Asude: Hello Stan, thank you for accepting to have a little chat with us. We love your photographs and especially time-lapse videos. So, we’d love to get to know you much better. Let’s get started with how you got started with videography and the video project you earned your first money? How did these happen?
Stan: I got into time lapsing the night sky about 4 years ago and eventually moved forward into videography from there. My first paid video project was a campaign for Hoya filters which was shot on location in Iceland in October, 2015. Four 2 minute videos for $3,500 showcasing why and when I use these filters and the reason why I choose Hoya.
A: Right now, you are the working ambassador for Sony, Tokina, Aquatech and many similar companies. Could you please open up your background in videography for us?
S: I first started off as a surf photographer. My extreme love for astronomy opened the door to adventure photography and capturing the night sky which led me inland traveling deeper into the South West in search of dark skies. This is when I started time-lapsing the heavens above allowing me to grasp and get a better understanding of how video worked. In turn, it unlocked the gates to that other side of capturing the world we live in from not only a single still stand point, but also now rolling the camera in life as motion.
Explore, Create and Inspire
A: Doing what you love, we love that idea! We have to say that we especially find your video that features your first trip to NY quite cinematic: “Sliding through New York”. But, how would you describe your own videography style?
S: I certainly love that cinematic look. Filming possibly everything wide open as possible while maintaining that 180 rule of video using proper ND filters etc. I do love capturing events in slow motion and do so whenever possible if and when the scene calls for it. That smooth and silky look is what I prefer.
A: We completely agree because that is what has made us love your videos, too! But, you must be making some preparations before creating these creative scenes. So, please tell us about the preparations you make before you begin filming.
S: I do always pre-plan what my goal is before an idea or projects come on hand. I travel light as much as possible, leaving room for more creative flow which makes it fun and very effective. I used to bring a bag of gear to a set which makes things much more difficult to get carry around. It sometimes causes confusion while making a decision on what to use and when to use it. A camera, a few lenses, a motion slider, tripod and my set of filters are all I need these days.
A: In other words, you say it's not about the quantity, it's about the quality. So, tell us about these equipment of yours that is so brief and to the point, then!
S: Currently I bring my Sony A7RIII, Sony 85mm F1.8, Tokina AF Firin 20mm F2.0, Hoya Solas 5 stop ND, Hoya Solas variable ND, Hoya HD3 polarizer, edelkrone SliderONE with Motion Module, Slik AL-420S tripod.
A: Seems quite enough for a cinematic look! So, do you prefer buying or renting your filmmaking equipment?
S: Renting gear is a great way to test the waters exploring the possibilities. Is this piece worth buying and something that you will truly turn to on a everyday basis? This is how you find out fast! Everyone has a different style in filmmaking. One might turn to a gimbal while the other to a slider. Renting offers that ability to test out if that piece of gear will work in your everyday workflow.
A: After you’re all done with capturing the beauty of the world, what software do you use for post-production?
S: I currently use Adobe Premiere Pro CC.
A: Having been on the cover of Outdoor Photographer magazine and having a numerous amount of articles found online and in publications, what is the best piece of advice you could give to other filmmakers?
S: Invest in yourself and your gear. If you only have enough for a dream camera and one lens. Go all out and get the best you can instead of buying a great camera and two or three so pieces of glass. Till this day I just reach for one or two lenses when I head out the door on a passion project or job assignment. Sometimes it’s easier to get more creative when you have just a few pieces out in front of you instead of a bag full of toys.
A: Would you mind sharing the best advice you've ever been given with us?
S: Keep following that dream. That path might seems endless but if you believe in yourself eventually people will believe in you.
A: What do you think about the future of filmmaking with the technology is advancing so fast?
S: I absolutely love it! Bring it on that’s what I say. If things continue to get smaller, faster and stronger, it will just make more room for creative opportunity for that seasoned pro and aspiring filmmaker.
A: And, last but not least, what’s your biggest ambition for the future?
S: By age 55, I want to have had directed a movie on the big screen. It’s a dream of mine that I’m slowly and surely working toward.