We had the good fortune of connecting with Devin Cutter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Devin, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Over the past few years, my work-life balance has favored heavily towards the work. I was constantly juggling numerous projects while also striving to learn and improve my skills during the spare minutes in between tasks. When the pandemic hit, things slowed down abruptly. Suddenly I wasn’t traveling, I had no commute, and productions stopped. I was fortunate enough to have work that I could do from home, but at a much lighter capacity than I had been dealing with before the lockdown. I found myself in this period of respite from the grind I’d been on for so long — there was all this time for myself and I didn’t immediately know how to spend it. I had more time to connect with my family, I was able to cook, I could exercise, play games, read, and generally get caught up on the endless backlog of things I’d been wanting to do. I also spent a lot of time revisiting old work and reorganizing my archive of files from the past decade. This ended up becoming a very personal process that I feel appreciative for the chance to have had enough time to complete with proper reflection. Seeing how I’ve changed as a person and filmmaker over the years has been an insightful experience and inspired a more thoughtful evaluation for new goals. Lately, I haven’t felt the same motivation that had been driving me for so long, but I’ve also found a peace as a result of this process. I know I want to have even greater intention with future work and continue to maintain a healthier balance of work and life. I think the work can only get stronger from a more balanced approach.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Over the past few years I’ve been involved with a wide variety of projects and genres of production. It seems like I’ve shot a little bit of everything — features, short films, music videos, docuseries, and a lot of live events. Working in live event cinematography was not anything I ever pictured for myself, but these shows can be logistical beasts and I have grown an appreciation for this type of production as I’ve become more experienced at it. When the performance is live, there is so much pressure to do everything perfectly and to have contingencies at the ready if something goes wrong. I’m hoping that I can eventually move more regularly into narrative or high-end commercial work, and that I will continue to be involved with larger and larger shows. Narrative work has always been my favorite and the most rewarding. There is a different energy involved with narrative shows and I’ve been fortunate to have been able to collaborate with some talented and incredible people. I’m always wanting to grow and push myself to be a better cinematographer. Understanding the technical aspects of filmmaking has always been important to me because I think if you’re able to master the tools, you can better manipulate and push the technology in even more creative ways. As the pandemic continues, I’m assessing my goals and evaluate my intentions. There are a lot of irons in the fire, so it seems it’s just a matter of time to see what will hit to determine where things may lead.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
A few years ago I relocated to Long Beach from North Hollywood without ever having spent time in the area. It was a move that came about for logistical reasons at the time, but it really paid off as it’s become one of my favorite places to spend my time. There are so many great restaurants, opportunities to be outdoors, and I enjoy the pace of life near the coast. The harbor area is one of the spots I frequent most often, be it for dinner, a drink, or just to get some exercise with a view.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife has always been by my side no matter what. She’s my number one fan, confidante, and supporter in every aspect of my life and my work. Although she is not in the film or entertainment industry herself, she maintains a genuine interest and has taken the time to learn the intricacies of the work. I really value her thoughts and opinions both creatively and in business. It’s also been inspiring to watch her smash through milestones on her own journey as a Speech-Language Pathologist and I couldn’t be more proud of her and everything she’s accomplished. Her own drive and ambitions encourage me to be the best version of myself. I truly wouldn’t be where I am without her love and support.