GMC “The Perfect Shot”

An inside look from pitch to post-production

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. Nate was kind enough to share the challenges and triumphs of this GMC spot on a photographer’s journey, which incorporates our Luminary and Light Hits 4K packs.

Behind the scenes GMC

What’s the backstory on this project?

I’ve always wanted to work with car brands, but the competition is brutal. I was so close to not submitting a pitch on this one. In the few months before I had lost a pitch to Ram Trucks and two other great projects that I really wanted. Emotionally I was in a bad place. When you spend a few days writing a treatment, you almost convince yourself that it’s already your project, and so the losses hurt.

I decided to go for it and just do me. I think I was up against 30+ directors and I pitched something that was far from the creative, it was a risk, but I think that’s what they’re looking for sometimes. All too often I’m trying to just give the brand or agency what they want to hear, when maybe they want to just be inspired and feel your love and passion for the project.

What made your pitch different?

In the beginning, the client was looking to shoot an actor portraying a photographer. A guy shooting in a studio or out on a simple model shoot. The goal was to tie in the similarities of a photographers desire for precision and perfection with the precision of the truck.

I just knew that for a truck brand a real story would play better to their viewers. I pitched the idea of my photographer buddy Kevin Winzeler out on an actual assignment in Moab, Utah. They loved the concept and even switched the featured truck over to the Sierra All terrain model.

Behind the scenes GMC
Behind the scenes photographer

What was production like? 

Honestly one of the most fun shoots I’ve done. So crazy, but we had a great crew and a good time. We had the tightest deadline and Kevin is a busy guy between having a successful career in photography and four kids. We had a little over a week of pre-pro and then two days to shoot with him.

We had a really slim and simple production, always liking to keep it as low-key as possible. GMC trucked down the Sierra. It was DP Nate Sorensen and I on the camera, with Weston Fuller assisting, a driver and truck prep guy, then a team of two guys from Circa3 flying and operating the drone.

We shot on the RED Dragon in 6k. Lenses were a set of Leica Rs (some of my all-time favorites). We had a gimbal and just regular set up.

What challenges did this project present?

With such little time, the pressure was on for sure. Sorensen and I headed down to Moab a day early to scout. I finished out the storyboards on the drive. I had already digitally scouted everything the week before, so in the morning we took a quick look at the spots and everything checked out well.

On our last night, we did this brutal hike up to an area called Castleton rock. It’s a short hike distance wise, but seriously steep and we underestimated how long the hike would take. We were racing to catch the sun before it dipped behind the horizon. 

We got one shot up there that is in the final spot, but we didn’t get the one I had planned for. It ended up being too dark and muddy of a shot. I had no choice but to cut it out in the editing room. That was a hard one to cut. We worked so hard for it, but I just knew it wasn’t up to par.

The location of that last shot in the commercial was definitely the scene I wanted most for the project and it had to be just right. And yet it was the only location I didn’t have locked down. A lot of locations that I had Google mapped weren’t working out. So toward the end of the day, we made an hour-and-a-half trip in hopes that this last spot (which I had been avoiding due to the long drive) would give us the setting we needed. The trek was worth it, the location ended up being perfect.

Tell us about the look and feel you were going for. How did Lens Distortions effects contribute to your aesthetic?

I had the whole spot pretty much put together and storyboarded before we shot, leaving a little wiggle room for any unexpected moments. I wanted 80 percent of the shots to be pre-morning light and sunset. I wanted to really show a true photographers reality. They’re up early and working till the light is out.

A big reason I choose Moab as the location for the project is because of the frequent storm systems that role through. We ended up having a lot of these gorgeous storm clouds the entire time we were out there.

I knew while we were there that Light Hits would come in to help. In the edit, I subtly used light hits and Luminary to enhance a flat shot here and there (see 0:20 and 0:34). I added luminary in a shot of the truck’s headlights just to give them a bit more flare (see 0:12).

I love to add some color to the effects. The color on this project was on the cooler side and then we would add warmth in Kevin’s skin tones and in the red landscape. I would warm up or cool down Light Hits and Luminary to help enhance the look even that much more.To see more of Nate’s work, check out
BTS photography By Nate Gunn and Weston Fuller.

Unlock all audio + visual assets


The membership gives a single user* instant access to download links for all products and songs. You’ll also get immediate access to any new assets developed throughout the year.

Grab just what you need for your current project or store entire effect libraries on your computer for as long as you’re a member. You must have an active membership to use assets in new edits.

Automatically clear copyright claims on YouTube for you and your clients with our easy-to-use License Code system. Any projects published during an active subscription are covered forever. 

*Have multiple users? Simply purchase multiple memberships or go Elite


Access for a single-user* to all products and songs that are currently availabe on our website.

Our mobile app is not included. The subscription on our website and the subscription in our mobile app are entirely separate.

Browse the VFXSFXColor, and Photo pages to familiarize yourself with our product lineup. You can preview our entire song catalog on the Music page.

*Our Elite Membership offer the best value for teams with 5 or more people.

Generally, all professional video editing softwares are compatible: Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, Davinci Resolve, After Effects, LumaFusion, etc

Each of our product lines (VFX, SFX, Color, etc) has slightly varied compatibility, so click a link below to learn more about the specific editing software each product line is compatible with:

VFX compatibility
Color compatibility
SFX compatibility
Photoshop compatibility

Our VFX products are delivered as ProRes files, some also offer an H264 option.

SFX products and Music are provided as WAV and MP3.

Finishing LUTs are standard .cube LUT files.

Photo products are Photoshop actions + image files.

The membership covers social media, client work, all forms of advertising, and YouTube monetization.

TV programming, VOD (Netflix, etc), and theatrical releases require an Elite Membership.

Assets must be incorporated into a project with other footage, photographs, etc.

Example of things you cannot do include:

  • Share files or accounts with friends
  • Incorporate our assets into any sort of product
  • Upload music to Spotify, Apple Music, etc
  • Upload songs by themselves to Youtube, Facebook, etc
  • Use our music or sound effects as part of your own music or record vocals on our tracks
  • Claim ownership of any of our assets with Youtube’s Content ID

Please review the full license agreement for more details.

Upload to YouTube and monetize with confidence!

We provide you with two easy methods to automatically clear copyright claims within minutes.

1) Register a YouTube channel to automatically clear copyright claims on any video containing Lens Distortions tracks. 

2) Generate License Codes for a specific project. Just include the codes in your video’s description when uploading to YouTube and any claims will automatically clear within minutes. This is a great solution for client projects or if you manage multiple YouTube channels.

Videos published while your membership is active are covered forever.

Learn More >

For small teams, simply activate a single-user membership for each person on your team.

For larger teams, consider purchasing an Elite plan, which covers multiple users and extended placements.

If you cancel, your membership will remain active until the end of your current subscription period and will not renew. Subscription fees are not refundable.

Any projects you publish while the subscription is active are covered forever but you will no longer have a license to use any assets moving forward and must delete all downloaded files from your computer.