I met Mathias Ekorn randomly in a cafe in Chaiten, Chile. I overheard him speaking about a video project that wasn’t going to plan. I spoke up and introduced myself. He filled me in on the details of his film project of trekking across Patagonia and how many important pieces of the project were falling through.
I offered some support. I told him that in my experience with adventure film that sometimes things aren’t meant to come together and instead to take his adventure as it is and let things unfold as they may. In this particular case this lead to a chain reaction of events that resulted in the first pack rafting descent of the todo Rio Pacuare in Turrialba, Costa Rica less than 2 months later.
Quickly on our meeting in Chaiten I realized that Mathias was a unique person. Since I had been shooting the PatagoniaMan event 2 weeks earlier I had all my film equipment with me. I used that opportunity to quickly turn our conversation into a sit-down interview on the Patagonia coast. This resulted in a conversation that unfolded a story that I saw a great deal of potential in. At that point, the story wasn’t completely clear but I knew that I had to get something on film in order to get something started.
Within 20 minutes of our completion of the interview, Mathias was jumping on a bus to leave the Chaiten for the Futalafu region (where I was just returning from). I quickly gave him a camera, some SD cards, batteries and told him to simply document his journey. At that time I had full trust we would meet again and our story would continue.
Turns out that meeting was in San Jose, Costa Rica. In the time that had passed, we had planned, coordinated a team, gear and logistics to start our first adventure together in the form of a pack rafting expedition on the Pacuare River with the help of Danny Peled from Boreal River Adventures.
The core of the story is this: Mathias was raised as a fighter. His past includes violence both through the world of boxing and the military. Two years ago he had a revelation and decided he was leading a life and trying to be a person that he was not. He found this through nature, adventure and the ability to find his flow state in these environments. With this, he started searching for more. This quest brought him to Patagonia to try to spread this message through film, photo, speaking and writing. Ultimately this journey brought us to Costa Rica where we would shape the ideas of what would become the series ‘Adventure of the Spirit’.
I see so much potential in him in terms of being a super compelling character on screen. Even though he is so physically strong and determined, he also expresses so much kindness, caring, and other qualities that in many ways contrast the physical appearance he exudes. He is a beast in terms of his physical qualities and strength. A total athlete. He also really gets it in terms of putting authenticity and honest up front in the story vs something artificial. I am really excited to see what comes of our relationship creatively. The modern-day adventurer with a touch of new age spiritual concepts. It is a very cool combination.
Fast forward to June and we are here working in the Five2Nine studio in Chelsea, Quebec refining the final scenes and storyboards of what is to become a pilot for a series for ‘Adventure of the Spirit’.
Stay tuned for Part 2 to hear Mathias experience spending a week in the studio working on the first episode of this project.