In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk. Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers. As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.
In 2007, Jeff Orlowski got his first taste of the Arctic when as a Stanford student he seized an opportunity to work as a videographer with National Geographic photographer James Balog on the initial expedition of The Extreme Ice Survey (EIS). That winter, the EIS team scouted and filmed glaciers that now appear in the documentary feature film Chasing Ice. Orlowski, a New York native, has been filming the EIS project around the world, working in some of the most extreme conditions imaginable on locations in Iceland, Greenland, Bolivia, the Alps, Alaska, and Glacier National Park, Montana. Jeff’s previous work has taken him to the Tour de France for a behind-?the-?scenes documentary, and he has photographed and filmed a number of people including Robin Williams, Jane Goodall, and Nelson Mandela. Orlowski’s Geocaching: From the Web to the Woods won Best Short Doc at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival 2006 in Birmingham, Alabama. In 2008, he won the Best Editing award for his last film The Strange Case at the Action on Film Festival, Pasadena, California. Orlowski’s imagery has exhibited at The Denver Museum of Nature and Science; The Aspen Institute; The Scripps Institute; The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, 2009; and before the U.S Congress on Capitol Hill. In 2009, Orlowski founded Exposure, a film production company dedicated to socially relevant filmmaking, with an eye towards issues important to humanity. Clients have included: General Motors/Saturn; Apple Inc.; The Jane Goodall Institute; Stanford University; and The Race Across America. Jeff lives in Boulder, Colorado.