Drew Ganyer, a LA based cinematographer and camera operator, posts some incredible BTS photos on his Instagram handle @drewganyer, and makes sure to tag #CoreSWX when using our battery packs. Here, we are always interested in connecting with our fabulous user base and learning more about their work. As he works as a freelance DP on narratives, music videos, and commercials, he relies on Hypercore Slim 98 battery packs to power his Blackmagic Design URSA Mini. Learn more about Drew’s creative process, favorite projects, and future aspirations below, and be sure to hashtag #CoreSWX on your social channels to have an opportunity to be featured next!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career.
My first experience with film was working on a reality TV show that came to my small town in Colorado during high school. I then went to film school and spent my summers interning on bigger films. This was the best of both worlds because it allowed me to learn from some really excellent cinematographers and then take that knowledge back to my student films. I moved to LA immediately after film school and continued the same path of working as a camera assistant on big movies and tv shows and working as a DP on smaller projects. About 2 years ago I transitioned to working full time as a freelance DP and camera operator. I love bouncing back and forth between narrative projects and music videos, with narrative you really get to focus on telling a story and conveying emotion through the camera and lighting and with music videos you get to be weird and try fun new things.
2. What was one of your favorite projects you worked on and why?
I’ve been lucky enough to be part of a lot of awesome projects that have taken me to super cool places. Early in my career I got to work on a commercial where we spent a week on glaciers in Patagonia. More recently I got to visit New Orleans with director, Kerith Lemon, where we got to capture the stories of 3 incredible women for State Farm and the Essence Festival. Each person had a very inspiring story and it was illuminating to see the city from three new perspectives.
3. What is your creative process when tackling a project?
Everything starts with the script or the treatment, but the key to my creative process is talking with the director and trying to distill the essence of the project. I love conversations where we can talk about emotions and deeper meaning and how we can make those ideas stronger through camera work, lighting, colors, locations, etc. I feel that it’s most important to listen to the director and what they have in mind but also you have to bring something creative to the table. Film making is such a collaborative art, as a director of photography you have to figure out the balance with each director but you always have to be ready with creative ideas. Then comes reality where you have to work with the budget, time frame, and other logistical challenges to figure out how to make the creative happen.
4. What Core SWX gear do you use and how is it beneficial to your productions?
I own a Blackmagic Ursa Mini camera package that I’m constantly shooting smaller projects on. I rely on the Hypercore Slim 98 batteries to keep the camera running. I love that they have the display on the back that gives a really accurate estimate of time remaining and time to full charge. I’ve also thrown the batteries on Aputure lights which allows us great freedom to shoot night exteriors in more remote areas where there wasn’t any other way to power lights. I’m just starting to get into time lapse photography. I’m excited to use Core batteries to power my mirrorless camera for many hours at a time. The key to that is that the batteries have both d-tap and usb so it’s super easy to power anything without needing extra plates or adapters.
5. Aside from your achievements and accomplishments so far, do you have more you’re working towards for the future?
Early on in my career I had the opportunity to shoot a 4 hour fiction mini-series that took place in colonial America, it was an incredible experience for so many reasons. Because the show was set in the 1700s we had to create the whole world with production design, costumes and period lighting. I’m very proud of the work that I did on that show but now that I have more experience I would really like to revisit that process of creating a complete world on a bigger show. It would be great to do another period piece, or maybe something sci-fi or fantasy.