Written by Georgia Scott Co-Founder, GROUNDTRUTH Global & GroundTruth Productions
We believe that the most meaningful innovation is borne out of real-world experience. For GROUNDTRUTH, that experience came through our work as filmmakers, which took us to some of the world’s wildest and most challenging landscapes.
Through our sister company, GroundTruth Productions, we spent a decade travelling between wildly different environments – from boardrooms in New York to the rainforests of Sierra Leone, and on again to the refugee camps of Lebanon or these ice fields Antarctica.
" Antarctica was one of the hardest environments we have ever operated in, it left a massive impression on us " Sophia Scott, GROUNDTRUTH co-founder and film maker
In March 2018, we were commissioned by the environment agency of the United Arab Emirates to film on location in Antarctica. We would be contributing footage for a documentary, co-produced by National Geographic, which focused on the impact of climate change on the polar environment. Together with Rob Swan and his team, we set sail on board the Ocean Endeavour, crossing Drake’s Passage before alighting on Deception Island – home to several scientific research stations and a number of significant ecological sites. We took an early prototype of the RIKR backpack on the trip, in order to undertake our first field-test whilst filming.
To capture meaningful moments in the field, you need to be agile, and your equipment needs to be both accessible and protected. With its unpredictable weather and extreme temperatures, Antarctica is a particularly difficult environment in which to film. Our three-week shoot challenged us to work on water, snow and ice, as we followed the work of Rob Swan and his 2041 Foundation to protect and preserve the Antarctic environment.
Working in wild places, with complex equipment in changing conditions, was an important catalyst for the GROUNDTRUTH concept. For years, we struggled to find a backpack that fulfilled our needs – something that could keep our cameras and equipment secure, accessible and protected from the elements, whilst being smart enough to serve in more formal scenarios. The lessons we learnt in Antarctica were vital in the development of GROUNDTRUTH and the RIKR range, and galvanized our drive to effect positive, meaningful change.