious nature as we travel.

Thanks for watching,

RyanSig3

“Maritimes From Above” Theme Song

Old Man on the Porch” by Caleb Miles

Featured on “This Place, Songs from Annapolis Valley” by Ruby Throated Records

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I am excited to announce that “Old Man on the Porch” will be the theme song for our upcoming CBC documentary.

peekWhen creating any film, the two most important things are telling a story and having matching music to amplify the theme and emotion that the video is trying to portray. Hopefully you will all watch the summer of 2017!

The next step is to hit the studio with a talented neighbour and score the video, but that is another story to be told next year. If you have a song you think might fit, please checkout the blog; looking for music.

I can’t wait to show you how this song and the beautiful video of the Maritimes will help show why we all enjoy This Place.

Caleb Miles Website
Ruby Throated Records Website
Photos by Paul Archer Studios

Looking for Music for “Maritimes From Above”

Ryan Groom, Jacob Groom, Rodney McAffee

I am looking for a soundtrack for our upcoming documentary called “Maritimes from Above” that will be broadcasted on CBC next summer (2017), be available online via the CBC website for 5 years, and be distributed to film festivals around the world. For more about the “Maritimes from Above” project click here.
Getting the right music for a film is important as it sets the tone, stirs emotions, and can help the director tell the story. Music has always been important to me and is one of the most enjoyable parts of completing a film, adding the score.

We are looking for a few good songs from independent artists to be included in the film. We may use it as a snippet during a driving scene, or use it when the closing credits are rolling, or anywhere in-between. So when submitting the song keep in mind we may use a few seconds to the whole song.

As our film budget is not very large, our license fee ranges from free to up to $500 for each song. We need you to submit the amount you feel is appropriate for your song. The selection process will be a balance of the cost of the song, how well the song fits the purpose in the film, and a possible audience you could bring to the film.

Rodney McAffee at walton Glenn Gorge

I have used music before from Word Music (a Sony label) artist Crossection and a track from Séan McCann, formally of Great Big Sea, in the Wonders of Iceland: The Movie. You can read about that experience here.
The type of music we are looking for is mainly folksy road trip type songs. Great Big Sea style or songs like Eli  Young Band “Saltwater Gospel“, are good examples.

 
A requirement will be you need to be able to sign a release form that grants Trekkit Studios non-exclusive perpetual rights to the song for this film and its promotion in order for us to use it. We will add you in the credits of the film and when we announce the film broadcast date on the blog we will list the music used and have a link to your song if available online.

So if you have some music you think might work for our film, please email the MP3 or a link to music@trekkit.com .

Thanks,

RyanSig3

Maritimes from Above

 

Ryan and Jacob GroomJust signed my first contract with CBC to produce a documentary called “Maritimes from Above” about landscape aerial videography, the techniques, and regulations behind getting grand vistas with the film industries hottest tool, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), or what many call drones (BTW: I hate the word “drone”).

Paul Archer, Rodney McAffee, and Ryan GroomOn Saturday, my filming companions (Paul Archer & Jacob Groom) are picking up our international travel buddy Rodney McAffee from the Halifax Airport then driving to Nova Scotia to start filming. After Nova Scotia we head to a few amazing places in New Brunswick; the first location is in the Sussex area, then to Grand Manan Island to capture some of the most amazing views in the Maritimes. We are just not taking regular aerial shots but flying through gorges, caves, and between massive trees to get unique video with our pair of UAVs.

The documentary will be shot this summer, edited this fall, and will be shown on CBC next summer (2017).

Personality I am nervous and excited (pumped!). I have been learning about broadcast TV thanks to the generous support of Bell Aliant TV1 the last 4 years and now I got a chance to expand the reach and tell a story on CBC taking all the lessons learned from past adventures and wrapping them into an educating and entertaining 45 minutes! Special thanks to the Silver Wave film festival in facilitating the first meeting with CBC last fall which lead to the full bloom of this project.

Ryan GroomWell … almost time to pack the truck with cameras, drones, coffee, candy, cables, and computers to start an unforgettable road trip with some of my best friends in the whole world — to bring you, Maritimes from Above.

