When he first came to CU-Boulder, documentary filmmakerMichael Brown had his eyes firmly fixed on the stars.
“Initially I was studying physics,” says Brown, founder of Emmy Award-winning, Boulder-based Serac Adventure Films. “I wanted to be a spaceman and explore the universe.”
But in part thanks to influential geography professor Gary Gaile, he realized there was more than enough wonder for a lifetime on Earth. Brown says Gaile, who died in 2009, perfectly summed up the kind of life he wanted to live.
He said adventure is something that really sucks while you are doing it, but you look back on fondly, says Brown, 46, creator of the highly regarded 2003 documentary, Farther Than the Eye Can See, about Golden-based blind climber Erik Weihenmayer’s ascent of Mount Everest with guide Jeff Evans.
Brown has summited Everest five times and made dozens of films on location from the highest peaks in South America to Antarctica. Hes also a teacher and founder of the OutsideAdventure Film School in Boulder. Outside magazine, which sponsors the school, has called him a swashbuckling librarian.
On Nov. 1, Brown is being honored with the CU-Boulder Alumni Associations prestigious George Norlin Award, which recognizes outstanding alumni who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in their chosen field of endeavor and a devotion to the betterment of society and their community.
“I just love the giant reality checks that come in the mountains,” he says. “If you get it wrong, if you dont know where you are, you could fail or even die.”