Coal is a leading source of energy, a major cause of climate change, and now, the name of a popular new show on Spike TV. Producer Thom Beers, who has created a huge television empire out of shows like “Deadliest Catch,” “Ax Men” and “Ice Road Truckers,” captures the drama that comes with working deep underground in Coal. The show focuses on a new company in West Virginia called the Cobalt Coal Corporation, which gets its ore the old-fashioned way–by digging it out, rather than using mountain top removal. Mining underground is challenging and dangerous, and Beers, following the hardy men who go into the mine every day to bring out our power, offers no judgment on the effect their work has on rising greenhouse gas emissions. Mountainfilm audiences will get to see the season finale weeks before it airs and hear from Beers how he creates compelling television.
George Steinmetz was pursuing a degree in geology at Stanford when he decided to drop out and spent two and a half years hitch-hiking around Africa. He returned to finish his degree, but knew he needed to get back out on the road and decided the best way to satisfy this wanderlust was to become a photographer.
Early on in his career George Steinmetz figured out that making pictures from a plane brought limited success as the pilots flew too fast and high and often didn’t understand where he needed to go. Frustrated, he took paragliding lessons, and soon strapped on his back a custom-built, motorized paraglider, a funky contraption he calls a flying lawn chair. It is also the lightest and slowest-moving aircraft in the world, and has allowed him to shoot from angles that have not previously been seen.
Steinmetz will talk about his view of the world from this unique vantage point. He has photographed in Brazil, China and all over Africa for many magazines, including National Geographic for which he has completed more than twenty assignments.In Person: