Mark Leisher, Co-founder of Media4Green has officially embarked on the IAE 80º South expedition to the Antarctic. On December 4th when the plane touches down on Union Glacier, Mark and the IAE 80º South team will begin exploring the ice continent while helping Robert and Barney Swan test the renewable technologies from NASA and leaders in environmental tech. These technologies will be what keeps Barney and Robert alive for their 600 mile journey to the South Pole in 2017. And Mark will be capturing this expedition and sharing these exciting and integral technologies that can save our planet.
Once the team arrive in Antarctica, there will be little communication with the outside world during the week long expedition. Before the IAE 80º South team departed for Antarctica, we caught up with Mark to see how pre-preparations were going and to get a feel for the excitement going into this incredible and impactful journey.
How was the flight to Punta Arenas? Any complications?
Yes sir! My checked bags did NOT make the connecting flight. Antarctica Logistics & Expedition (ALE), our guide, was amazing, tracked the bags and had them expedited to Punta Arenas. It was scary for about 8 hours and I held down my anxiety as you can imagine. Everything came in and nothing was missing.
What has you most excited about the IAE 80º South trip?
Testing all my camera gear –drones and VR cameras. Having the opportunity to charge all my batteries with wind turbines- bio fuels and solar systems. I bought the Goal Zero Sherpa 100 Solar system and brought that along. The tech crew swiped that away from me as soon as they could and starting working on the plug-ins and prepping it for my usage.
What was your most memorable experience on your previous expedition?
Meeting and spending time with a 140 thought leaders from around the world. Capturing 35+ interviews and knowing what we have in the can to build on for a full-legnth documentary film.
I was also lucky to be on the ice and see a pod of orcas that have only been documented 2-3 times in history. I have some footage that has never been captured before of this type of orca.
How did you get involved with the IAE 80º South trip?
With MLP’s partnership with Calvert and Rob’s support as well. I had been pushing and pushing over the past 5 months to make this happen. This trip costs over 50K to pull off. That’s just in the expedition and not for post-expedition.
What has been the most challenging part to prepare for a trip to Antarctica?
Raising the funds particularly securing sponsorships. But overall the testing and availability of the VR cameras and an issue I had with a drone.
Originally I had planed to take the Go Pro Karma Drone. 3 weeks ago it was recalled and I had to jump through hoops to get the 3DR Robotics Solo drone.
Have you met the team yet and how is the overall vibe?
The vibe is awesome!! The crew is top-notch and come from all over the globe to be a solid team of scientists and specialist in their fields.
Are there any last minute preparations you have to make before embarking to Antarctica?
Tons. I have been working non-stop to coordinate with the team, work with Barney and Rob on last-minute stand ups to camera and send those video clips to existing sponsors and potential sponsors who are interested in the plot. Attending meetings with ALE and understanding all the safety measures we ALL must take to stay safe and alive.
What do you think will be the most challenging part of the expedition?
Filming in potential extreme conditions. Working with gear that I never worked with prior and downloading footage and working in a tent.
Seeing all the agendas and additional content and storylines that I need to cover for all parties involved in this journey.
Trying to have fun and soak in all the experiences at the same time.
Are you looking forward to your digital detox and week on a continent most will never set foot on?
This is a loaded question ☺ I will be constantly working with digital equipment and access to SAT phones etc. As far as NOT having to answer emails for a week… yes sir!
Some of my detox will take place when we get back to Punta Arenas and I have a few days to explore and hang out with Barney in Rob after the mission is complete.
The IAE 80º South expedition begins December 4th and we will be posting more updates about this mission, how Mark is capturing it, and the technologies that are being tested in the fight against climate change. Follow Media4Green and the IAE 80º South expedition on the hashtag #ClimateForce via Facebook and Instagram to get involved.