The new Columbia Sportswear documentary “I am #OMNITEN” is about one thing and one thing only: Trying Stuff.
Trying Stuff captures the mantra of 10 ordinary people who were selected by Columbia for a trip of a lifetime to the Kingdom of Jordan, a country the locals lovingly call “a beautiful home in a rough neighborhood.” The company sent these virtual strangers on an outdoor travel thrill ride together, where they were able to test their personal limits and kick some major firsts off their bucket lists.
Behind the scenes with the CMD crew for the making of Columbia Sportswear’s “I am #OMNITEN” documentary.
From snorkeling in the Red Sea, and journeying through the desert on camel back, to exploring ancient cities, the number of moments outside the comfort zone for the OmniTen participants were too numerous to count. So Columbia and CMD decided to capture them on film instead.
10 OmniTen adventurers. 5 film crew members. 13 days. 2.6 terabytes of footage.
The Jordan OmniTen adventure also became a Trying Stuff moment for CMD filmmaker and master editor, Pedro Peraza. Traveling with the team to capture the spirit of the OmniTen group as they explored this remote part of the world, Pedro got a chance of a lifetime to direct and edit not just the typical :30 or :60 ad or short corporate video, but a complete hour-long documentary.
It was all about pushing the boundaries from that moment on.
“This wasn’t your typical agency shoot. There was no setup, no pre-production,” said Pedro. “Everything was spontaneous. Our goal was to balance how to tell the personal stories of the participants, while not taking anything away from their journey. In the end, we sorted hundreds of hours of footage – from slow motion, time lapse, b-roll and interviews – to capture their spirit of embracing new challenges.”
Part of the thrill of the project was also working with a client that believed in the philosophy from the start. Columbia pushed CMD to not play it safe and to go far beyond the brand to focus instead on the individual OmniTen members themselves.
“This was never about making a corporate video,” said Pedro. “In fact, when we played it safe in the editing process, the client pushed us to dig deeper and take bigger risks.”
In the end, Pedro says being behind the camera inspired him just as much as the people in front of it. Whether it was hiking for 12 hours or navigating a rocky cliff, the crew undertook all of the same challenges the OmniTen participants did, often rising earlier and staying up late to try and capture those final magical moments on film.
Back at home, Pedro has been inspired to live the Trying Stuff life as well, embracing the spirit of getting outdoors to explore things he’s always wanted to see right here at home.
“Whether in making a film or living your life, the lesson for me was to not let what others think hold you back. Go out there and try. That’s when those special moments happen.”
“I Am #OMNITEN” premieres at the Columbia Flagship store in downtown Portland, Wednesday, August 27 at 5:30 p.m. Open to the public; space is limited.