Filmtools

Filmmaker Friday featuring Filmmaker Drew Ganyer

An Insiders Perspective On The Creative World of Filmmaking

With hundreds of careers and opportunities, the filmmaking industry can be a unique experience for a filmmaker. Filmtools decided to take a deeper look into the world of a Filmmaker. This week, we had the opportunity to speak to Filmmaker Drew Ganyer about his work. This is what he said:

Where are you currently located and what is your primary role on set?

Drew Ganyer:   I am primarily a Cinematographer and I am based in Los Angeles, CA.

What inspires you?

Drew Ganyer: I get inspiration from other filmmakers. I’m constantly watching films, tv, music videos, commercials, and online videos and looking at the shots. I’m active on Instagram and several online forums and I like to see what everyone else is up to and everyday I think, “Oh wow, look what they just did, that’s awesome, I better get out there and shoot something today!” I also get inspiration from several directors that I have been lucky enough to develop friendships and working relationships with. We send each other reference videos and they inspire me to push myself to shoot in new and exciting ways. Right now I’m specifically inspired by thriller/suspense films and sports commercials. I’d love to make a career of shooting those types of projects.

 Who is a person in the industry that is on the top of his or her game in your role?

Drew Ganyer:  Rodger Deakins, Emmanuel Lubezki, Bradford Young

Why did you choose this field?

Drew Ganyer: As a kid I always had an interest in photography and filmmaking. I used to film commercials and short films with my brother and neighbors, but it wasn’t until the end of high school that I realized that this could be a real career. I love cinematography and filmmaking because it is an ever changing puzzle.

If you had to impress someone with your work, what would be the most “well-known” content that you’ve worked on? 

Drew Ganyer: I was in the camera department on Zach And Miri Make A Porno and True Blood, on both of those jobs I learned a lot about filmmaking and specifically being a cinematographer by watching David Klein, A.S.C. but for my work as a cinematographer what I’m most proud of is a short film I shot directed by Will Halas called The Crop.

 https://vimeo.com/109484767

 Best craft services food?

Drew Ganyer: Donuts, my favorite is a cruller but its rare that you get those so my second choice is a piece of apple fritter.

What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on before?

Drew Ganyer: The coolest project is always whatever I’m doing next. I’ve had some incredible opportunities in the past but I’m always learning and experimenting so I’m most excited about my next shoot. Looking back, the most memorable projects are the ones that have taken me to the coolest locations, I’ve been fortunate enough to go to Argentina, the Bahamas, and all across America.

Current TV obsession?

Drew Ganyer:  I’m in between shows right now, but I’m super excited about the next season of Stranger Things.

Do you binge-watch new shows or pace them out?

Drew Ganyer: I prefer when a show is released on a weekly basis, it sticks with me longer and I love being a part of the community that is coming up with fan theories and talking about it during the week. However when shows come out all at once I tend to binge watch them.

What piece of gear do you have your eye on?

Drew Ganyer:  My 1st AC teases me because I always bring up my desire to get a butt dolly, it’s a piece of gear that I’ve romanticized, I don’t know if I’ll actually ever get one.

Do you have any projects that we can help promote?

Drew Ganyer: I have three short films that are being submitted to festivals now that I’m very proud of. “Bare” directed by Kerith Lemon, “Do Not Go Gentle” directed by Nicole Avenia, and “The Strangeness You Feel” directed by Jackie Katzman.

I also recently shot this fun fight scene with director Brendan Nagle. He has an action feature with a lot of fights in development and so we used this as a kind of test to experiment with different frame rates and shutter angles. It was a lot of fun to film and I have to give massive props to Diana, Aaron, and Christian for doing the fight a million times.

Do you have a piece of essential gear that you don’t leave without?

Drew Ganyer: Definitely a hat. Every job is unique and has special equipment needs but I often like to shoot with some kind of backlight and the hat keeps it out of my eyes. It’s like putting an eyebrow on the matte box. It’s also great for long days outside under the sun.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

What advice would you give to people interested in this industry?

Drew Ganyer: Make friends and find mentors. This business is all about relationships. The friends you make will be the people you work with, and vice-versa. And mentors will be important as you are learning and growing, they are a fantastic resource to help you with questions about the technical/artistic side and the business side of your craft.

What’s the first thing you do on set?

Drew Ganyer: Filmmaking is such a team effort, when I first get to set I like to check in with my team, just to see how everyone is feeling, hear about what else they’ve been working on, and how their drive in was. The second thing I do is check out the donut selection.

What’s In Your Bag (when you go to set)?

Drew Ganyer: Number one most important thing is always the script. I also like to have my light meter and SmallHD 702.

Camera – Should you own or rent?

Drew Ganyer:  I own a Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro and I love it. It gives me the flexibility to shoot passion projects and help friends out. Also it’s amazing to work with the same camera over and over, you really get a deeper knowledge of how to best use it. That being said I still try to push for the right camera for each job, even when that isn’t my camera.

 Lenses – Should you own or rent?

Drew Ganyer: I’m a filmmaker because I love storytelling and creating images. For me the art is more important than the business. So with that in mind I own a set of budget lenses that give me a great image and the freedom to shoot small side projects whenever I want. When the budget is there I love to rent lenses. I love seeing all the different lens tests and how each lens has a unique feel. I would hate to lock myself into one set of lenses for everything.

What advice would you give to people interested in this industry?

Drew Ganyer:  Grab a camera, go make movies, and get on a big set to see how the pros do it.

Where can people follow you on social?

Drew Ganyer: www.instagram.com/dganyer  Website-  www.drewganyer.com

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