Director - Michael Brown
Michael Brown, Director

The celebrated director of 25 films, Michael Brown is a pioneer of adventure filmmaking and has received more than thirty international film festival and industry awards, including three national Emmys from five nominations. He founded Serac Adventure Films in 1992.


Michael's tenacity and upbeat attitude has brought him to the summit of Mount Everest three times from two different routes—once while shooting and directing “Farther Than the Eye Can See” about blind climber Erik Weihenmayer’s historic ascent. The acclaimed film marked the first time a high-definition (HD) video camera was brought to the mountain’s peak.


Outside the Himalaya, his experience ranges from making first kayak descents of wild rivers in places like Bhutan and Chile to bagging remote summits on all seven continents.

But for Michael, making films is about more than winning awards and exploring uncharted territories. He is committed to “giving back” to the people of the world. Whether documenting free life-changing surgeries in Nepal, disabled athletes in Italy, or blind children in Tibet, his films always include moving human stories that highlight personal accomplishment.


Michael also lends his production and adventuring skills to filmmakers like MacGillivray Freeman Films, for whom he acted as the mountain unit Director of Photography on the soon to be released IMAX film "Alps: Giants of Nature." He was also a specialty cameraman on the critically acclaimed show "BlindSight," A&E’s "Touch the Top," and on a number of feature films.


Though Michael has always loved telling stories (he grew up in family of adventure filmmakers), his real passion is earth science, with emphasis on weather forecasting and climate. He studied weather, climate, and geography at the University of Colorado in Boulder while working at the National Snow and Ice Data Center and has put that knowledge to use in productions for National Geographic Television, NBC, CBS, ABC, ESPN, OLN, the BBC, Rush HD, and the Discovery Channel.


Clients, Awards, Credits, Education

Honorary Positions:


2006           Shoot Out Boulder Festival Jury

2006           Telluride Mountainfilm Board of Advisors

2005           Banff Mountain Film Festival Jury

2005           Kendal Mountain Film Festival Jury

2005           Sports Emmy Awards Blue Ribbon Judging Panel

2005           Executive Board of Population Blue


Clients and Positions:

Photo of Michael Brown at 22,000-ft above Everest Base Camp

© Ace Kvale 200

1992-Now   Serac Adventure Films, Boulder, President

2006          BBC/Discovery Channel, London/Atlanta, Health and Safety and Director of Photography

2005-Now   MacGillivray Freeman Films, Laguna; Director of IMAX Photography

2004-2005  Voom/Rush HD, New York City, Producer Director

2004           Big Rabbit Productions, London, Cameraman

2004           ESPN, X-Games, Huntington Beach, Cameraman

2004           Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Cameraman/Photographer

2004           Radar Communications, Cameraman/Editor

2003-2004  National Geographic Television, Washington DC, Director, Producer

Michael trimming sails onboard Nirvana during the Newport - Bermuda Race 2004.

2004           NBC Sports, Cameraman

2002-2004  Outside Television, Los Angeles, Filmmaker

2003           Octagon, Stamford, Cameraman

2003           Blueprint Creative, Seattle, Cameraman

2001           Aperture Films, Laguna; Director, Cinematographer

1993-2003  American Adventure Productions, Aspen; Field Producer, Writer,  Editor, Cinematographer

2000           Quokka Sports, San Francisco, Web Correspondent, Photographer

1998          MacGillivray Freeman Films, Laguna; Vertical Work Assistant Camera

1993           National Geographic Television, Washington DC, Field Producer, Cinematographer

1992-1998  Summit Films, Gypsum; Producer, Cinematographer, Editor

1993-1996  Z Productions, Sausalito; Producer, Cinematographer, Editor

1991-1992  Summit Films, Gypsum; Production Manager, Location Sound, Assistant Camera

1988-1990  CIRES/NCAR/NOAA: Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder; Research Assistant



Industry Awards:

2004 National Sports Emmy Nomination, Outstanding Documentary (Director, Editor, Writer)

2004 National Sports Emmy Nomination, Outstanding Camera Work

2003 Michigan Outdoor Writers Association, Teddy Award

2001 Michigan Outdoor Writers Association, Teddy Award

1999 International Cinema in Industry Competition (CINDY),  Visual Communicators

1997    National Sports Emmy, Electronic Cameraperson

1996    National Sports Emmy, Electronic Cameraperson            

1993    National Sports Emmy, Film Cinematographers

1993    Cine Golden Eagle, Producer

1995    Regional Telly, Director of Photography & Editor

1995    Regional Joey, Director of Photography

1995    Regional Addy, Director of Photography

Film Festival Awards (Principle filmmaker unless noted):

