UVU student/photographer/cinematographer Parker Alec Cross’s eyes look a little red as he stares at his computer screen. His room looks as if a camera bag has vomited its contents across the floor.
A disheveled Parker sits atop his twin-sized bed in the corner with laptop in hand. This is his position for several days when it comes time to release his project: Wasatch Mountain Podcast, now in its third season.
The podcast follows skiers and snowboarders on their exploits through the uniquely accessible Wasatch Mountains. The project has been featured in the Apple Store nationwide, has received over 135,000 downloads on Vimeo, and has 320,000 downloads on iTunes.
“I guess the biggest reason why I chose new media is because there is so much potential in it,” said Cross. “My Digital Media major at UVU is intensely focused on new media distribution and has a really good infrastructure for learning how to do it effectively, so I just ran with it. I feel like I am ahead of the pack in a lot of ways.”
With the podcast’s growing popularity, Cross is now garnering the attention of professional photographers and riders. This new season’s project will follow a group of riders to the twenty-two summits in the Wasatch Range over 11,000 feet.
“Shooting broadcast-quality HD video in the backcountry isn’t a cake-walk, if you think about how much equipment it actually takes,” said Cross. “All my camera gear weighs about 40 lbs, which, by itself, isn’t light. But if you also think about the fact that most of what we’re doing in the backcountry is human powered, meaning we’re hiking around for hours at a time. Put that into the context of carrying all the camera gear, plus all my snowboarding gear, it starts to get pretty heavy when you’re doing 3,000-4,000 vertical feet in a day.”
“Despite all that, and the fact that it sounds pretty terrible, it’s not,” Cross adds. “It’s work that feels like play every single day.”
For more information, visit www.crossroadstudios.com or visit the iTunes Store.