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Our first newsletter and we're stoked


Our first newsletter

by Mike Ferrell

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Hey, my name is Mike Ferrell, I’m a co-founder and producer at TopTop Studio. I know what you’re thinking, “Yes! A newsletter from TopTop!” and we agree, so we couldn’t allow 2020 to pass without starting our very own – The Ascent. It'll be a monthly email giving an update on what we’re working on, spotlighting the creatives we’re working with, and insight into the work and people that inspire us.

This past June, Dutch, Nick, and I officially launched TopTop Studio and 7 months later we’re still doing it. It’s been a rough year for everyone – some more than others – and that’s why we give thanks. We’re so thankful for our health and the opportunities we’ve been granted and for people like you for being a part of our journey. We want to wish you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season.


We were approached by The North Face creative team this past summer to create a How-To Series with one directive. Make sure it’s not lame. After a couple of delays due to COVID-19 we were finally able to start production at the home of legendary snowboarder and series host, Jim Zellers, alongside co-host, climber extraordinaire, Alex Honnold. Luckily, Alex slept in his van at the top of the driveway which saved us on production costs. It was a super fun, creative and safe environment. The next series is in production now.


Jon Jon Kalisz is this month's featured creative! And if the last name sounds familiar, it’s because he's the brother of Nick Kalisz, co-founder, and director of TopTop Studio. Jon Jon is a graphic designer and artist who illustrates using hand-drawn characters interweaving the natural environment. He's behind the graphics of The Ascent and the How-To Series for The North Face. Jon Jon is a super kind and talented guy. Give him a follow on Instagram @jonjonkalisz


Renan Ozkurk’s latest project with his new production company Expedition Studio, THE GHOSTS ABOVE, was released by Sony at the beginning of December. The film follows an expedition to solve the Mount Everest mystery of who reached the summit first. This edit differs from what launched on National Geographic earlier this year. Renan’s respect for Sherpa culture which allows us the ability and privilege to climb their Gods shines through. This edit is more art than history and delivers the intensity you’d expect from climbing the highest peak in the world; which includes a serious situation that features our very own Nick Kalisz who was helivaced away due to three pulmonary embolisms.

Let us know if you have any suggestions on what to watch!


You get a playlist! You get a playlist! Thank you for making it all the way through the email! To reward your diligence, Nick has painstakingly curated a 2020 Spotify playlist to help us get through the holidays.


Do you have a story?

We are always looking to collaborate with talented and genuine folks. Whether you’re an athlete or creative with a concept or a marketer with an audience to connect with – we would love to partner with you. Please feel free to email me and we can put something on the calendar. Have a Happy New Year and hope to see you in 2021! 🥂


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