2006 Breckenridge Festival of Film, 'Best of Festival: Documentary'

2006 Wanaka Mountain Film Festival, 'Best Film on Culture and Environment'

2006 Boulder Adventure Film Festival, 'Most Inspiring Film'

2006 Boulder International Film Festival, 'Best Colorado Film'

2005 Boulder Adventure Film Festival, 'Best Adventure Biography'

2005 Wanaka Mountain Film Festival, 'Best film on Climbing'

2005 Boulder International Film Festival, 'Best Adventure Film'

2004 Explorer's Festival, 'Camera Extreme', Lodz Poland

2004 Graz International Mountain and Adventure Film Festival, Austria: Kamera Alpin in Gold

2004 International Environmental Film Festival in Barcelona Spain: 'Special Prize Documentary'

2004 Hory a Mesto International Festival of Mountain Film and Adventure in Bratislava Slovakia: Best Film in 'Earth' Category

2004 Newport Beach Film Festival: 'Audience Award'  and 'Cinematography' in the Documentary category

2004 Worldfest Houston: 'Special Jury Award'

2004 Beverly Hills Film Festival 'Audience Choice, Best Documentary'

2004 Golden Film Festival, Best Documentary Director and Best Action Documentary

2004 Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival, Best Mountain Adventure Feature

2003 Whistler Film Festival, Butch Freedhoff Human Spirit Award

2003 Banff Mountain Film Festival, Special Jury Award (Ten of Michael's films have been included as finalists the Banff Mountain Film Festival and competition. Only two have won awards as it is a tough competition. In 2005 he will be part of the Jury.) 

2003 Montreal International Adventure Film Festival, Grand Prize

2003 Taos Mountain Film Festival, Best of Festival

2002 Explorers Club Film Festival, Special Jury Award, Environmental Film (In the Shadow of the Condor)

2001 The New York International Mountain Film Festival Alpinfilm: Best Film on Climbing (Editor, Diamonds in the Rough)

2000 Banff Mountain Film Festival,  Best Film on Mountain Sports

1999 New York Alpine Film Festival, Peoples Choice & Best Climbing Film (Vietnam into the Dragon's Teeth)

1999 Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival,  Best Film on Mountain Culture

1998 Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, Special Jury Award

1998 Teplice & Metuji, Czech Republic, Best Adventure Film (Rivers of the Underworld)

1997 Gravity Sports Film Festival, Runner Up, Best Climbing Film (Vietnam Into the Dragon's Teeth)

Film and Video Credits:

Director, Cinematographer, Writer, Editor:

2005 Light of the Himalaya, HDTV Documentary with The North Face, Global Giving and Rush HD about the Himalayan Cataract Project

2001 Everest: Farther than the Eye Can See, HDTV Documentary following blind climber Erik Weihenmayer's climb of Mount Everest in Nepal


Producer, Director

2003 National Geographic Specials, Braving Antarctica, Documentary of the new South Pole Station, Antarctica


Executive Producer, Filmmaker, Live Content Photojournalist:

2004  Newport to Bermuda Sail Race, Independent

2000  NBC/Quokka Sports/WebTV,  Everest Dreams, Climb of 29,035-ft Mount Everest

Michael in Yochib Cave, Mexico from 'Rivers of the Underworld' photo by Corinne Platt.

Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor:

2002 Independent, Kosciuszko, Australia, Blind Climbers Erik Weihenmayer's Seventh Summit.

2002 Independent Film, Shaslikski, Ski Mountaineering on Mount Elbrus in Russia

2002 Outside Television, Outdoor Life Network, In the Shadow of the Condor, Exploration in Southern Chile

1999 NBC/The North Face Expeditions, Shishapangma: A Celebration of Life, Ski Mountaineering in the Tibetan Himalayas

1999 NBC/The North Face Expeditions, Sardinia & Madagascar: Islands in the Sky, Big Wall Climbing with Lynn Hill

1999 Outdoor Life Network, Chile; Traverse in the Land of Ayacara, Adventure Traverse

1998 Outdoor Life Network, Pumori: Daughter of Everest, Mountaineering First Ascent

1997 Outdoor Life Network, Bhutan: Land of the Thunder Dragon, Kayaking & cultural exploration

1997 Outdoor Life Network, Tommy Moe's Alaska, Ski Mountaineering and Kayaking

1997 Outdoor Life Network, Rivers of the Underworld, Cave Kayaking

1996 Outdoor Life Network, Vietnam: Into the Dragon's Teeth, Rock Climbing

1996 Outdoor Life Network, Tien Shan: Celestial Extreme, Skiing in Central Asia

1996 Outdoor Life Network, Tsunami Rangers, Sea Kayaking


Director of Photography:
2006 MacGillivray Freeman Films, IMAX Alps: Giants of Nature

Cinematographer, Editor:

1996 CBS Sports, Rocky Mountain Adventure Games, Kayaking, Hang Gliding, Mountain Biking

1995 Outdoor Life Network, Desert BASE Jump, BASE Jumping

1995 MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas, The Making of EFX With Michael Crawford

1994 March of Dimes, Abuse for Two, Public Service Announcement


Michael with Nepali man in Namche Bazaar, photo by Roger Brown


Producer, Cinematographer:

