Behind the Scenes // Indira – Suunto

Nate Gunn gives us an inside look at what it took to create his recent film for Suunto, Indira. Be sure to check out Part 1 of our interview with Nate where we got the backstory on his Orvis project.

Nate Gunn is a Salt Lake based visual storyteller with a passion for non-traditional advertising. He helps companies discover new ways to display their message by creating branded content that’s more lifestyle focused, rather than product focused – genuine stories that are sponsored or presented by a brand. His recent projects for Orvis (the world leader in fly fishing) and Suunto (premium sports watches) utilize our 4K Light Hits pack, so we caught up with Nate to get the backstory on these projects.

How did the Andy Earl project come to be?
 
A photographer friend of mine, Kevin Winzeler photo, hit me up about the project. He was working on this with the Finnish watch brand ‘Suunto’ and they were looking for a story about a young guy who had maybe overcome a hard trial or who had real experience with fear. The person also had to be a pretty avid mountaineer or climber. So I was a little taken back at first, it was pretty specific. I actually had a few guys in mind but immediately Andy and his story really hit home for Kevin and I.
I only knew Andy threw a couple mutual friends. But I knew a lot about his story and his love for the mountains threw his really cool Instagram feed (@wasatchandy). Andy’s a great photographer as well and so we would always run into each other at events and talk about doing a project together. So when I told him about this one, to his surprise he would be the guy in front of the lens. Luckily he was into it. I think he knew sharing his story could maybe help others in a way. Or maybe he just didn’t know what he was getting into, haha!
Ryan Thompson - Cinespace - Exporation
Ryan Thompson - Cinespace - Exporation
Ryan Thompson - Cinespace - Exporation
Ryan Thompson - Cinespace - Exporation
Ryan Thompson - Cinespace - Exporation
Ryan Thompson - Cinespace - Exporation
The story on this one is really moving, how did you first hear about Andy’s journey?
Andy and his wife Neena were really open about their experience on social platforms like instagram. So before I really knew Andy, our wives were actually pregnant at the same time. So when I heard that they had lost their baby, it was right around the time I had my little guy. Naturally it really affected me in a positive way, I was that much more grateful to have a healthy baby. But I also felt heartbroken for them.
What was production like on this project?
A little rough. All those summits and hikes were with gear on our backs. Trying to get up to high places while chasing good morning or evening light can be brutal. We had a low key crew. My DP Nate Sorenson, Kevin who was Co­-Directing with me and shooting photos. Any then a PA each day of shooting. We did about 3 days of shooting between the photo and video. Camera setup was simple and light. Red Dragon with this amazing set of Leica lens. Set up the Movi for a few shots as well.
Ryan Thompson - Cinespace - Exporation
Ryan Thompson - Cinespace - Exporation
Ryan Thompson - Cinespace - Exporation
Ryan Thompson - Cinespace - Exporation
This all came together really quick, pre pro was about just over a week. Suunto had this new watch coming out so they wanted to get some shots for that launch. So we story boarded and worked on creative while we shot. Nate Soreson would be shooting some pick ups and Kevin and I would be laying out story/shot ideas while hiking up.
It was a hectic one, but nonetheless really stoked with how it came out.
Any interesting challenges or funny stories from production?
This was a fun crew. Too much fun on a shoot as usual. When no one has got any sleep for days, things start to get pretty weird for sure. Apparently any shoot Kevin’s been on with a drone, it’s crashed. Literally minutes after he told us that, we crashed ours. Got a good laugh out of that one.
Ryan Thompson - Exploration - Astronaut
Ryan Thompson - Exploration - Astronaut
Walk us through your post production workflow on this one?
Same as usual for me. Since we had little time in pre pro, I visualized the edit in my mind over and over again as we hiked. So when it came time to sit and cut, I really had it laid out already. The visuals came together quick and easy. But we did have a really hard time with how the dialogue should flow and how the story should be told. We went through several revisions. It’s a sensitive story so we wanted to make sure we nailed it as best as we could.
Tell us about how you utilized Lens Distortions. What feel were you going for?
We already had some really beautiful shots on this project. So again we use LD really subtly. Just a Light Hit here and there to really give some shots just a bit more flare. I really love using those and Legacy to tie scenes together with shots that aren’t so complementary. I probably got all that work done in 20 minutes. They’re simple to use and I can do it all in Premiere which is a huge plus.

 

Favorite scene/shot/edit?
Love the scene of Andy with his fam. Just a perfectly unexpected moment. Stoked on 1:33 too (thanks to LD on that one).
Ryan Thompson - Cinespace - Exporation
Ryan Thompson - Cinespace - Exporation
What’s next for you? Any big projects in the works?
Always have some hi­gh hopes ideas. Right now I’m trying to put this project together with Land Rover and Orvis. Possibly a short film… so that’s really exciting.
As filmmakers, we’re always searching for sources of inspiration. Where do you look to for inspiration?
Lately I’ve been really trying to not look to others or their work for inspiration or ideas. In the end I know what’s been done has already been done. Guess I’m not looking to mimic something right now, but create something new. Not easy though.
But that being said, I love watching good content and I still love when I find a great photo or experience something that gives me a surge of ideas. I love just scrolling Vimeo, Behance or Instagram, that’s probably where I get most inspiration.
To see more of Nate’s work, check out nategunn.com and vimeo.com/nategunn.
Photography by Kevin Winzeler – kevinwinzeler.com
BTS photography By Nate Gunn
Nate currently uses the entire lineup of 4K Video Overlays from Lens Distortions.

Just a Light Hit here and there to really give some shots just a bit more flare. I really love using those and Legacy to tie scenes together with shots that aren’t so complementary… They’re simple to use and I can do it all in Premiere which is a huge plus.

Nate Gunn

Visual Storyteller

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