Chris Chittick talks about chasing storms with the team Tornado Hunter

Chris Chittick was the TVN storm chaser and videographer from Discovery Channel’s series “Storm Chasers”. Since the show has ended Chris still has been chasing storms.  He recently teamed up with to continue the chase.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Chris about his work and his love for chasing storms.

Jennifer Kish: How has your life changed since the show Storm Chasers?
Chris Chittick: My life has changed after Storm Chasers not too much really. Still doing what I love to do. Just joined a new team, is the name of the website. There a great group of guys. Pretty much same as the way it was before just out on the road non-stop chasing. Tornadoes and any kind of extreme weather.

JK: What can you tell me about about your new chasing team tornado hunters?
CC: We are based out of Saskatchewan. It consists of our driver Ricky Forbes. Greg Johnson, who is our main meteorologist and photographer. I control all of the video stuff. There is a great dynamic, young team and we are just out on the road driving for miles until we get the job done.

JK: You use to change with long time chase partner Reed Timmer.. Do you ever miss driving into tornadoes?
CC: Reed and I split ways. We still have a good relationship but as far as driving into the tornadoes, we have our vehicle the Tornado Hunter and it is completely lined with lineX stuff so we can get just as close to the tornado as we did in the Dominator.

JK: Tell me more about your tornado alley photo expedition tours. What can people expect to experience during one of these tours?
CC: Kind of what we do as far as our tours offered on It’s a full out experience where you come out on the road with seasoned veterans. Greg is a world class photographer and I consider myself a world class photographer as well. It’s real in life workshop as far as video shooting/ photo shooting. You learn a lot on the road, your part of the team. Your not just sitting there you actually become part of the team. We ask you what you think of as far as weather goes and we will ask you to help deploy probes. It’s a full experience, life on the road as a storm chaser. For the I’m going to say soccer mom, doctor, lawyer or whatever, you don’t get to experience that kind of stuff in every day life. The adrenaline is unbelievable.. the ups and the downs it’s just an amazing trip.

JK: Your recently updated your chase vehicle.. What kind of updates were made?
CC: As far as updates go its a F150 EgoBoost completely lined with lineX. LineX material is bullet proof/bomb proof. We have ADD bumpers in front and in back. We have a truck bed with topper on it and that we we deploy probes in the back of the truck. Main thing is the lineX which allows us to get closer then before. The main issue is not the tornado itself but the flying debris. So if we can just protect ourselves from flying debris that allows us to get close and capture imagery that no one else has been able to capture.

JK: What do you do when your not chasing tornadoes?
CC: I like to golf. When we are not chasing we are either working on the truck or we do speaking events. Photo and photography workshops. We do other extreme things as well, our driver is into motor cross and extreme downhill mountain biking. Greg has a full family. I’m single so it’s kinda difficult to get a family when you are the road all the time. Trying to move on day to day. Next couple months we are moving into hurricane season so we will start prepping and getting ready for that. Then any other extreme weather we will getting ready for that as well.


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Free Screening/Filmmaker Q&A for "Chasing Beauty" in Kansas City

CHASING BEAUTY  – A Documentary Film

Upcoming Screening on Thursday, March 28, 2013

Kansas City, MO – Please join us for a free promotional screening of the new
documentary film, CHASING BEAUTY, at Screenland Crossroads at 8:00 pm on
Thursday, March 28th, 2013. A panel discussion will follow featuring Director Brent Huff, Jenny Wheat (Wheat Photography / Manifest Talent), Heather Laird (President of the Film Commission of Greater Kansas City), Jennifer Mangan (President of Exposure Model and Talent), Kenny Johnson (Photographer), Mark Jones (I & I Talent and owner of Global Stars Network), Michelle Davidson (Host KC LIVE).

CHASING BEAUTY takes a candid look at the beauty industry and the people that drive it. The film provides a rare glimpse behind the glossy covers and into the intriguing and complex world of modeling. This documentary features interviews with supermodels, photographers, agents, designers, plastic surgeons, makeup artists and psychologists to ask the questions… what is beauty and is it worth the cost?

Cocktail Hour: 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm!!
Screening: 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Q & A : 9:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Screenland Crossroads
1656 Washington
Kansas City, MO 64108
Tel. 816.421.9700

Tickets are FREE on a first-come, first-served basis – early arrival is encouraged!


Film Review “Chasing Mavericks”

Starring: Gerard Butler, Jonny Weston and Elisabeth Shue
Directed by: Michael Apted and Curtis Hanson
Rated: PG
Running time: 1 hour 55 mins
20th Century Fox

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

What do you get when you pair two of Hollywood’s best directors, a talented leading man and a tale that assures audiences it’s based on a true story? If you guessed a mediocre film called “Chasing Mavericks” then pat yourself on the back.

