Grasping a GoPro, harnessed and dangling from a tree above, the cliffside filmmaker’s screams fuse with the sound of cars zooming below on the I-5 Freeway.
Co-founded by Zack Paukert, a Western student, and Justin Atteshis, BreakTide Media strives to make thrill seekers crave the outdoors as they film their adventures in first-person perspective.
In their most recent stunt, the Bellingham based media group used panning aerial shots via drone and first person footage via GoPro cameras to capture the action as they swung out over the Freeway just south of Bellingham.
The rope swing video was a combination effort as 15 people were involved in the making, Atteshis said.
“It was like a puzzle that came together and just happened,” Paukert said.
In addition, the media group has produced videos ranging from off-road trucks to slacklining across the Bellingham waterfront. Although the small studio has only officially established itself this past January, Atteshis and Paukert said the intent to build the studio had been around for a long time.
Getting friends together and filming for the fun of it was where BreakTide got its roots, Paukert said. The two began filming sports like parkour and free-running five years ago in Tacoma, something they said they still enjoy.
Atteshis hopes to share their local spots and incorporate more of the community. The company is still pretty small and could use the growth, he said.
Set to graduate this winter, recreation major Paukert said his interest for photography and filmmaking has made BreakTide Media a way to combine his two passions.
While Atteshis doesn’t attend school, he said he understands that it can be difficult to juggle school and a budding business. He and Paukert have goals that plan to establish strong connections with people and the Bellingham community, like Western alumnus Mike Jones.
Jones, who graduated in 2013, met Atteshis last year and became friends with the shared interest of filmmaking and editing.
“It’s fun working with your friends…he’s really good at what he’s doing with his craft,” Jones said.
Atteshis is easy to learn from having worked multiple times with BreakTide Media, and filming with him over the summer, Jones said.
He was able to help supply some of the film for the rope swinging video, and found the experience to be fun and a little scary, Jones said.
Jones said they came up with the idea for the rope swing around this time last year, and that the spot had to be investigated and built first before filming.
Even if it’s not realistic, Paukert said, there are no limits when there is a collaboration of people driven towards a common goal. The rope swing project, Paukert believes, was a testament to this.
“You can kind of tread outside that boundary line from time to time,” Paukert said.
The two co-founders have a white board filled with future plans; plans that they want to do one day but can’t right now. For the time being, they are focusing on sharing whatever anybody has to offer.
BreakTide Media is teaming up to work with 5Point Film Festival, a travelling festival that will be making its way into Bellingham at the Mount Baker Theatre on Oct 15-17.
The members of BreakTide see it as a mutual effort to build Bellingham up and to get people to come up and come out, Atteshis said.
“Whenever we go out to do something we look for a video to watch and it kind of gives us the idea of if we should go or not, so we kind of want to do something like that for Bellingham,” Atteshis said.
For now it’s Atteshis who runs BreakTide Media’s day-to-day upkeep such as paying bills, but once Paukert is done with school and BreakTide takes off, they will work side-by-side, Atteshis said.
BreakTide Media projects are welcome for anyone who wishes to join, no experience required, the co-founders said. The group does not have an official Bellingham location, but they can be contacted through their website, Facebook or Instagram.
"Once we get a little bigger, hopefully it will be easier to get people involved. That’s why we want to grow, we want to be able to do more,” Atteshis said.