Hunter Gulan Is a cinematographer, editor, and colorist based out of Los Angeles, CA. Since moving to LA 3 years ago, Hunter has worked on a variety of creative projects ranging from music videos to narrative films.
How did you first begin your cinematography career?
I have been shooting for a number of years now, but I first started to pursue it as a career when I moved to LA in the Fall of 2014.
What type of content do you enjoy shooting the most?
I love shooting fashion and music videos. I feel that these two mediums let me be as creative as possible and bring out my true style.
You’re a colorist as well, do you always color your own work?
If I am not coloring it myself, I always try to have a say in coloring it. I feel that this is really important nowadays in the digital era because in the old days of film, the DP would choose his film stock, all of which had different tones and colors, this has now been replaced by digital color correction. All the cameras nowadays either shoot RAW or LOG, which is basically a blank canvas for the colorist to work with. This has made it extra important for the DP to work with the colorist to get “the look” that he worked for on set.
Do you have a piece of work that you’re most proud of?
I usually get sick of my work after seeing it too many times... Lol. But one piece does come to mind. It is a music video I shot for the song entitled “Bad Timing” by Loren North. It was an all night shoot in the middle of nowhere. It was low budget so we had a minimal crew and had to carry truck loads of gear up a hill about ½ mile down this trail. There were tarantulas crawling on the gear, mosquitos everywhere, not to mention the threat of snakes crawling around at night, it was intense. An insane amount of work went into the lighting set ups, but it was well worth it, because I managed to get some of the best images I’ve ever created that night and I couldn’t have done it without the help and hard work of my crew!
Your lighting aesthetic is fantastic. How much do you usually pre-light and how often do you find yourself not using artificial light at all?
Thank you! I usually try to get into a location and see what the natural light looks like or if we will need artificial light. If we can use natural light I always use my sun tracker to see where it will be moving throughout the day and if we will need modifiers of some sort. Some projects will require artificial light regardless, say if it is a night shoot or something. Then I usually come up with a scheme or look, such as natural “moonlight” or a sodium vapor “Street Light” look. Basically whatever the story requires, then I will figure out exactly what we need to make the image look as beautiful as possible.
What’s your favorite camera you’ve worked with and why?
This is a hard question because every camera now days shines in their own way, but if I had to pick one it would probably be the Arri Alexa.
Where do you see your cinematography career in 5 years?
In 5 years ideally I want to be DPing something like a Netflix series with multiple seasons, but also be shooting music videos and fashion in between. I’ll always be happy as long as I have a camera in my hands….. Or on sticks lol.
You feature a lot of slow motion and gliding shots in your work. What frame rate do you prefer for slow motion, and do you use a Ronin, MoVi, or Glidecam?
It really depends on what I am shooting and what the story requires. If I am shooting something that is moving really fast such as water splashing or smoke, I will shoot 96fps +, but if it is a slower moving subject such as someone just walking down the sidewalk, 60fps is plenty slow. As far as gimbals, when I can, I prefer to hire a steadicam operator because steadicam looks so organic and smooth compared to gimbals, but otherwise I always shoot those kind of shots on my Ronin.