When I initially began paddling in Central and South America, I figured that it was going to take some work before anyone would take me seriously as a guide. So I had the brilliant idea of video boating. My initiation into video boating began my first season in Costa Rica–where Ken would look at me on Class IV-V runs like the Peralta Section of the Reventazon and the Middle Pacuare (which at the time were included in our trip itineraries on an almost-weekly basis) and ask why I was still sitting in the eddy with the group and not heading downstream to video. Probably more scared of Ken than the rapids, I quickly developed my video boating skills which went something like this: paddle down the scary rapids ahead of everyone (aka: alone) eddy out in turbulent eddies, get out on slippery rocks, and steady my shaking hands enough to video. To be honest, it was not as much fun as I had initially envisioned. But I had enough of a routine going that I took my new-found skill to Chile and did the same on the Bio Bio, Fuy and Futaleafu rivers with Expediciones del Chile.
Returning to the States each spring, I then had the post-video production work to look forward to. There was no imovie magic at that time. I had two SVHS video players which combined with probably about 32 hours-per-video was my method of creating each trip’s video. Multiply that by an average of eight trips from Costa Rica and about the same number for Chile to produce–all done after working on the river all day, all summer and sometimes I would be mailing out my last creations the week I was leaving to return to Costa Rica. Whew!
The last year of the Bio Bio (Endesa–the power company of Chile, targeted the Bio for three dams, each which would drown out/dewater sections this most incredible river), my brother planted a seed with MTV Sports that they should do something on the loss of the Bio. MTV tried to arrange to be there themselves, but they quickly figured out that the logistics would be nearly impossible. So they instead asked to use my footage. MTV did not really know the difference between a rapid on the Bio, a waterfall on the Fuy, or a big rapid on the Futa, so they kind of did a pick-and-choose from my many hours’ of footage; fortunate because they used interview footage that I did with some pretty amazing guides-including Lars Holbeck.
Following is what MTVSports came up with once they worked their editing magic: