Q&A: Aaron Peterson

Interested in attending the Wasatch Mountain Film Festival?

Aaron Peterson directed 2021 WMFF feature “24 Leeches”, a short film in which his son narrates a family trip to the Islands of Ontario, Canada. We asked him a few questions, see our Q&A conversation below:

What is in your gear bag/kit?

I’m on Sony full frame and Sony glass. We are a hybrid photo/video studio so need to cover all our basis and Sony gets that done for us. 24 leeches was filmed with the A9 mirrorless, which is not considered a serious video camera. Use the tools you have. Keep it simple.

What item can you not live without?


A headlamp. If you’re in that sweet spot of filmmaking you’ll either start or end in the dark.

Most necessary character-quality for a director?


Who has been most influential in your directing career?


My early regional travel clients in Marquette, Michigan took a risk and bet on authentic storytelling. It launched us both. Then David Holbrooke formerly of MountainFilm gave me a space in the festival conversation.

Favorite on-set memory?

What’s a set? I love the chaos of the process of my projects. Pulling beautiful moments out of pandemonium is always memorable.

More About Aaron Peterson


Aaron Peterson burst onto the adventure filmmaking scene in 2014 with the seminal winter cycling film Cold Rolled (20 min). In 2016 he followed up with an unlikely story of Midwestern ice climbing, The Michigan Ice Film (71 min) and its festival version Fallen Feather (10 min). Peterson’s film and photography career has been at the center of shaping the outdoor identity and culture of the Great Lakes region and his work has found a cult status within the region. His work has been featured at MountainFilm, Kendall, New Zealand Mountain Film Festival and more. In 2016 he launched the Fresh Coast Film Festival to help foster a culture of outdoor, adventure and environmental film in the Great Lakes region.