David D'Angelo

Filmmaker, Serac Adventure Films, Boulder, CO

    Photo: Illustration by Tavis Coburn

I met Serac founder Michael Brown in 1999, on Aconcagua. I was 20 years old, on winter break from the University of Colorado, and in awe of what he did—getting paid to film adventures. I interned for him after that. It helps when you're willing to do the less-than-fun stuff for free: packing, shipping, invoicing. When I graduated, I was an editor for ExplorersWeb; a couple years later Michael hired me at Serac. In 2004, I took $15,000 cash out on a zero-percent-interest credit card and summitted Everest with a Russian expedition. That made getting another foot in a door a lot easier. I was also always learning about new equipment and techniques. So when someone needed a fill-in shooter on set, I went from coffee getter to cameraman. I've since worked on seven films and shot for the Discovery Channel and National Geographic. You never know when you'll have your chance; be ready for it.

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