Born and raised in Kansas, Brandon Ivey is intimately familiar with severe weather. While his father made sure he watched the F5 tornado that crossed South Wichita on April 26, 1991 from the safety of his porch, Brandon began chasing storms as soon as he could drive.
Since 2009, Brandon has served as navigator and meteorologist for Sean Casey and the TIV, working to predict where tornadoes will occur and to steer the TIV into place for an intercept—safely. Nicknamed “The Machine” by the rest of the TIV team, Ivey is passionate about getting into storms and has been known to chase relentlessly through long days of driving, into the night and even the morning hours. He and storm chase partner, Matt Hughes, were responsible for navigating the TIV into the Goshen County, Wyoming intercept on June 5, 2009, allowing Casey to capture the tornado’s birth with his IMAX camera.
Brandon began work on his degree in broadcast meteorology in 2000, and began documenting weather events with the creation of The Storm Report Web site and radio programming in 2005 with Dan Holiday. Matt Hughes joined The Storm Report in 2008. Brandon earned his Broadcast Meteorology Certification in 2006, and in 2007 completed a degree in Geosciences through Mississippi State University. He has worked as a contributing photojournalist covering severe weather for Wichita’s CBS affiliate, KWCH 12, since 2006.
Ivey was thrilled to be invited to join Sean Casey’s crew for Tornado Alley in 2009. “Chasing is a very expensive hobby,” he says, “and being invited to work with Sean, it’s a dream come true for a storm chaser. This is one of the most exciting things I’ve been allowed to do, trying to get this team to a tornadic storm. It’s a truly unique experience.”
When he’s not chasing, Brandon enjoys making up for the weeks in the field by spending time with his wife and two young sons, named Bryant and, appropriately, Chase. He also enjoys fishing, photography, and playing guitar. While he’s also played golf and participated in a bowling league in the past, he’s gotten rusty. “It’s hard to keep up,” he says. “Storm chasing has occupied a lot of my spare time recently. But that’s fine.”
TIV-2 driver and crew member Marcus Gutierrez has always been fascinated by the intricacies of nature. His passion has led him to work in surreal corners of the planet: he helped shoot volcanic eruptions with Sean Casey’s father, George, and documented monstrous waves in Tahiti as a part of the Graphic Films team. As TIV-2’s driver and mechanic, Marcus has played a pivotal role in helping Sean navigate safely in severe weather, capturing the unprecedented IMAX footage of cyclonic thunderstorms and tornados.
Marcus served as a US Navy corpsman and is now a first-class medic trained in trauma, pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, and orthopedics, making him uniquely qualified to provide emergency support to Sean’s field team. Marcus has been involved in the Tornado Alley production since 2003, and joined Storm Chasers in 2006. In 2010 he stepped into a new role as driver of TIV-2, helping Sean to capture much of the groundbreaking footage seen in Tornado Alley.
In addition to his love for filmmaking, Gutierrez is driven by a strong connection to the communities he works in, and hopes that providing critical data and capturing rare footage of these ominous storms will lead to better warning systems and more respect for natural forces and processes. “Filmmaking is a complex effort, fueled by imagination and knowledge,” he says. “I’m hoping to immerse myself in nature, and use my experiences to educate others.”
When he’s not chasing storms, Gutierrez dedicates his time to a variety of other pursuits. He is deeply committed to humanitarian efforts, and has received awards for his work to provide assistance to victims of the El Nino rains and for providing emergency medical assistance to survivors of a cyclonic storm in Bangladesh and India. He serves as a surgical assistant for Mercy Outreach, an organization that provides treatment for Mexican children with anatomical anomalies.
Marcus also continues to work behind the camera with a variety of projects. He’s shot music videos for Pearl Jam, Chris Cornell, and the New York Dolls. He’s creating experimental 3D films with Panasonic and a new production company, Type3, in collaboration with his cousin, Fernando Apodaca, and close friend Jason Mueller.
Raised in California since the age of five, Marcus is an accomplished surfer and enjoys spending time at surf destinations around the world. He is the proud father of Hallie, a daughter who is almost three, who has helped inspire him to follow his dreams and passions.