This is Nomadic is comprised of two people who work hard on their production house while bringing awareness to non-profit organizations. Blake and Rachel have been traveling across the Americas in their truck camper with two 12-volt lithium ion Battle Born Batteries. Battle Born Batteries is honored to have partners like Blake and Rachel, along with so many others be a part of the Battle Born family!
Sky Pixel Media
Sky Pixel Media (SPM) is a boutique production house based out of Denver, Colorado. The owners, Blake Scott and Rachel Firmin, journey through life together while building their business. They shoot with industry leading red cameras and work with various outdoor, high adventure, and off-road brands from product commercials and ad campaigns. For them, no two projects are the same.
SPM was started by Blake Scott in 2014, and allowed him to realize his creative passion for video content. But it has also become an opportunity for traveling and a way for the team to experience new cultures and geographies. He started it as a side job while working full-time in the corporate finance field at an engineering firm. As an international business major in college, Blake always had a passion for travel and adventures, always editing Go Pro videos to document those adventures. He bought his first Phantom drone in late 2013, and quickly realized the growing opportunities for aerial content.
Rachel and Blake spent the summer of 2014 filming triathlons, 5K and adventures races around the Denver area and quickly upgraded gear to a more professional drone as the business spread word of mouth to new clients. In 2016 Blake took SPM full time allowing SPM to become a full-service production house. “Today running the business takes our full attention. We focus on high end luxury real estate, lifestyle content, Motorsports product placement and really ultimately anything you can point camera at” said the duo.
As the founder of SPM, Blake acts as the director, producer, lead cinematographer, and drone pilot. Rachel is the production assistant camera operator and additionally specializes in business management and finances. SPM has also taken them to new countries and continents, while allowing them to see and experience communities in remote villages in countries such as Rwanda and Panama. Their business has also allowed them to give back to communities by letting video content tell their story to the world.
One rewarding project Blake remembers working on was with “Farmer to Farmer”, a Washington DC based non-profit in Guatemala to tell the story of their Guatemalan organic coffee farmers and their extensive process to harvest, shuck and roast their coffee beans for the market. “These small lot of female farmers were a unique example of toppling gender role dominance in the developing world. Blake also filmed with Bridges to Prosperity, a non-profit that builds bridges across unpassable rivers in remote villages to provide the community members access to schools, hospitals, and business opportunities”, explains Rachel. Blake has also directed and shot a 5-part video series spearheading their annual giving campaign. SPM hopes that by telling the untold story of these types of projects, it helps the non-profits meet their objectives.
In fall of 2018, the SPM team went nomadic! The duo is also known as “This is Nomadic” and are living full-time in their 2012 Lance truck bed camper atop their 2001 Ford F250. Their goals include: spending a year (or longer) traveling the western US, Baja Peninsula and Alaska, while servicing their clients along the way. They also plan on upgrading their camper sometime in the near future. “We hope that SPM continues to provide opportunities for us to see new parts of our own country and other parts of North America,” Blake addressed. SPM will continue to provide not only a source of income while they are traveling, but also an opportunity to share with the world the stories of people, places, and communities that they visit.
What LiFePO4 Batteries Have to Offer
After hours of research on the best solar batteries, Battle Born Batteries proved to be the best choice for Blake’s business and personal needs for a number of reasons, some more obvious than others.
“I was looking for a battery that would allow me to charge all of my camera equipment directly on my solar setup while on client gigs and be powerful enough to run our microwave all while being light and small enough to fit in our truck bed camper. As we planned to live full time in our camper, we wanted the batteries to be able to handle daily household items such as phone chargers, microwave, vacuum, house fan and a crock pot too. Once I started really looking into our potential energy usage I realized lithium was the only way we could accomplish our plan” – Blake Scott
Scott explained that he didn’t choose traditional AGM style batteries because they are vastly too large, heavy and unsealed. These AGM batteries vent toxic gases and can’t be mounted inside the camper or on their sides. “I started to realize that Battle Born lithium batteries will last far, far longer than AGM batteries and can be drawn all the way down to zero percent without damaging them. Lithium was a no brainer,” Blake said. He had initially heard of Battle Born and called to get some information. He continued to learn the way the system interacts and what it would take to piece it together. Eventually, the casual conversations got more detailed and then Blake got put in touch with Sean, COO of Battle Born Batteries. They spent hours on the phone trying to resolve the unique one of a kind situation that Blake was trying to build a system for. “Sean helped me learn to speak very detailed about battery mounting positions, unique wiring scenarios on my older RV and how to set up the perfect seamless system to hit it out of the park. This day rarely do companies take this much time to get to know their customers and create custom solutions,” he cheered.
Their Battle Born Batteries are installed in a small unused cabinet in their kitchen and behind the existing battery tray box but accessed from inside the camper. Because the space was more vertical than horizontal, it was critical that they went lithium so that they could take advantage of a sealed battery that could be mounted vertically or on its side. They believed this to be the most efficient use of space, allowing the batteries to stay dry and protected inside their camper but also with room to not overheat, easy wiring access to the panels on the roof of their camper is available as well.
Their current system is cutting edge and continues to blow their expectations out of the water the more they use it! They currently have:
- 2 – 100 Ah 12 V Battle Born Batteries (BB10012s)
- Victron 100/30 MPPT Smart Solar Charge Controller
- Victron Battery Monitor BMV-712 with Bluetooth
- Victron Digital Multi Control For Inverter
- Victron MultiPlus 2000 W Inverter/Charger
After installing all the components and inputting the right settings with their inverter charger, they have been able to do everything they would expect and more with their Battle Born batteries. They have already taken the batteries on client gigs and have been able to charge all necessary camper equipment without battery failure. “When I know that my equipment is charging in the safety of my own locked vehicle, I am able to still run around my gigs getting the footage I need without worrying about going back to grab everything that I left charging somewhere,” he continues, “I have been able to do everything I need for my business so far, but plan to really put them to the test on larger multi-day shoots. In addition to keeping my gear I check the batteries deliver so much amperage that I can easily run the microwave to cook up a quick meal after a long day of shooting and run my laptop to review footage and edit all evening. These batteries are absolutely out of this world!”
When asked what changes they anticipated from the batteries, Rachel explained, “Battle Born Batteries makes life on the road simpler and easier. We have convenient charging capacity inside our vehicle. I don’t have to worry about finding somewhere to charge equipment or leaving it somewhere it could get stolen. From a personal perspective, Battle Born is also going to help us maintain a ‘normal lifestyle.’ Including most importantly, our diet. Blake is 6’7” and eats about 6 times a day. Sometimes I can’t keep up with his appetite, especially when we are working hard on projects all day, or playing hard when dirt biking, rock climbing, or kayaking all day. I am mostly excited that Battle Born allows us to microwave quick meals while working and run a crock pot to prep meals in bulk for the week.”
As for Blake, he informed us that “Battle Born makes our entire nomadic plan possible. We want to travel, but we also love to film. We think living nomadically while working on film projects is the best of both worlds. But it is only possible if we have the charging capacity for our camera gear and computer equipment, and a way to stay connected to deliver content to my clients remotely. I am going to be able to film all day with the gear I have no problem. And I will be able to continue post-production work within our RV while in the middle of a remote location. With Battle Born Batteries, I am not worried about my ability to maintain my business while pursuing the dream of traveling the world.”
More information on our batteries, here.