Why don't we try something new?

The American Alpine Club Membership Benefits Video

Eddie Espinosa the National Volunteer Program Senior Manager for the American Alpine Club needed a video to highlight membership benefits.

The video would play at the beginning of local climbing socials, slideshows and events across the country. 

Traditionally “talking head” videos featuring prominent established climbers talking about each membership benefit were the standard video production format.


Scroll to bottom of page to watch pre-roll video.

This is the initial script we created:



Boulder, Sport, Alpine

Created by climbers the American Alpine Club is the community for climbing in all its forms across the United States.

It is where we go to get the beta, find partners. Gear up for the next adventure. Research the landscape, and access world class climbing destinations.

Leading competently, celebrating excellence in climbing.

We are stewards of these national treasures.

Anchoring the climbing community.

The AAC is your lifeline in your backyard and beyond.

We are at the table advocating for the interests of climbing at the federal, state and local level.

Support American Climbing

Your membership dues fund important work that keeps us safe, our landscapes green, and our experience pristine.

Join the club.

Come climb with us.



Considering a new emphasis on Diversity, Inclusion and Equality (DEI) in the industry - with the goal of reaching a more diverse younger audience - I suggested that we explore creating an illustrated animated video.

Presenting a few concepts on style the marketing team was excited about the style of an animated video we had recently edited on Snow Sintering that was picked up by Outside Magazine Online

Illustrations for each scene are drawn based on a photographic reference as a rotoscoping technique like seen in the film “A Scanner Darkly”. 

One key image of Kai Lightner from a US Climbing competition was used as a reference for illustration.  We were granted permission to use the likeness for illustration (once we demonstrated it’s usage) by the copyright holder US Climbing.

Click on edge of illustration to see sequence.

The artwork is colored and composited in Adobe Illustrator for animation in Adobe After Effects.

I developed a coloring and texturing treatment that gave the still images depth and movement with a watercolor/paper cutout feel.  This technique was taught to 5 illustrators who created 40 illustrations for the 45 second animated video.

Graphic design badges were created by designer Seth Neilson to demonstrate the 9 member benefits.  These supported with background imagery collages and audio track gave the feeling of a dance party of a diverse selection of climbers.

After being deployed in the filed at member events, the video was re-edited for use as a pre-roll video for the Reel Rock Film Festival across the US.

The short eye-catching video nods to traditional 2d animation from the 1930s golden age of animation with some contemporary twists using today’s modern tools.


I’m grateful the AAC trusted me to develop something unique that was out of the ordinary. 


Everyone is “stoked” about the result.
Watch the pre-roll video here.




See more stills and credits from the video here.