The Media is Dead. Long live Media .... Is video the savior?

Panel Discussion: The Media is Dead. Long live Media .... How video is fueling a media boom in the outdoor industry.

** Thursday, August 5: 7:30-9:00 a.m.
** Salt Lake City Marriott Downtown, Salon D

As outdoor industry media rapidly moves toward digital domination, the role of video and photography has taken on a new level of priority and urgency. Media companies, brands and retailers are all working to include compelling imagery in their media mix...but, who's doing it right? Who's doing it effectively? Who's doing it affordably? And most importantly, how can outdoor industry brands and retailers tap into cutting edge trends in video and photography?

Let’s face it …. For the most part, the outdoor world is a low-tech zone. Not Amish low-tech, but definitely not digital natives either.

Part of it is generational, as we’re still dominated by the paper pushing baby boomer crowd, a crew that is known to actually carry "cash" and use things like "pencils" during sales meetings. Part of it is cultural, too, as the the things we like to do in the great outdoors are more about touching the sky than touch screens and CPUs.

But while the outdoor word has been the dominant messenger in the outdoor world for the last few centuries, the next few decades are destined to be driven by video.

Feature videos, product videos, event videos, stock videos, integrated videos .... if you haven't had the video conversation in your marketing department in the last six months, you haven't been in the marketing department.

Twenty some years ago, when an outdoor film was released, the only place to catch it was in a movie theater, sitting next to the other garlic-breathed outdoorzies in the dark. Today, however, you can catch a video anywhere …. At work, at home, or even down by the river on your phone.

As the outdoor industry rapidly moves toward a digital video future, the big questions aren't whether or not to use video ... but how to do it right. How do you make an effective outdoor-themed video right now? And how do you distribute it? Who's watching outdoor video and what do they want to see from it? How much does it really cost? Can my nephew with a new Mac and a basement apartment really handle my video needs?

To dig into the meat of cutting edge trends in video and photography, we have put together a panel of outdoor industry leaders and innovators in video and film for a panel discussion at the upcoming Outdoor Retailer summer market show. The crew includes:

Rob Faris, SVP Programming & Production, Outside Television

Rob Faris, a multiple Emmy Award-winning television producer, oversees the creation and development of programming content Outside Television. Before joining Outside Television, Faris was the Executive Producer at Voom HD, a series of HD channels owned by Cablevision, where he supervised three of the channels, notably Rush HD, an action-adventure outlet. Faris was responsible for all the creative aspects of television production at the Voom HD channels, oversaw the global operation of production teams associated with the three channels, and managed original productions in more than 40 countries. Prior to Voom HD, Faris was a member of the Emmy-winning team for NBC Sports Summer Olympic Games in Athens; a producer at Madison Square Garden; and a feature producer at ESPN where he was part of the Emmy- and Peabody-winning Sports Century series.

Corey Rich, Photographer, Filmmaker & Principal at Aurora Photos

LINK: Video
Corey Rich is one of the world's most recognized adventure and outdoor lifestyle visual storytellers. He has captured stunning still photos and video on a wide array of assignments, including rock climbing in India, ultra-marathon racing in the Sahara Desert of Morocco, freight train hopping in the American West, and snowboarding in Papua New Guinea. His editorial work includes assignments for National Geographic Adventure, Outside, Sports Illustrated and The New York Times Magazine. Commercial clients include Anheuser-Busch, Apple, Nike and The North Face. Today, much of his time goes into capturing both still images and video for the creation of multimedia projects for commercial and editorial clients.

As Vice President and co-owner of Aurora Photos, Rich was the driving force behind founding Aurora’s Outdoor Collection, which is the world’s leading brand of outdoor adventure and outdoor lifestyle photography. He is focused on overseeing Aurora’s continued growth in sales and business development. Most recently, Rich played a major roll in the creation of two new divisions: New York City based Aurora Select, focused on photo and video assignments and Portland, Maine based Aurora Novus, an innovative multimedia production company.

Additionally, Rich is a Nikon evangelist and a member of the SanDisk Extreme Team. He is also on the Board of Directors for The Access Fund, member of the Visual Journalism Advisory Board at Brooks Institute, co-founder and lead instructor of the National Geographic Adventure Photography Workshop, member of the Rowell Legacy Committee and on The Rowell Award for the Art of Adventure judging panel

Fitz Cahall, creator, “The Season” & “Dirtbag Diaries

In January 2007, I was 28-years-old and felt like the dream I had been chasing my entire life was unsustainable. A friend once told me, "Write from the heart, write what's true and things will work out." It was getting harder to believe. I worked hard, but the stories I loved so much failed to make it from my hard drive to the pages of magazines. Rent checks were getting harder to write. By February, I was studying for the GRE and looking at grad schools I didn't really want to attend.
The thing is–you can't turn off a dream. With a go-for-broke mentality, I began bundling my favorite stories into the Dirtbag Diaries. My office has become a tangle of cords and microphones. With each new episode, I emerge bleary-eyed and in need of a can of PBR. Professionally, I have never been happier in my life. This world is filled with great stories. They come from friends during big wall belays, around campfires and on long drives across empty deserts. I look forward to telling as many as I can. Since the diaries, I've gone on to produce the both The Season -- a 22 episode mini-series -- and the upcoming 10 part series, Tracing the Edge with Patagonia

Tami Snow, Horny Toad

Tami Snow is the Communication Director for Horny Toad, an atypical apparel company with a long track record of powerful, memorable imagery. At Horny Toad, Tami helps to oversee the brand positioning and storytelling. Prior to joining Horny Toad Tami was the owner and Creative Director for a small boutique creative agency specializing in a wide variety of brands primarily in retail, outdoor recreation, lifestyle apparel and footwear working on notable brands such as L.L. Beans and Tubbs Snowshoes, American Ski Company and Old Navy.

Horny Toad video is a thoughtful and fun collaboration with their partners, Merge Creative. “The collaborations with Horny Toad and Merge have been successful because there is a creative process and between two like-minded entities. Merge bringing brands to life in ways people recognize as authentic and real. It is the perfect blend of art and technology, finely-tuned visual effects and the collaboration of storytelling by making people feel inspired.”

Josh Murphy, Producer/Director

Josh Murphy is a producer, director, and cinematographer who began his career in film in 1999 with the release of the award winning Unparalleled series of modern freeheel ski films. His work spans television, commercials, documentary and feature films including the upcoming release of The River Why starring Zach Guilford and Amber Heard with Academy Award Winner William Hurt and Academy Award Nominee Kathleen Quinlan, for which he was Co-Producer and Second Unit Director/DP. His broadcast productions have been featured on CBS, ESPN, CMT, OLN, VH1, G4 TV, VS, Fox Sports Network, Fine Living, Warren Miller Television, The Weather Channel, Resort Sports Network, and Time-Life Video. Among other awards he is the recipient of North American Snow Sports Journalist Association’s Bill Berry Award for Modern Media, the Harold Hirsch Award for Film and Broadcast, and the Gerald Hirschfeld, ASC Best Cinematography Award from the Ashland Independent Film Festival. In the outdoor world he recently produced original commercial, web, and viral content for clients such as The North Face, Clif Bar, Outdoor Research, and the California State Parks Foundation.


  1. Home-made YouTube and Vimeo is also replacing the 'ole slide-show get-together/pot-lucks, too.

    For better or worse, vids have replaced stills as the way to share your trip and do it on-line where everyone can get to it.

  2. Thank you for organizing and moderating the panel at the OR show. I thought the range of experience you had on stage was perfect! I would love to show the video people at NOLS the stream from the panel discussion. It looks like on twitter people are saying that it will be posted sometime.