Filmmaker Feature: Chris Hannant

Chris Hannant is a photographer gone filmmaker out of North Carolina. Studying as a photographer, Chris has taken to a life behind the lens, capturing images both in and out of the water. With the recent popularity of HDSLR cameras for video, Chris has also embarked on capturing images in motion…

Where did you start shooting photographs? How did these environs affect your photography?

I started shooting at home on a chain of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina called The Outer Banks. I have always been attracted to the natural beauty that surrounds me here – 200 miles of pristine shoreline, huge sand dunes, maritime forests, and perfect, empty beach break barrels. It’s very hard for me to shoot something that I don’t find naturally beautiful in some way.

What feelings do you hope to convey through your photographs?

I very much want to evoke a connection with nature and travel. I want people to look at my photos and feel inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds us, and ultimately to appreciate, experience, and preserve it.

Describe the first time you shot video on your HDSLR still camera.

The first time I shot video was when I was working on a photo project documenting shrimpers in Georgia. I decided to make a short video montage to go along with my photos and I absolutely fell in love with it. I felt like I could squeeze so much more emotion out of video than just with still images, especially with the capabilities of DSLR cameras.

Talk about the process of transitioning from photography to filmmaking.

It’s been a very interesting process. I was a photography major at the Savannah College of Art and Design for four years, and it wasn’t until my last year that I started feeling more serious about filmmaking. Since graduating in 2010, all the freelance work I’ve been getting has been for video, and even my personal projects have slowly been revolving more around filmmaking. It’s not necessarily a difficult transition to make – filmmaking essentially is photography, just with a few more elements added in there. I’m able to keep my own style of shooting, I’m just applying it to a slightly different medium.

What’s next for Chris?

Aside from a few minor freelance jobs, I’m trying to scrape together the cash to take an epic trip to Southeast Asia and Indo this winter. That will be my next big project which I want to turn into a full length surf film or maybe even a pilot for some kind of travel/surf/adventure show. A buddy and I are still in the early stages of planning but we’re probably gonna snag some plane tickets by the end of the month. I definitely want to keep working with surf and travel themed photos and films – surfing pretty much encompasses every element I love – nature, the ocean, travel, culture, harmony, conservation. I want to spread these ideas through good looking films!

For more about Chris, check out his website at

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