Eight year old Jay Moriarty (Cooper Timberline) and his friend Kim (Harley Graham) are playing on the rocks along the Pacific Ocean. As Kim’s puppy gets closer and closer to the water Jay jumps into action. However in saving the dog Jay is washed off the rocks and pulled under water by the powerful waves and current. Suddenly Jay finds himself fished out of the water and safe in the grasp of one Frosty Hesson (Butler). “Small world,” Frosty tells him. Later Frosty gives the children a ride home. Jay is surprised to see Frosty is one of his neighbors. “Like I said,“ Frosty tells him, “small world.”

Years later, we meet fifteen year old Jay (Weston), who, because of his experience, has learned to embrace the ocean and is one of the best surfers around. One morning he sneaks a ride on Frosty’s van and soon finds himself awestruck as Frosty and friends conquer the Mavericks, mythical tide swells that can reach as high as 25 feet. He convinces Frosty to train him to ride the big waves. Frosty gives Jay twelve weeks to master the event. Twelve l-o-n-g weeks.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I didn’t like “Chasing Mavericks.” It’s just that I liked it better the first time I saw it, when it was called “The Karate Kid.” Here Frosty/Mr. Miyagi teaches the lessons he needs to through hard work and training, sometimes so subtly that Jay/Daniel-son doesn’t even know he’s being taught. And if Jay is Daniel then the ocean is Johnny Lawrence – the bad guy who only knows how to bully you. It is the scenes on the water that give the film any kind of interesting plot. Thanks to the “based on a true story” clue you know that eventually Jay will meet his goals…they certainly wouldn’t make a movie about someone who failed! Another boring plot point concerns the fact that Jay’s dad has left the family (coincidentally around the time Jay learns to enjoy surfing) and Frosty’s dad died young. This gives both men “daddy” issues to deal with along with the waves.

Curtis Hanson, who directed one of the greatest films of the 1990s (“L.A. Confidential”), directed the bulk of this film. It was only after taking ill with a few weeks of filming left that Michael Apted, himself an accomplished filmmaker (“Coal Miner’s Daughter,” England’s “UP” documentary series) stepped up. Together they make the surfing action jump right off the screen, but neither can save the flat padding that fills the rest of the film…padding which turns the movie into a cinematic wipe-out.


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Interview with David della Rocco

David della Rocco is well known from playing a character of the same name in the “Boondock Saints” series. Some might know him as the ‘Funny Man’ but if you are a fan of the “Boondock” series, you know Rocco. Movie Mikes had a chance to talk to David to discuss his role in the series and what he has planned for the future.

Click here to purchase “Boondock Saints” merchandise

Mike Gencarelli: David, tell us how you originally got the gig in “The Boondock Saints”?
David della Rocco: What’s interesting is that Troy happened to be working at the same bar that I was working at. I had a friend that owned the bar and I told him I needed a second job at the time. I just got done doing a play that took place in 1975. So I grew a beard and had long hair like a hippie. So I’m working at the bar and Troy is writing the script. He’d talk to me about it and one day he said “you know, your character…the way you are…” and I thought nothing about it. Plus, he loved my name. “della Rocco.” It’s a great last name. Everybody calls me “Rocco.” To make a long story short, he was writing it and he said, “Hey, you’re an actor. Why don’t you play the part?” So I said, “of course. But sell it first.” And of course he did.

Mike Gencarelli: Do you have any crazy stories from the set of the films? I’m sure you guys had a blast.
David della Rocco: You know we did. There was a lot of excitement there. We were living in this huge house. Before we went up there they told us we were all going to be living in this house together. Me, Troy, the producer, the film editor…and I was thinking “how can I take this serious? I’m here to do a film.” But the house was HUGE! It was three stories and we all had our own bedrooms. There was a lot of fun going on but Troy was working very hard. He had to be up at six every morning and work until nine at night. But there are a lot of fun stories. Like the first time Troy had to direct (Willem) DaFoe. He had to walk up and do his newscaster thing. He does it and says “I want to do it again.” And I look at Troy and say “I’d let him do it again. I like the first take but if he wants to do it again…(laughs). A lot of stuff like that was going on. I mean it was Troy’s first film. Heck, it was my first film. I’d done a lot of theatre. It was a good time but a lot of work as well.

Mike Gencarelli: Was there any improv done on the set? Or did you play the script pretty tight?
David della Rocco: You know what’s amazing, and a true compliment to the script, is that a lot of the “Boondock” fans…they look at the movie and see we’re drinking a lot and they ask “what did you guys do…get drunk and improv a lot?” But every single line was a written line. I remember the one scene where we blew up the cat…we do the scene, blow up the cat. Now we’re all looking at it. And Troy says, “when they say “wow I can’t believe that just happened,” wait a beat and say “Is it dead?” It wasn’t in the script. But that was basically about it.