1993 MTV Sports, Cave Wave, Sea Kayaking

1993 National Geographic Explorer, Wave Warriors, Sea Kayaking


2004 Climbing Blind, Robson Productions

2004 X-Games, ESPN

2004 NBC Sports, Ouray Ice Festival

2003 Octagon/NBC Sports, Balance Bar 24 Hour Adventure Race New York City, New York

2003 Octagon/NBC Sports, Ford Balance Bar 24 Hour Adventure Race, Beaver Creek, Colorado

2003 Outdoor Life Network/American Adventure Productions, Global Extremes: Costa Rica

2002 Outdoor Life Network, Global Extreme, Moab and Aspen Events

2001 Kilimanjaro, Documentary following Heart Transplant recipient Kelly Perkins on Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. Used on ABC Nightly News with Peter Jennings

1999 NBC Dateline, Tribute to Alex Lowe with Tom Brokaw, Alex Lowe and David Bridges

1998 Outdoor Life Network, The Northwest Passage, Sea Kayaking in the Arctic Ocean

1997 Outside Magazine's Great Adventures, The Grand Teton, Climbing

1995 Discovery Channel, Worlds of Wonder, Camera Technology

1993 ESPN, Rivers of the Maya, Caving and Kayaking

1993 ESPN, Easter Island, Forbidden Surf, Surfing, Windsurfing, Sea Kayaking

1993 Commercials, Copper Mountain Ski Area

1994 Commercial, Adobe Systems, Acrobat

1999 NBC/The North Face Expeditions Television Series on NBC

1994 Commercials, Morph, Perspective, Public Relations

Michael with kayak camera housing photo © Michele Cardamone 1993.  From "Rivers of the Maya."


1999 Outdoor Life Network, Greenland, War & Poetry, Rock Climb

1999 Independent, The Great Alexandra, Alexandra Nechita, Artist Profile

1998 Independent, The North Face, Never Stop Exploring, Climbing

1998 Outdoor Life Network, Giant Squid, Monster of the Deep, Wildlife

1997 Outdoor Life Network, Bolivia: Andes to Amazon, Kayaking & Mountaineering

1996 Independent, Diamonds in the Rough, Rock Climbing in South Africa

1995 Outdoor Life Network, Karakorum Wild and Free, Rock Climbing

1995 Outdoor Life Network, Balloon over Mt. Sopris, Ballooning

Associate Producer, Location Sound:

1993 Independent, Kamchatka: Land of Fire & Ice, Skiing & Snowboarding

1991 ESPN, Mt. Cook: Summit of Extremes, Skiing, Snowboarding, Hang Gliding

1991 Fox Television, Ultimate Challenge, Indonesia's Waterfalls, Kayaking

1991 Ski the Summit, The Magic Skis, Theatrical Ski Film

Michael photo by Gordon Brown in Greenland while filming MacGillivray Freeman Films and Imax Theater  Films, "Journey to Amazing Caves 2001"

Associate Producer, Camera Assistant:

1991 National Geographic Explorer, Jungle Kayakers, Mexico (Kayaking and Caving)

1993 Commercials, West Virginia, No Place Else (Tourism)

1993 Commercials, Breckenridge Ski Area

Camera Assistant:

1998 MacGillivray Freeman Films, IMAX Journey into Amazing Caves Ice Caving in Greenland

1989 National Geographic Explorer, White Water Wizards KayakingS

Still Photography: (Published Still Photographs, National Publications Listed)

2006 Men's Journal Magazine, Morocco feature article

2004 Mac Design Magazine

2004  The Economist (Ad for Novartis)


2003  Outside Magazine

2003  National Geographic Adventure Magazine

2003  Popular Science

2001  USA Today

  1990 University of Colorado, Boulder; Bachelor of Arts, major in Geography


Michael is the most accomplished filmmaker with whom I've ever worked. First of all, there are only a hand full of candidates with the athletic ability and tireless drive to pull off what Michael accomplishes routinely. Secondly, the pool of candidates narrows even further when you consider Michael's eye for assembling the subtle pieces of a story. He's the only guy I know who can tell a funny joke at 26,000 feet, beat all of his team mates in chess, carry a 25 pound camera to the summit of Mt. Everest, create an award winning documentary, and through it all, remain just one of the guys, pouring every bit of his heart and soul into getting his team to the top. Michael and I have a long tick list of exciting projects ahead; I look forward to working with him long into the future.--Erik Weihenmayer


Contact Michael Brown

Michael on other web sites

Outside Interview

Groundbreakers: National Geographic Adventure/Banff Mountain Film Festival




Michael Brown arriving home after climbing and filming on Mount Everest in 2000. Photo by Jonathan Chester.


© Copyright 2006 Serac Adventure Films and Outside Television