Creator Chronicles: Specialty Cam Op Will Strathmann

Meet Will Strathmann, Specialty Cam Op. From aerial cinematography off of mountain peaks for Canon, to underwater scuba diving amongst great whites for GoPro, to capturing talent for the Superbowl, his ability to craft compelling visual stories amidst adventure is what sets him apart from the rest.

Creator Chronicles: Specialty Cam Op Will Strathmann

Renowned for his imaginative perspective and adventurous spirit, Will Strathmann is a specialty camera operator focused on underwater shooting and FPV drone videography. His diverse portfolio includes clients such as National Geographic, Fox Sports, Speedo, and The New York Times. From daring encounters with sharks to capturing the intensity of Super Bowl moments, his creative journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. 

Will's artistic journey began in painting and photography, fueled by inspiration from the impactful work of National Geographic. His academic pursuits led him to study philosophy and explore India, receiving a research grant that marked a transformative solo trip. It was during this expedition, armed with a camera, that his passion for creative endeavors took flight.

Bringing together a blend of creative vision and technical expertise, Will's background as a director of photography adds a unique dimension to his work as an aerial cinematographer. He approaches the medium with the eye of a storyteller, constantly elevating drone work to something more significant than the visuals alone, “My ability to combine the creative vision with the technical skillset is something that’s really valuable.” With an eye for aesthetics and a knack for piloting, he seamlessly integrates visual appeal with technical precision, ensuring each shot contributes meaningfully to the project's narrative. 

In the realm of FPV drone operations, Will navigates the delicate balance between directors' visions and the inherent constraints of the technology. Prioritizing safety, he collaborates closely with directors during pre-production planning to offer insights on possibilities and limitations. Will explains, "Managing expectations is the biggest thing so you don’t show up and let them down. Solve the issue before you get to set.” He strives to find creative solutions for potential challenges, all while emphasizing the importance of safety, especially when operating drones in proximity to high-profile talent.

Will's work extends to diverse projects, such as a GoPro showcase that seamlessly blended his love for storytelling, travel, and adventure. Harking back to his roots in documentary and adventure filmmaking, he emphasizes the spontaneity of capturing moments in the midst of uncertainty, turning filmmaking into an integral part of the adventure itself. “I got into FPV to use it as a tool for filmmaking and every time I fly I see it through that lens.”

A seasoned scuba diver with a camera in hand, Will has documented encounters with wildlife, including a mesmerizing dive with pregnant bull sharks off the coast of Mexico and playful interactions with a resident pod of dolphins, showcasing the unique aspects of his underwater cinematography. 

In the world of gear, Will's favorites include the Cinewhoop FPV Drone and Peak Design's Capture Clip. His involvement in high-profile projects, from the Super Bowl to Coldplay music videos and Nascar promos, underscores his expertise in handling small drones in confined spaces with notable personalities.

Expressing a desire to delve further into the automotive industry, Will sees a plethora of opportunities to redefine car commercials using FPV drones. Having worked with brands like Chevy and Toyota, he emphasizes the dynamic possibilities for capturing high-energy shots, revolutionizing the way cars are showcased in promotional content. 

A current New Yorker, he emphasizes the importance of collaboration and is always interested in meeting other creators who share the same passion for adventure and filmmaking. A unique storyteller, Will's vision extends beyond the ordinary, embracing the evolving landscape of cinematography with creativity and technical prowess.