Sam Nuttmann is an ICG Local 600 camera operator and cinematographer who specializes in the Freefly Systems MoVI. Besides being an incredibly smooth operator, he’s our very first SHD Shooter Profile: insight and inspiration from ‘behind-the-screens’.

Driven by a passion for great visual storytelling, Sam is the type of guy that cares deeply about the projects he works on and the people he works with. When we asked him about collaboration, he had this to say:

“At the end of the day, it’s not about who’s the boss and who has the most experience, it’s just about which idea works best for telling a story.”

Sam has been operating the MoVI longer than anyone. In prototype form, Sam logged hours of time operating the MoVI and worked with FreeFly Systems on educating (and inspiring) an industry eager to get their hands on the revolutionary piece of technology.

We love what Sam had to say when we asked him to share some wisdom for aspiring camera operators:

“The biggest thing that I do on set besides operating is problem solving.”

Wasteland Legends: Behind the Scenes (click to enjoy)

To become a successful professional camera op, Sam made it very clear that knowing the ins and outs of your system is critical. He suggests logging as many hours as you can as to refine your skills and become familiar with the setbacks that inevitably come.

“The bottom line is, if you can’t get your system to work, they’re probably going to use something else.”

Sam was very transparent when we asked him why he continues to use the Freefly Systems MoVI, while other (less expensive) gimbal rigs have become available:

“When you start working on bigger projects, it becomes less cost driven and more benefits driven.”

Sam uses the MoVI because he feels it’s the most “adaptable option in a professional cinema market.” Weight and reliability of the gear become paramount when hired on as an operator.

As part of his go-to gimbal rig, the SmallHD 502 monitor fits Sam’s “light and small” traveling philosophy (both on set travel and world travel). These are some of the reasons why Sam uses the 502 on every shoot:

  1. Lightweight: weighing just 7.4 ounces, the 502’s form factor helps combats fatigue and allows the operator to mount the monitor in an optimal position.
  2. Cross Conversion: there aren’t many small format monitors that offer this kind of processing power (SDI/HDMI in/out)
  3. Flexible/Efficient Power: LP-E6 style power solution gives operators a lightweight, long-lasting power solution; especially with the LP-E6 to d-tap adapter.
  4. Waveform: a data driven way to ensure camera exposure is on point.
  5. 3D LUTs: the ability to load custom LUTs via SD card to work collaboratively and creatively on set.

To learn more about the 502 on-camera monitor, please visit us here or see what others are saying about it on B&H Photo.

We truly appreciate Sam’s willingness to share with us his on set wisdom and wish him the best of luck with his future endeavors. Below we’ve listed some ways you can keep in touch with Sam, as well as some links to products/topics discussed in our interview.