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IC Documentarians

Extreme Editor

Although documentary work rarely involves cubicles and daily commutes, most doc makers still would have a tough time matching the office digs enjoyed by Tate MacDowell ’93. As an editor for Teton Gravity Research, an adventure sports film production company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, MacDowell eats lunch overlooking ski slopes, and straps on his boots and skis for a few runs every day.

Greg Epstein

MacDowell at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, filming skiers

MacDowell makes films about “extreme” sports— snowboarding, treacherous mountain climbing, and skiing on harsh terrain—that are aired on ESPN, Fox Sports, and elsewhere.

“Editing an action sports film allows the editor lots of creative license,” he says. “I get to play with footage, music, editing styles, graphics, story lines—to try new things and see what works.”

MacDowell recently edited Tangerine Dream, about the rugged lifestyle of extreme athletes, and traveled to Turkey, Kashmir, Switzerland, Chile, and Alaska to film Untracked, a series on Fox Fuel TV documenting the lifestyle of adventure sports. His current snowboard 16mm and HD film, Anomaly—shot in Japan, Morocco, Wyoming, Alaska, Colorado, British Columbia, Switzerland, Corsica, Oregon, and France—“showcases the freakish and abnormal abilities of today’s top athletes.”

MacDowell obviously thrives on challenge, on the slopes and off. “I’d like to imagine that every editor gets the same satisfaction that I do when finishing a project,” he says, “but I’m not sure that’s possible.”

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Susannah Ludwig '93
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Jon Nealon '93