Filmmaker Feature: Nat Lanyon

Nat Lanyon is a 24 year old, Australian photographer/filmmaker. Only shooting for about 4 years, Nat’s polished style is well beyond his years of professional experience in the field. With a strong passion for surfing and skateboarding, it is clear in Nat’s work that he has a bright future ahead. When he recently sent us over his reel, we had to dive in a bit deeper and find out a bit more about this young talent…

What came first for you…photo or video? And how did you get started in shooting?

Photography came first. Istarted shooting about 4 years ago. I would just muck around taking skate and surf photos with my mates while at Uni… I was just learning and having fun. I remember I sold some photos of Christian Wach to Gotcha about 3 years ago and thats when I got kinda amped and thought I would try and take it a bit more seriously. I’ve been shooting video for 18 months now.

Describe your style.

I think it’s kinda nostalgic, vivid, fun colours and lots of nice little moments. It’s evolving but..I hope, haha.

Talk about the great things of being a young filmmaker in 2011. What about the difficulties?

I like the lifestyle it brings, the travel and meeting new people. I’m setting my business up at the moment and I’m on a small business program with the government so the next 12 months should be pretty productive. The difficulties are sometimes getting people to pay on time and not fuck you around in general. Some people want stuff done for next to nothing.

What are the most important things that you have learned over the years about photography/cinematography that you always go back to?

That it’s okay to be hungover when filming, especially surf. Haha, nah, seriously maybe that you have to self-promote your work, not in a bad way but make sure you try to get it out their so that it can reach more people. Also, to be creative and try things that might not work. Sometimes it’s a waste of time but it can also really add value to a clip or a range of photos for a lookbook. You just have to give it a go.

What do you focus on when shooting? Is there a particular method you have when approaching a shoot? A routine, if you will…

Depends on the shoot. Obviously with surfing, I just gotta make sure I don’t miss anything and try to use any cool available angles without sacrificing view-ability. I prefer (or at least try) to shoot most surf lifestyles away from the beach or use nice landscapes that I’ve captured on the road because so much shit is played out. If I’m shooting a lookbook or video for fashion, I usually spend some time with the owner and we run through a set of photos they have collected for inspiration and that helps envision what we going to try and achieve. Sometimes a little storyboarding can be a fun way to make a fashion video a little bit more interesting.

Is there certain criteria that you have for yourself in order to release your next video clip. In other words, are there certain things that a clip must have for you to approve it for the world to see?

Nah, not yet. Obviously it depends if it is a paid job or if its just a personal edit. I’m pretty carefree with my personal edits. I try not to make them as professional as my paid work. I try to make them a little more fun and purely for enjoyment.

What kind of equipment do you use?

My equipment is pretty damn basic. I’ll be looking at a major upgrade in the next few months but until then I’m running a Canon 550D, 100-400mm L series Canon lense, Sigma Wide Angle & 3 Canon prime lenses. Canon Flashes and yeah that’s it.

What does it take these days to be a successful photographer? Filmmaker?

You have to be a combination of things: good technical skills, good post-production skills, creative, a solid networker and be happy doing some self-promotion.

What has been getting you stoked lately?

Just enjoying life and getting a few waves myself. Been road tripping to Byron Bay a bit, listening to good garage rock, OFWGKTA, other punks clips on Vimeo, different types of pale ales and wines, Seinfield (haha, I shouldn’t still be getting amped on that show should I?) and all the pretty ladies that this amazing weather is bringing out.

For more of Nat’s work, check out his websites:

What’s next for Nat Lanyon?

In the next few months…just working hard. I have two entries in the last round of Innersection (an online shortboarding comp ran by taylor steele), more work for Rhythm as well, which I’m amped on. I’m heading to Indo for a while in February to shoot some fashion videos and lookbooks which I’m also amped about.

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