Thanks for reading,

 

RyanSig3

Carn Mor Dearg and Other Adventures

I have been fortunate to be able to travel with family and friends while doing film projects. This late spring, I filmed with a crew in the United Kingdom for the upcoming season 5 of Trekkit TV which airs on Bell Aliant TV1 and also filmed a documentary I hope to release later this summer. Rodney, David, Duncan, Peter and Alex – it was a hoot!

One of the best parts about filming is working with various people and organizations that help us get the “magic shots”.

Bell Aliant tv1
Without TV1 none of the adventures would have been possible, period. Checkout all the great TV1 programming at http://tv1.bellaliant.ca

Microsoft-new-logo
Special thanks to Microsoft Canada and the Band and Surface teams. During our 13 days of filming in the UK we took over 180,000 steps, walked nearly 150 km, and climbed the equivalent of nearly 1,100 flights of stairs each! We used the Surface to preview footage in the field and transferred all the video from the various cameras to 2 portable hard drives. Checkout the Surface and the Band at https://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msca/en_CA/home.

historic
Without the help from Historic Environment Scotland many of the magical shots of Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart castles would have not been possible. The staff at each location were energetic and enabled us to get the shots we needed. The biggest treat of the trip was getting into castles before the crowds! “Móran taing” Visit Historic Environment Scotland at https://www.historicenvironment.scot/ to help plan your next trip to Scotland.

SplashMaps_logo_green
If you watch any of our episodes you know Rodney loves maps. These folks helped Rodney get a cloth washable map of our mountain adventure. If you want a map for your own adventure visit http://www.splash-maps.com. Check out Trekkit on Splash Maps site! http://www.splash-maps.com/national-walking-month/

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We got to discover what life was like 2,500 years ago in Scotland at the Scottish Crannog Centre. We got unique footage at this location which will air in this upcoming season. You can checkout their project at http://www.crannog.co.uk.

Orange Sprocket
Once again these guys make us look good. Thanks for polishing the expedition crest, it adds special flavor to the trip. To take a peek at others they make look good too visit http://www.orangesprocket.com .

Pete Shenton

Super thanks to Pete for taking the Trekkit gang on an epic hike of Hadrian’s Wall. This is something I have wanted to see for a long time and we even got to see the tree that was in the movie Robin Hood Prince of Thieves! No link for Pete, he is just awesome!

Closing Thoughts

So …. lots of video to watch and the massive task of taking this raw footage and turning it into something 2 or 3 of you might want to watch. Please keep on eye on our Facebook and Twitter page for the news about when new content from us will be available.
Safe and Happy Trekks,

RyanSig3

Trekkit’s Road Trip to Norway Series

Ryan and Rodney in Norway

All six Norway episodes are now available on Bell Video On Demand and Bell Aliant TV1 Online. Ryan and Rodney travel the fjords, glaciers, and many off the beaten but beautiful areas of Norway.

If you don’t have Bell Aliant FibreOP TV service you can still watch Trekkit online.

Episode 1 – Road Trip Begins

Ryan and Rodney start their epic road trip around the majestic fjords of Norway.
Watch Episode 1 Now Online

Episode 2 – Pulpit Rock

Ryan and Rodney continue their road trip around Norway. The duo heads to Pulpit Rock to climb the 600 metre drop and gaze over the fjord.
Watch Episode 2 Now Online

Episode 3 – Bondus Lake

Rodney and Ryan continue their road trip in Norway and head to Bondus Lake and drive through the longest tunnel in the world, 24 KM long!
Watch Episode 3 Now Online

Episode 4 – 3280 Feet Above

Rodney and Ryan continue their road trip in Norway and head to a viewing platform that hangs 3280 ft. over a small village below. Plus, they have some crazy conversations while driving site to site.
Watch Episode 4 Now Online

Episode 5 – Glaciers

Rodney and Ryan visit one of the largest glaciers in Norway, and run into a special surprise.
Watch Episode 5 Now Online

Episode 6 – 8th Most Dangerous Road

It’s Ryan and Rodney’s last day in Norway. They continue to visit amazing sites and drive the #8 most dangerous road in the world.
Watch Episode 6 Now Online

Bondus Lake

We hope you have as much fun watching them as we did making them. To keep current on Trekkit events please like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter or sign up for our Trekkit Newsletter.

