An Overland Explorer and Filmmaker: Cameron Hotchkiss
You are a cinematographer and have your own business, Momentum Media Company. Can you tell me a little more about how you started creating content for businesses?
My background started off in skiing and mountain biking. That slowly trickled into the motorsports world. It was the perfect organic storm of people who wanted to connect and capture video. And I enjoyed doing those things anyway. I’ve been specializing in the outdoor and automotive world. And that’s what I’ve been doing for about seven years now. It’s been awesome!
Your Instagram content is awe inspiring; the photos that you capture are breathtaking! How did you get your start in photography?
Thank you! I’ve been doing it by myself. I originally went to Washington State University for film and marketing. But ended up dropping out and putting in the time and doing it all myself. I’m a YouTube graduate as I like to say. I started from the ground up and started shaking hands and working with people I wanted to work with.
You’ve been to some beautiful places. Where is the most amazing place you’ve traveled to? And why?
That’s a tough one… Probably Alaska. I’ve been to Alaska on two different occasions. One was to film an ice climbing film, which was a ton of fun. The most recent trip was for Ultimate Adventure two years ago. We got to be in Alaska for about 20 days. Living in Spokane we don’t have access to mountains like that, being on the road, living out of an off-road vehicle for that amount of time, and being out in nature, is awesome. I’m not doing a great job at explaining the feeling, but the mountains, the rivers, the wildlife… it’s incredible. I’m very thankful to call it a job.
How did Fullriver products make it into your daily lifestyle?
About three to four years ago, I bumped into Ian Blomgren (@the_utv_overlander) from Fullriver at Overland Expo and said I was from Spokane and he perked right up because he’s from Spokane. We were in Arizona, and he said, “What the heck are you doing all the way out here?” and I said the same to him. We just built a relationship from there, as you know Ian is a great dude. I had tons of questions regarding batteries and how to outfit my van. Ian immediately was like “We’ve got the right product for battery power.”
You have a sprinter van that you’ve completely renovated to accommodate your camping lifestyle. What are some of the advantages of using Fullriver batteries in your van?
Honestly, having the Fullriver power system on the van makes it so much more comfortable and convenient. With me being a full-time media guy, when I’m done shooting Jeeps or whatever lifestyle like skiing or mountain biking doesn’t matter what it is, I’m able to go back to my vehicle dump footage, charge batteries, charge my fridge…I don’t know how I would be able to do what I do without it! It’s a lifesaver having those batteries on board for sure!
Okay. This question is just for fun. What’s the most daring thing that you’ve done?
In Alaska, filming the ice climbing film. A little backstory on the film, we had this idea of shooting ice climbing at night, so we lit up all the glaciers with different lighting. With that being said, we were leaving at about 7pm every night and hiking out to the glacier and then filming all night ’till about seven in the morning. So, we were tired, being out in the elements for that amount of time, and our sleeping schedule was wonky. We were on night five or six coming off the glacier and I lost my footing and slid down the side of the glacier. And the only thing that stopped me from going into a crevasse was that I had my camera backpack on, and I basically got wedged so I couldn’t go down in it. That was scary, I think overall that was my closest near-death experience. It’s always fun to tell people stories and get into what inspires them. I’m not an ice climber by any means, but got to tell Allan, the ice climbers’ story, and that’s something that he enjoys doing. I just like submersing myself in people’s lives and what they like to do and tell their story. These trips are so diverse – I learn a lot. When I did the Idaho BDR (back-country discovery route) with Ian this last year, I learned a ton. Even with being in motorsports for seven years, I’ve hadn’t shot something where I was living out of an ATV for ten days. It’s fun to figure out ways to be proficient in the back-country and stay safe, but also do my job well.
Cameron, it looks like you’ve done it all! You can be seen off-roading, camping, dirt biking, fishing, mountain climbing, skiing…What’s the next adventure on your list?
I recently picked up a dual sport motorcycle, and I’m hoping to check off some more BDR’s with my Pops – go make some memories with my Old Man. Get out in the woods and try to log some miles and some BDR’s on bikes. And I also have more BDR plans with Ian. There’s lots on the docket. So it should be fun!
Interviewed by: Alexis Moore