Ian Hill

Artist bio

Ian Hill is an adventure athlete who found a camera. Professionally, he's cofounder of a medtech startup and a mechanical engineering phd student at Duke, but whenever the opportunity presents itself, he's climbing, mountain biking, snowboarding, or just somewhere in the middle-of-nowhere shooting photos and videos.



Artist Statement

The motivation for this film was to portray the challenges associated with social distancing through the juxtaposition of global chaos with the peace and solitude found in nature. As the destruction and spread of the Coronavirus and the death of George Floyd shook the world, I was miles away, working remotely and distancing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Grappling with my privileged position, both in the UP and as a white man, became a constant battle. My perceived inaction in response to global catastrophe bothered me immensely. At the same time, I felt that being away from other people was probably the best course of action I could take. The utter aloneness up there made the struggle entirely personal, with no one to provide assurance. To distract myself, I built mountain biking trails. In the end, these activities allowed me a mental reprieve that eventually enabled enhanced retrospection and strength in self.
This is the first film I have shot of this kind. I had no plan nor script. The main idea I wanted to convey was a feeling. All video was either shot on a Canon SL3 with a 28mm f1.8 lens, a DJI Osmo Pocket, or a GoPro Hero 7 Black. The first song in the movie is piano improvisation by myself and the second is Mind Stream by Chris Haugen, free for all use from YouTube Audio Library.

How it fits into contest

Ephesians 6:10-20 describes a spiritual battle and embracing faith to overcome adversity. Distance embodies this theme as it conveys the struggle to overcome personal conflict associated with perceived inaction in the face of global catastrophe.


Ian Hill - Videographer, Musician, Director
Paula Hill - Canoer
The first song in the film is a piano improvisation by myself and the second is Mind Stream by Chris Haugen, free for all use from YouTube Audio Library.

Transcript / Lyrics

Five more Coronavirus cases in Marathon County today.'

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