The impetus for adventure is inside us. It’s the need to go outside the ordinary and explore what is beyond our normal way of thinking. Media Ventures is an award-winning production company dedicated to capturing this spirit.
Beyond the excitement of adventure lies a deeper significance to the journey itself. Its an awakening of our senses to everything around us—the places, the people, the culture, these are the stories that need to be told—stories that embrace real life adventures without the melodrama.
Chronicling the experience for what it truly represents and accurately portraying the story on screen is what we do. These are the types of stories people admire and can relate to—stories that inspire, entertain and educate without embellishing. Our goal is to build on these principles and to continue to develop higher quality programs that reflect this belief.
Media Ventures is now collaborating with an award-winning team of photographers, writers, and producers, and employing experienced expedition organizers and riggers, to provide quality programs with compelling stories that capture the essence of the human spirit in its purest form.
Adventure is not just about taking risk and delving into uncertainty, for us it’s the curiosity to explore an amazing world and share what we experience with others so they too can be inspired to reach out beyond the ordinary and learn about our changing planet. Media Ventures is making some changes as a company and we’re embarking on our new adventure, so stayed tuned.
Since his early days (1983) in the United States Army, Tim has always sought adventure and the challenge of the outdoors. While serving in the Army Tim became a sponsored triathlete and cyclist, but eventually got bit by the climbing bug while living in Korea. There were no instructors or books, no one introduced the sport, climbing was just a natural evolution that soon became an obsession. Eventually a harness, rope, gear, and even a partner became part of the equation—in the beginning it was pure adventure and pure passion to push beyond that personal limit. Climbing in Korea was an exciting adventure given that every outing was an unpredictable escapade—there were no route maps, the trips were spontaneous, the level of inexperience probably accounted for the audacious style, but each trip provided a unique cultural interaction that otherwise may never have taken place. This is what made the endeavor so fulfilling.
Climbing is a combination of so many ingredients, it challenges the physical and the mental being, it provides an element of risk, it takes you to places that are foreign, but most of all, no matter what level you climb at, there is a real sense of accomplishment at the end of a hard day. The early days of climbing in Korea, at a young age, created unforgettable memories of adventure and a sense of exploring the unknown. The encounters in Korea eventually fueled a desire to travel and climb, fortunately a career in aviation helped to provide access to inexpensive travel and an opportunity to climb throughout the world. The day job paid the bills but it wasn’t fulfilling a deeper passion. With every year that ticked by Tim began to realize that his real interest and new talents had nothing to do with working for an airline.
In 1996 Media Ventures was formed, although it would be a part time business and an outlet to learn and develop new skills, Media Ventures would take advantage of the flourishing Internet and begin selling niche videos to an eager audience. The ability to produce, promote, distribute, sell films and develop a customer base, all under one roof (the house), became a huge success. But doing it all with just your spouse who also has a full-time job proved challenging.
After working 19 years as an aircraft technician becoming a filmmaker may seem like a paradigm shift for Tim. Telling a story through the lens was just another challenge and doing it creatively without a budget led to some innovation. Using his background as an aircraft technician, Tim constructed cutting edge camera jibs, overhead dolly systems and camera housings to capture unique moving POV shots that most directors of photography spend a fortune to achieve. Most of this took place before the advancements of digital video and the development of small helmet cams, which have now become the rave in action filmmaking.
Billy's career in the film and television business began in 1990. While working towards his Bachelor degree in Visual communicatons, he worked as a camera assistant for a steadicam operator in nearby Seattle, Washington. Highlights include a tour with bands such as Nirvana, The Fine Young Cannibals, and the now famous Lollapalooza tour.
Billy re-located to Los Angeles in 1992. He worked for two years at Bedford Falls, a Santa Monica based production-company as a camera technician and director’s assistant. Bedford Falls housed 30 directors and offered a very enriching experience which helped to develop his visual abilities as well as how to run a business.
In 1994, Billy left Bedford Falls and returned to camera assisting working with the likes of Barry Sonnenfeld, (Raising Arizona, Men In Black) and Bill Pope (The Matrix triolgy). Through this experience, Billy gained additional technical knowledge about the tools of the trade as well as a sense of stylistic and innovative techniques in lighting, which is a cinematographer’s foundation.
In 2000, Billy served as Director/Cinematographer on the award winning documentary film Beyond the Summit: The Everest Environmental Expedition. Billy spent 3 months in Bhutan, India and Nepal lensing the documentary.
Since his experience on Mt. Everest, Billy has directed and lensed many outstanding programs for television. His client list includes National Geographic Television, BBC, PBS, Discovery Networks, ESPN, and MTV to name a few.
In seven short years Billy has built Dezart Cinematic into a formidable documentary film company, lensing programs in nearly 70 countries on five continents. Currently, Billy is directing Fires from Above: The Fires Below in Ecuador and Peru.
His professional memberships include the International Cinematographers Guild, International Documentary Association, and Worldwide Outfitter and Guides Association.
Chris Warner is one of America’s top Himalayan mountaineers, having summited five 8000 meter peaks (Everest, K2, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Shisha Pangma). Chris is the owner of Earth Treks, Inc. which operates three indoor climbing gyms and a mountaineering guide service. Founded in 1990, Earth Treks has taught over 200,000 people to climb and has lead over 150 international expeditions. Chris was the leader of the successful 2007 Shared Summits K2 Expedition. He was the field director for the expedition film, that aired on NBC-TV and was an Emmy Nominee. Chris’ on camera credits also include an ABC & OLN-TV reality TV show filmed on Everest, which he guided, and as the host of a program about the explorer John Wesley Powell for the History Channel. Chris is also a published author and professional speaker, with expertise in leadership development.
