In the spring of 2005, National Geographic photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change and a cynic about the nature of academic research. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.
Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.
As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.
2012 Sundance Film Festival Excellence in Cinematography, US Documentary
2013 Academy Award® Nominee “Best Original Song: Before My Time” by Composer J.Ralph, Performed by Scarlett Johannson and Joshua Bell
2014 Emmy® Award, Outstanding Nature Programming
Audience Award SXSW
Director Jeff Orlowski Producer Paula DuPré Pesmen and Jerry Aronson
Executive Producer David J. Cornfield, Linda A. Cornfield Associate Producer Stacy Sherman, Billy Ray, and James Billmaier
Editor Davis Coombe Writer Mark Monroe Music J. Ralph Director of Photography Jeff Orlowski Photography by James Balog
Animator Chad Herschberger Compositor James Durée Color-Correction Dave Krahling