Safe and Happy Trekks,

RyanSig3

Selecting the Right Adventure Vehicle

Landrover Defender
Outdoor adventures come in various categories. Some people travel to large alpine ski resorts and stay in luxurious condominiums and enjoy fine dining each evening. Some people travel to all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and lie on the beach sipping mojitos and for excitement go snorkeling over coral reefs. We on the other hand like to travel to places more off the beaten path. Ryan and I prefer to travel to locations such as Iceland, where we climbed on recently active volcanoes or strolled around pools of boiling mud along the Mid-Atlantic Rift. When we were in Norway, we climbed steep trails to peer over the edge of cliffs more than 600 m above the fjords. We also climbed over large glaciers in Norway and enjoyed a sip from the ice cold meltwater draining from under the 10,000 year old ice. Some people may find our choice of locations strange. Many people do not want to travel to places with poor weather, or spend hours driving between hiking locations, and some may even be put off by the lack of civilization in the areas we have travelled (restaurants and accommodations are usually scarce where we go). But this is what the Trekkit Team thrives on.

Different outdoor adventures require different vehicles to meet your needs. In some cases you have to compromise while in certain circumstances only one vehicle may do the job. I will discuss why we selected the vehicles we have so far on our Trekkit adventures, list the pros and cons, and discuss vehicle choices for our upcoming 2016 trip to the Scottish Highlands, and future Trekkit adventures.

Expedition Iceland 2014

HappyFor Trekkit’s adventure to Iceland, we rented a Land Rover Defender. This was a hard core off-road vehicle. It was diesel powered with a manual shift transmission. It also had over-sized off-road tires, high ground clearance, and a snorkel air intake. The Land Rover Defender was very rugged and definitely an old-school machine considering it had been in production with minimal changes since 1948 (20 years before I was born). The Land Rover was selected for our adventure to Iceland because the plan was to drive the interior Highland Roads. To be clear, these roads are not paved, they are little more than a path, water crossings are plentiful and there are no bridges. This is where the 37 inch tires, 12+ inch ground clearance, and raised snorkel air intake were important. Our wives initially thought we got the Land Rover only because it was cool looking. The Land Rover Defender was amazing to drive on the interior roads and was essential during the water crossings, where water sometimes was above the hood. However, I must admit that the Land Rover had some shortcomings. When traveling on the paved roads, it wondered around as if the steering wheel might not be connected at all. The clutch was terrible, the brakes were frightful, and the engine barely had enough power to climb some of the hills. With the four of us on board, plus our luggage, we would frequently crest hills at very slow speeds after having to gear down to 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and sometimes even to 1st gear just so it wouldn’t stall. Comfort and ergonomics in the interior was minimal and I should also add that it consumed fuel like fish drink water. We never calculated the fuel mileage – it would have been too scary. Despite the shortcomings, it was a fantastic vehicle to drive in Iceland.

 
Happy Land Rover Defender

Western Fjords of Norway 2015

IMG_6080The Trekkit adventure to Norway was quite different than Iceland. We drove through the Western Fjords and visited waterfalls, glaciers, and gorges along the way but stayed mainly on the pavement. The infrastructure in Norway was outstanding. The condition of the roads was better than anything I have ever seen. The roads were very smooth and we didn’t see a single pot hole during the entire trip, and we only traveled on the back roads. However, as is common in many European countries, the roads are relatively narrow. In fact, at times you might forget that you are actually on a two lane road. The road was often too narrow for two cars to pass. Wider pull offs are constructed every few hundred meters to allow you to pull over when you actually meet another car. Therefore, we needed a small car and we didn’t need anything to travel off-road with.

_Y3A4224We ended up with a Toyota Auris Hybrid (similar to a Prius in size). The car was small, very comfortable, and made driving the narrow winding roads very easy. The hybrid powertrain also delivered fantastic fuel mileage. Overall, we achieved close to 5 litres per 100 km (nearly 55 mpg) fuel economy on the trip. Great gas mileage was important, as Norway is the most expensive place in the world to buy gasoline (upwards of $2.50 per litre). Perhaps this is why electric vehicles are so popular in Norway. In fact, the completely electric Tesla Model S luxury car is the #1 selling vehicle in Norway. Electric vehicles in Norway are exempt from tolls, ferry charges, and parking fees – attractive indeed. Did the Auris Hybrid have any drawbacks? Yes, it was small and we had trouble fitting our luggage in the car, especially Ryan’s giant suitcase. The car was also low on power which wasn’t a big deal as the speed limit was typically between 50 and 70 km/hour on most back roads.

Scottish Highlands 2016

We spent considerable time deciding what we needed for transportation during our upcoming trip to the Scottish Highlands this spring. There will be four of us on this adventure so we will need more space. However, similar to Norway the roads will be narrow, so we don’t want something too large. We thought we might end up with a midsize sedan like a Vauxhall Insignia, or the very popular Skoda Octavia Estate (wagons are very popular throughout Europe). We considered even larger vehicles, something comparable to a minivan – like the Citroen C4 Picasso. All the cars I just mentioned are not available in North America (some of the options have interesting names though).

Ben NevisOur biggest issue during the planning stage was finding accommodations on the Isle of Skye. There are not many places to stay and we soon discovered that most were already fully booked for the summer months. The second issue was trying to decide where to stay and when, as we will be travelling all over Scotland on the trip. We want to minimize any unnecessary driving related to the weather. Scotland is known for wet weather and we have planned several major hiking days that will be best enjoyed in good weather. On past trips, we have simply worked with the weather we have. In contrast, on this trip we plan to adjust the itinerary and locations for each day based on that day’s weather forecast. This means that we don’t know where we need to be on a given day. A few weeks ago, Ryan called very excited with a fantastic idea; he had realized that we should rent an RV and just live in it during the trip. That way, we can just stay where we happen to be based on the changing itinerary. It was a brilliant idea. We are now renting a big RV (28 feet long and 10 feet high) – this in itself should provide numerous interesting and entertaining experiences. Imagine four guys living in an RV and driving around the Scottish Highlands and Ryan won’t have to ever worry about finding a bathroom on the trip.

Regardless of the vehicle selected, the most interesting attribute of the vehicle will be that the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car and that we have to drive on the wrong side of the road. Furthermore, this means that roundabouts will be navigated clockwise, opposite to what we are accustomed to here in North America; because of this, I am sure we will have some entertaining stories to tell from the trip.

Future Trekkit Adventure

Ryan Groom NorwayWhen we are traveling, we occasionally talk about where we would like to go in the future. I have been pushing the idea of an entirely new adventure for the Trekkit Team. An adventure that would definitely push the boundaries of what we have ever done before. This would be an adventure so big and ambitious that it might take us several years to plan and prepare for the trip. I would like to drive motorcycles from Atlantic Canada to the southern tip of Argentina (off-road where possible). Yes, that is correct – the southern tip of South America. Now I realize that this would be a major undertaking and most of us do not even have a motorcycle license at this point. That is why I am proposing a shorter trip to start with, perhaps a trip across the Trans-America Trail (the “TAT”). The Trans-America Trail starts in Southwestern North Carolina, and ends at the Pacific Ocean in southwestern Oregon – nearly 8,000 km of mostly off-pavement riding. The route consists primarily of dirt roads, gravel roads, jeep roads, forest roads and farm roads. Occasionally, you end up traveling through dried-up creek beds and riding atop abandoned railroad grades. The trip typically takes 3 weeks to travel from coast to coast. Based on the amount of off-road riding, the obvious choice would be a dual sport motorcycle. It would be an amazing trip! Stay tuned to see if I can eventually convince Ryan to tackle this adventure.

To keep up to date on all the Trekkit adventures please signup to our Newsletter and catch us anytime on Trekkit TV.

Happy adventures,

rod-sig1

Ben Nevis

Trekkit Expedition 2016 to the Highlands of Scotland and the Northumbria Coast

Ben_Nevis2016patch
Photo By: David Crocker [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
 
 

The day I am writing this is April 25th, 2016 and it is exactly one month before the Trekkit crew heads out for another adventure. In four weeks we travel to the United Kingdom to climb its highest point and then off to a castle tour on the Northumbria Coast.

