Flying Pepper Will Travel

When Ansley Coale told me a few weeks back that I'd be flying to Oaxaca with a videographer he'd hired, I was on the lookout for someone around my age with a big bag of gear stuffed into the overhead compartment. I didn't see anyone who fit that description, however, when I actually sat down on the plane. To my right was an older couple who clearly had been drinking before boarding, and to my left across the aisle was some kid with his face buried in a laptop. I was flying solo apparently.

It wasn't until we landed that I realized the kid with the Macbook was Miles Pepper, the hired AV guy who Ansley was using to produce a few promotional materials while in Oaxaca. He looked about eighteen, but was apparently a fresh twenty years of age. "I decided to skip that whole paying-for-college thing and just put all my money into cameras and software," he told me while sitting in the Houston airport. I was instantly jealous. This kid seemed to have life figured out and he couldn't even legally drink yet! I was going to have to keep an eye on him.

Over the course of the week I got to spend a pretty good amount of time with Miles. He was interested in exploring the food and drink scene (especially since the American one is still off limits for him), so he tagged along with me in the evenings around the city. He's a bit quiet and reserved, but absolutely fearless. I was wondering why he seemed a bit tired, and he told me, "I actually just got back from Nepal, so I still have a bit of jet lag. I was there during the earthquake shooting video and stayed to help out afterward." When I was twenty I mostly sat around playing video games, smoking cigarettes, eating Jack in the Box, and drinking beer. Miles made me incredibly self-conscious.

As you might have already guessed, all of the photos in this post were shot by Miles during our trip to Oaxaca. We both stalked each site we visited, Canon in hand, firing away. He was nice enough to share some of his files with me at the end of the journey. 

What I really appreciated about Miles was his sense of adventure and his open-mindedness to new experiences. He's not high-energy like I am, but he's willing to do anything once. I spent most evenings translating the menus for him, and he would say things like, "I've never had anything like that before. Let's try it!" I definitely was not that welcoming to the world at twenty.

Miles Pepper is just getting started in the video world, but he already has a wealth of incredible experiences. Not just with his journeys abroad, but also on a number of television projects he's been a part of for major networks. Then there's his drone business. This kid went to Thailand with a remote-controlled drone and a GoPro camera and took aerial shots that look straight up professional. Then he convinced a number of high-end hotels to let him trade PR video work for free rooms. This kid is TWENTY! Why could I not have been this bold at such a young age?!!

Check out Flying Pepper Productions and look at some of his drone video work. It's incredible. And hire this kid if you need help with your next video project. He's a pro, and his best work is definitely still ahead of him.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll