The Rockies in 16mm – Video

Oh Travel, how we miss you. How we long to explore the world again, footloose and fancy free. Life is enjoying a meal together with family and friends, relaxing on a beach, sailing the ocean, roaming the woods, or hiking in the mountains. Life is the excitement of exploring a new destination, reflecting on our past, immersing oneself in a different culture, or watching in awe a spectacular sunrise or sunset from a new vantage point. Life is travel. The urge to explore and seek out new adventure is built within us all. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. Oh Travel, we can’t wait to see you again. And, in the words of Dr. Seuss: “Oh, the places we’ll go.”


This month’s Travel Video share, entitled Built From Within, features the work of Brooklyn-based filmmaker, Janssen Powers. He shot the footage for this film during a week-long trip into the Rocky Mountains with his wife last summer on their mission to complete the Teton Crest Trail. His choice of medium — a 16mm film camera, with its imperfections and grainy texture — infuses the film with a throwback, “retro” feel, contrasting sharply with the current standard of 4K ultra high-def video-making.  It’s sort of like the feeling you get when listening to vinyl records in a world full of digital music. His decision to score the film with a recorded narration by Ansel Adams adds further to the magic and nostalgic vibe that this film conveys. What an awesome way to pay tribute to the famous landscape photographer and environmentalist known for his black-and-white images of the American West who, at the age of 12, was given his first camera during his inaugural visit to Yosemite National Park in 1914.


The film was just released on Vimeo last week, but the editing and final touches for Built From Within were completed during the recent weeks of the COVID-19 crisis and NYC quarantine. In Mr. Powers’ words: “In hindsight, now going on six-weeks cooped up inside a NYC apartment, deciding to shoot this trip feels like one of the best decisions we’ve made. Like many of us in these uncertain times, I’ve been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster lately, but this footage has given me an escape. Here’s to hoping that someone else can find some solace in it as well.”


We hope you enjoy this beautiful work highlighting our own American West. It’s a unique departure from our typical video share. And while we recognize that now is a time for reflection, staying safe, and staying home, we sure look forward to the day we can venture out together again.  In other words, we sure do miss you, Travel!


The Avant Team

The Avant Team