Filmtools Filmmaker Friday featuring Filmmaker EJ Horstman

Each week, Filmtools takes a look behind the scenes with filmmakers around the world

With hundreds of careers and opportunities, the Filmmaking industry can be a unique experience for a Filmmaker. Options include pitching an idea, or a commission through screenwriting, casting, shooting, editing, and screening your project. Filmtools decided to take a deeper look into the world of a Filmmaker. This week, we had the opportunity to speak to Filmmaker EJ Horstman about his work. This is what he said:

What is your name and where are you from?

EJ Horstman: EJ Horstman and I am from Washington, DC.  

Primary role on set? 

EJ Horstman: Cameraman/ DP

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

EJ Horstman:  I love the work of Pablo Durana; he’s a true artist.

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

EJ Horstman: I worked as the Field AP and Second Camera on the Animal Planet special, “Living with Man Eaters”.

 Best craft services food?

EJ Horstman: Vegan burgers!  Generally only in spots like LA.

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

EJ Horstman: I worked on the National Geographic special, “Secret Life of Predators,” as an AP.  Working in Mongolia with eagles and hedgehogs was quite an experience.

 What’s the first thing you do, when you arrive on set?

EJ Horstman: Look for power!

How did you break into this industry? 

EJ Horstman:  I got an internship with National Geographic Television, and went on to work there for a few years.

What challenges have you faced? 

EJ Horstman: Working internationally is incredibly challenging.  From local customs to local film permits, every step of the way presents obstacles.  You have to stay focused and keep the end in mind to get through working in another country.  

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

EJ Horstman:  A newly acquired item – my Filmtools hat!  Great as a flag for the eyes.

Current TV obsession? 

EJ Horstman: I love Game of Thrones and can’t wait for the final season.

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

EJ Horstman: I binged-watched all of GOT in about 8 months.  For lighter shows, I take my time with them.

What piece of gear do you have your eye on? 

EJ Horstman: I was researching point and shoots for a while until I finally caved and bought the Panasonic Lumix LX100.  It’s an incredible still camera, shoots 4K, and fits on a belt clip.

Camera – Should you own or rent? 

EJ Horstman:  I’d say buy one cheaper camera that you won’t feel guilty about, for side projects and pro bono work.  For bigger jobs, I would suggest renting.  In-demand cameras change so much.

Lenses – Should you own or rent?  

EJ Horstman: I recommend having one or two lenses for personal use and side gigs, but mostly I’d say rent.  Glass is so pricey!

What is your preferred camera system? Lenses? 

EJ Horstman: We work mostly with the Sony FS7 and Canon L lenses.  I love the primes like the 50mm and 85mm.

What are you currently working on? 

EJ Horstman: I worked on an LA project about a stand-up comedian recently.  Always fun to travel out West.  I also work on the side for an illegal wildlife trafficking/ poaching media.  I’ve got one project in the works in Spain and another in South Africa around rhino poaching.

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

EJ Horstman:  Your strongest assets in this industry are your connections.  Stay in the loop:  Go to social events, update your contacts over email, and make sure to connect other people as well.  If you’re well-liked and hard-working, the rest will follow.

Where can people follow you on social?

EJ Horstman:  Instagram: @ej_horstman Twitter: @EJHorstman

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