For most of us following our passion sometimes requires us to hold down a fulltime job. When Mike isn’t traveling the world to photograph and write about climbing or exploring he works fulltime at his dental practice in Maidstone in Kent, England.
When Mike isn’t performing root canals, placing fillings, or installing crowns at the office, you might actually see him doing it at basecamp on Mount Everest.
His love of the mountains began when he was eight years old when he first read “High Adventure” by Sir Edmund Hillary. His rock climbing started in his early teens while on a school field trip to Snowdonia, North Wales and he soon took up climbing. He has climbed extensively throughout Britain including Welsh and Scottish winters. He has also climbed in the French and Swiss Alps, the Dolomites, and the Pyrenees and the Himalayas.
Mike has had photographs and articles published in the British climbing press. He has lectured on Everest and the unsupported 2001 Everest expedition, and wrote various articles for climbing publications in England. Mike is a member of the Royal Photographic Society, and he is passionate about photography. In fact, many of his photographs grace the pages of this website.
Mike’s most recent accomplishment is winning a photo contest and having a photograph displayed larger than life at Heathrow Airport. The photograph is of Mustagata, a 7,500-meter peak located south of Kashgar on the fabled Silk Road.
He was a member of the unsuccessful unsupported 2001 British-American Everest North Ridge Expedition. He later wrote a book about his experiences. A member of the Royal Photographic society, he has had articles and photographs published in the British climbing press and has lectured on the Himalayas and Everest.
In 2006 he accompanied Tim Boelter and “Lao” Wang Xiaolin on their epic “Silk Route” driving expedition travelling from Beijing via Xi’an to Kashgar via the Takla Makan desert and back. He is currently writing a book about their experiences. In 2007 the same three drove from Lhasa to Chengdu on the notoriously dangerous Tibet-Sichuan Highway.
Jon Otto is a mountain guide, expedition planner and leader, author, and travel consultant. Jon lives half the year in Palo Alto, California and the other half in Chengdu, China. Jon speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese and has traveled extensively in western and southwest China, including Tibet and many remote and border regions such as the Shaksgam valley around K2. His organizational skills are superb, and he has developed extensive contacts throughout China and Tibet.
Jon learned to rock climb at the age of 15 and started ice climbing in college. He spent a year studying in Beijing where he joined the university’s climbing club. In the summer of 1991 Jon took part in the club’s first expedition to climb Mustagata (7546 meters). Since then, Jon has climbed Mustagata seven times and led two new routes, most notably the first ascent of the East Ridge.
Jon went on to lead many expeditions throughout China including the first western ascent of Mt. Nojin Tangla (7116 meters) in Tibet, the first ascent of Half Ridge Peak in Sichuan, he pioneered a new route up the rocky West ridge of Mt. Yala (5820 meters), and led the second ascent up the Southeast ridge of Mt. Siguniang (6250 meters). In 2000 Jon co-led a large international expedition to Cho-Oyu (8,201 meters) the 6th highest mountain in the world, and continues to lead climbs on various 5000-7000 meter peaks in China and Tibet.
In 1998 Jon started BlueSheep Adventures, an adventure travel company dedicated to providing unique cultural, exploratory, and mountaineering trips in China and Tibet. Jon is also the co-founder of the Arête Alpine Instruction Center (AAIC) located in the city of Chengdu, China. AAIC is a premier climbing school in China dedicated to teaching skills and promoting the mountains of Sichuan province.
In the late 1990’s Jon worked on an internationally renowned environmental education park called the Living Water Garden in Chengdu, China. He also wrote the first guidebook to rock climbing in Beijing. Jon has an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Vermont.
Before becoming an independent producer, Liang Peng was a producer for the China Intercontinental Communication Center (CICC) in Beijing. During his three year tenure at CICC Liang had worked on several important projects in China with a variety of international production companies.
In 2007 Liang was Director of Production on the film, Stories in the Misty Mountains, a film produced by acclaimed Spanish filmmaker, Pedro Almodovar, about China’s nature reserves. In 2007 he was Head of Research and Development for the PBS series about Beijing’s preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, Are You Ready? As Co-Producer with US based D3 Production Liang helped produce Kung Fu, Journey to the East, a series that aired on PBS. In 2005 he worked as the Liaison Officer on the documentary The First Emperor, a production of UK based Lion Television for the BBC and Discovery.
Liang routinely attends major international documentary conferences including HotDocs, Doc Leipzig, and GZDoc. Liang has networked and worked with many international documentary film producers over the years and is now dedicated to bringing more independent China based films to an international audience.
We are excited to be working closely with Liang Peng on a variety projects in China, his dedication to produce compelling cultural and educational documentaries is a great fit with Media Ventures.
Since 2004 Lao Wang has become an integral part of Media Ventures as an Assistant Producer working on projects in China ranging from the Olympic Torch Climb of Everest, to the pre-production logistics for the series, Across China’s Silk Road. Aside from making important introductions to government officials, Loa Wang takes on a variety of tasks from translating, providing transportation, negotiating with government officials, to working as a camera operator in the field. He also has a passion for still photography, and journalism, which is why Lao Wang loves to explore and discover new places and cultures. In 2004 he reported on the historic climb of Siguniang Shan for the China based online search engine, Sohu.
Lao Wang is not only the owner of the Target Pub in Zhengzhou, China, he’s also the owner of the Target Off-Road Club, which partakes in competitive off-road rallies internationally. And when he’s not driving his own vehicle he’s navigating for China’s number one Rally driver, Lao Ru.