This trek has two major purposes:

1. We are filming a documentary about climbing Ben Nevis and using it as a metaphor to inspire people to climb their own mountain, be it physical, mental, financial, spiritual, etc. Many people automatically come back and say, “When are you climbing Mount Everest?” I can safely say never. You don’t have to climb the biggest, baddest item on the list. Conquering any mountain can bring success and fulfilment; and Ben Nevis is just the right challenge for me.

2. We will be filming all the behind the scenes events while roaming around the UK creating the content (the Road Trip) for Season 5 of Trekkit TV on Bell Aliant TV1.

There are two new Trekkit faces on the crew this year.

Alex Vietinghoff: Alex was a guest in Season 2 and also co-hosted Season 4 but never has been on one of the European film shoots with us so we are excited to have him along. This is the first time taking a dedicated/professional camera person on location. Don’t get me wrong, Rodney and I will still have a camera close by for the impromptu opportunities but the epic shots will be the work of Alex. We are excited to see what this guy can do!

 

David Ian MathesonDavid Matheson: David is joining us from the Greater Toronto Area, but was born in St. Stephen, New Brunswick so he qualifies in our “Atlantic Canadian” only group. David has been around professional TV/Movie production for most of his life so he will help add production value to the documentary plus add to the comradery of the group. I used to watch David in plays when I was in elementary school, oh yeah I forget to mention — he is also my uncle. I am looking forward to sharing this epic trip with him.

The Trekkit veterans:

UK (80 of 130)Peter Groom: Peter is alumni from previous Trekkit episodes including Mount Katahdin and Iceland. Peter is joining us on the eat/drink part of the tour as we visit the Northumbria Coast. Peter works in the UK from time to time so he is researching the best places to visit while in softer parts of the UK.

 
 

Rodney McAffeeRodney McAffee: Anyone who has seen any Trekkit TV has seen Rodney’s face and heard his geological wisdom on the show. Rodney is looking forward to the climb to the top of Ben Nevis and leaning/experiencing the history and geology on the Isle of Skye.

 
 

Ryan GroomMe (Ryan Groom): Yes I am going to! They can’t go without the director! This trip is going to be different for me. Filming the road trip for TV is one task but the spiritual guide for this trip is to create a film that will inspire people to identify with and then climb their own personal mountain. I have never attempted a scripted, planned film production so this is a growth area for me (my mountain) and I hope it is one you will find inspiring and entertaining.

 

Our Support Network

None of this could happen without the support of our families and partners. Taking off for 2 full weeks to the UK could not happen without the support of home base. So Kristy, Pam, Monica, Shauna, and Janel; thanks for your support as we lace up our hiking boots, charge the batteries, and take off to film at 4.4k feet above sea level and meet the challenge of a new “knife edge”.

 

tv1Bell Aliant TV1, (especially Csaba Domokos) and their continued support of Trekkit TV and enabling us to go into the homes of Atlantic Canadians and online world wide to help inspire the viewers to go on a trek of their own.

 

Microsoft SurfaceMicrosoft Canada. The Microsoft Band and Microsoft Surface teams have both graciously supported this trip and is our technology partner for the climb. We will be using the new Microsoft Band 2’s to keep track of health metrics as we climb Ben Nevis (comparing a computer geek’s (Me) vitals to those in shape; Alex, David and Rodney). We will be using the Surface for a ton a computer related tasks but especially checking the footage we just shot. We plan to take the Surface to the top of Ben Nevis to be able to check the footage, especially the aerial shots.

 

Orange SprocketOrange Sprocket has always made us look as good as they can (we need lots of help!). These folks are the designer of the 2016 expedition badge. Thanks to Bill, Jeff, and the creative team at Orange Sprocket.

We hope you stay tuned to our blog, the Bell Aliant TV1 website, and our social media channels as we will be posting lots of updates as we visit places in the UK starting May 25, 2016 until June 8th 2016.

Please subscribe to our Newsletter to keep up to date on all things Trekkit related. Thanks!

Safe and Happy Trekks,

RyanSig3