Alex Hanson

I moved to Fernie in the winter of 2008 after a decade-long stint in the big city. After growing up in the West Kootenays I longed to return to my mountain roots again. Fernie’s rugged beauty was simply magnetic, providing an outpost for further discovery.

I began sharing my adventures online with city friends. While they attempted to climb the social pyramid to create wealth, I was climbing mountains to create memories. The chaos emanating from the city on the nightly news was in stark contrast to the natural order surrounding Fernie. The trees, the mountains, the snow, the stars, the seasons all have their own voice and rhythm – far removed from the cacophony of humanity. I became obsessed with capturing the dichotomy and cameras became the tool of choice.

I started with photography to freeze those amazing moments in time but quickly felt boxed in by the single frame and went to moving pictures to expand the ability to capture and tell stories. I bought my first real video camera in 2012 and starting shooting everything I could to learn more about the process. Snowmobiling and cameras collided shortly thereafter. Looking back I’ve come a long way in learning the art of cinematography. But the more you learn the more you realize you don’t know - and the more you find that good film cannot be created alone. This led me on the path to other local creatives.

Fernie is blessed to have so many amazing athletes and artists from all over the planet. Caleb Brown from Gearhub is always down for backcountry film adventures and we’ve created some amazing content together. Liam Monahan also contacted me to capture the essence of the Cryptic Hive. Transitioning from extreme backcountry sports to storytelling was impossible to resist. I’ve been a secret Hive member ever since.

With each audio/visual experiment I learn more about the process, about myself, and the world around me. I now have several clients who support my work. Brands and other manufacturers from all over the world need quality imaging for advertising. Recently I’ve been shooting and editing commercials. I have a lot of support and there are many to thank for the opportunity to create and experiment in this medium.

Lately, I’ve been collaborating with Kyle Hamilton and Jude Smith at Birr Agency. We have a top-secret creative dream machine of sorts that pumps out crazy ideas. I can’t discuss all our secrets here but I can say we are experimenting with Virtual Reality. One concept is to make Fernie into the first fully immersive 360 3D tourist experience on the planet. This new creative space shatters all traditional cinematography rules and boundaries, but if we can master it the spin-offs from the emerging digital tourism realm will benefit the physical world. I often see Fernie ranked in the top ten destinations on Earth. I want Fernie to be number one both on and offline.

So even if I end up being that guy who wears the funny looking helmet around town I’m OK with that. The future is here in Fernie and I’m honoured to be a part of it.

Instagram: @hipgnosismedia