MG: What was it like returning for “All Saints Day”?
DD: Well Troy wrote two films. And for a long time I was wondering and asking Troy if he needed me…I wanted to do it, of course. I was wondering if I was going to get cut out. So it was very nice of him, really, to give me that one scene in there. I knew I’d get up there to do it but I didn’t know if it would stay in the film. But it did. Troy wanted us to go to Fenway Park. He has a brother-in-law that’s a sportscaster in Boston. They were doing some construction on the field and he thought we could do it out of season. But because of the construction we couldn’t. So that was the scene that we were supposed to do. We found out on set that we couldn’t fly to Boston so we kind of made up that scene…the dream sequence. Me and Troy and the brothers wrote it just before we did it. So that’s interesting…you end up having it at the hockey rink…having it at the bar…having it on a skyscraper. And I’m afraid of heights. Even though it was very safe they put this harness around me. They had to because I was so close to the edge.

MG: Your story actually continues in the comic “Boondock Saints: The Lost Gig”, where you involved with that?
DD: No, not at all. Not at all. I didn’t even know it was going on. I just saw it a couple of weeks ago. I’d heard about it but I don’t know a lot about it. I know it’s about the brothers and Billy and all that and that it will keep going. I really had nothing to do with it.

MG: Can you believe the impact that these films have had on the fans?
DD: You know, it blows me away. It really does. Because it was a film that really came out at the wrong time. The tragedy at Columbine had just happened. And I hate to use that as an example. But they were telling people to take their kids to the movies and see stuff like “Legally Blonde.” We hardly had any theatrical release. Then Blockbuster bought it. And I figured it would just be one of those films that never gets seen. And then little by little it started getting recognized. I mean, the first time I got recognized I remarked that I had just met the only person in America that had seen the film. And then little by little I see it really begin to pick up steam. Because with any movie, it’s up to the fans. I mean, if only seven people had watched “The Godfather”…I mean, it’s a great film but what are you going to say? The fans are the ones that really made the film. It had nothing to do with marketing or publicity. It was just on the shelves of Blockbuster. It really did blow me away. It still does.

MG: If you can say one thing to your fans, what would it be?
DD: Thank you. I owe you. We went on a college tour all around the country. We got on a bus and went from L.A. to New York. We went to Boston. And what is amazing is that you have a film like “Titanic.” It had a great director, great advertising…it came out at the right time. But when you do a film like this, it’s the fans that make it go. It’s the word of mouth that’s the publicity. It’s really nice. Every time we have a function and there’s fans around I just really, really enjoy it. I’ll sign autographs and take pictures until my arm falls off. We have really, really great fans and I love them all. I owe them a lot.

MG: What do you do when you are not acting?
DD: I try to keep the acting going but I also have hobbies. I’m a guitarist. I’m a bad guitarist. I’m a music lover. I don’t have a lot of hobbies so I try to keep the acting going. It’s tough. I have another film coming out in October. But it’s really a difficult business. I should find a couple more hobbies. It’s not that acting is so time consuming, it’s just that there’s a lot of waiting and it just consumes your life. I mean I’ll look back six months and I’ll say “I could have gone to Jamaica for six months and it wouldn’t have mattered.” A lot of time it’s just waiting. Seeking things out…auditions…meeting people. I should start woodworking or something (laughs) Actually, Troy does that. He’s very good at building things. I mean, for a present he’ll make his mom or dad something really, really nice.

MG: Are you holding out for “Boondock 3”, any other plans for the future?
DD: You know, that’s a funny question, because Troy never even thought about it. But when we went on this tour that was the first question everybody was asking. The first few times Troy would answer that he had a couple other things he wanted to do but by the third gig he’s saying, “Yeah…there will be a ‘3‘. I already have some ideas.” But I don’t know. I think Troy is the type of person who would want me in Part 3. But I don’t know…do ghosts age? I know Troy does have a couple other projects so I’m not sure when it will be coming out. I would love to have it come out, of course, but I don’t know if I’ll be in it.

MG: Maybe they could do some flashback scenes like in the comic book?
DD: Well, that’s what I mean about getting older. The first film was done in 1998. That was 12 years ago. And if we have to wait another five….people will be asking me “what happened to your hair?” I mean I could wear a wig, but then they’d be asking why did my face fall?

MG: What else are you working on?
DD: My agent just got me this movie, we’re doing it in Cincinnati. It starts filming in October. My character’s nationality has been changed. I think he’s going to be more Mediterranean. Maybe Spanish or Italian. It’s a mafiosa thing. There’s a singer in it, it has music in it. The main character is an old country singer who has gotten out of jail. I’m the mafiosa guy he had to deal with. It’s called “The Dove.”

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