Category: Cinematography

I am a Filmmaker

I am a Filmmaker

I am a filmmaker. It’s more than what I do… It is who I am. I may never see my work on the silver screen, I may never win any awards, and my name may someday be forgotten… But still I fight.

I fight because I love this industry, I love the stories, I love the visuals, I love the creativity, I love the imagination, and I love the work. I strive for success like everyone else, and I am no different or any better than those who strive for the same goals I do.

People may feel I’ve been wasting my life fighting to make this wild dream a reality… The reality is, it would be a waste of my life to not fight wildly for this dream.

The Journey is what shapes us… Not the Destination.

I wasn’t born into it. I wasn’t given any free rides. I don’t have all the greatest and latest toys in the business. That’s what makes the fight more exciting, more meaningful, and more worth achieving. The harder the fight, the greater the victory. Each small accomplishment is validation to continue.

Along this road, I will work with others as hungry, driven, and full of dreams as myself. However I’ll also have the misfortune to trust the wrong people and make some bad mistakes along the way.

However I promise this… I’ll remember those who fought along my side, and I’ll forget those who stabbed me from behind. I won’t forget the lessons I’ve learned and I’ll always fight to make my next project better than the last. In this industry, you’re only as good as your last project.

I know the importance of reputation, and I will fight with passionate ferocity to defend it. It is more valuable than any camera, lens, or lighting kit I could ever own. Without it, I have nothing. My reputation is what validates my level of professionalism, skill, creativity, and authenticity. It is what makes me stand out among the masses, and it provides a guarantee of my commitment and dedication to those I work with.

This journey requires sacrifice. It demands my time. It fuels my passion. It both mocks and inspires me. It tests my limits. It shapes my life. It exposes me to ridicule and praise. It offers me no guarantee. It allows me no rest. It defines who I am.

I learn from those ahead of me. I teach those who follow. I take chances and develop new skills always. I practice, I study, I train. I give my respect to those who give it to me. I give none to those mistake my kindness for weakness or abuse my trust. My cast and crew are like family and I give credit were credit is due.

I am driven to constantly challenge the way I see film. While it’s technology evolves, the foundation of telling a story remains constant.

I search for inspiration and embrace it when it finds me, as it often finds me when I least expect it, or when I feel like giving up. There is a reason why we fall…

As a filmmaker… I am a dreamer, a storyteller, and a visionary. This is a bold statement, but it is a bold ambition. I see life through the lens and I play with shadows and light. I create worlds and characters that don’t exist. But if even for a moment, I suspend your belief, then I believe I have succeeded.

Some may love my work, others may hate it. It can anger, scare, offend, or make a person laugh or cry. As long as there is an emotion to be experienced, it was worth the motion of calling “Action”.

Is it worth the fight? Without a doubt, the answer is “Yes”! If it takes a lifetime to define myself, then it would not be a wasted life.

I am a filmmaker… and I have a story to show you.

To keep updated with samples of my work, please visit my facebook profile, I AM CINEMA.

Also, be sure to visit Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue. Your visit and donations help provide funding for their food, medical needs, rescue maintenance, and overall quality of life for their Tigers, Lions, and Leopards.

No Excuses

No Excuses

No Excuses!!! There are many who believe if you’re not born into this industry with famous parents or born into lives of privilege, then you don’t stand a chance at becoming a filmmaker, or at achieving success outside the “Normal, Real World Jobs”…

For the rest of us… Let’s make some F***ING MOVIES!!! Let’s show em’ all you don’t need the fanciest equipment or huge budgets… just passion and dedication, a great story, and a few talented people willing to fight with everything they have to achieve their dreams and create amazing stories.

You don’t have to be a millionaire to be a storyteller or filmmaker. Sure, it certainly helps and has it’s benefits. However, some of the greatest movies ever made didn’t have monster budgets, cutting edge visual fx and equipment, or A-list actors… just an amazing story, and an extremely passionate and talented cast and crew, who made the most out of what they had at their disposal.

Some of our greatest role models, actors, singers, movie-makers, business owners, or writers fought their way to the top, kicking and screaming and shouting as loudly as they could until they were finally heard. They had the talent, passion, and dedication BEFORE they were famous. The sad thing is, most people didn’t respect them or take them seriously until AFTER they the fame and fortune.

Who knows… that P.A. on the set working for the next to nothing wage could become the greatest director ever known a few years from now. At the same time, maybe they had the potential, but lacked the courage and gave up too early. The competition is stiff, and they’re as hungry, or possibly even hungrier than you… or are they? There are some who are born into privilege, and it’s not to say they don’t deserve success, but even those born with the odds against them from the beginning can rise above the masses, IF they are driven by passion, dedication, and talent. This road we travel today is what forges our talent for tomorrow. When they finally achieve success… it wasn’t “luck”… they sacrificed and worked their asses off to make their dream a reality.

Money and fame don’t make someone better or more important than you. It just helps us live a more comfortable life, and gives us the ability to help others in ways we maybe can’t now. And yeah… then maybe it would also help us get a Technocrat or Phantom Camera for our next film. Until then, use what you have. Master your skills with the minimal requirements. Test your creativity and imagination. Make a short film, a one minute film… just DO SOMETHING!!! If we sit on our asses waiting for someone to give us our big break, we may be waiting a lifetime. Instead, FIGHT FOR IT!

In this industry, we tend to not take people seriously until they have fame and fortune… but we forget to look at where they started, and how they achieved their success. Even worse, we tend to not take ourselves seriously. We can easily fall into the idea of “It’s too difficult”, or “It’s not worth the risk”. We all have to start from somewhere. We don’t just wake up one morning and suddenly have everything we want (lottery winners excluded)… in some cases, it can take a lifetime to achieve, but even then, it was a life worth living. I firmly believe it’s the journey that shapes us, not the destination.

Walt Disney once quoted:

We don’t make movies to make money… We make money to make more movies.

Most of us have our “9-5 jobs”, bills, families, obligations, commitments, and other distractions… yet we still are driven by a desire to create. We have a primal instinct inside us to fight, to create, to follow our hearts, despite the mockery and ridicule and challenges we endure. A 12 hour day on the set just isn’t long enough. We crave more and we love it.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting fame and fortune, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want it myself. But if that’s your only goal, then you’re in the wrong business. You’ve probably got a better chance at winning the lottery. So if someday success, money, and fame come your way… congratulations! You deserve it! Enjoy it!

I do what I do because I’m driven to do so. It’s an addiction, a passion, and a way of life. I’m all in. All my cards are on the table, and I’ll continue to surround myself with like-minded people who share the same passions and dedication as myself. For those who stab me in the back, betray my trust, or use me to advance their own careers while attacking my own… Karma will decide their fate.

As I’ve said before:

Many people have felt I’ve been wasting my life to make this wild dream a reality. The reality is, it would be a waste of my life to not fight wildly for this dream.

I’ve got nothing against privileged individuals, and there is no jealousy or envy. I respect someone not because of their social status or income bracket, but instead of because how they treat me and others. Give me respect, and I’ll give you mine. It’s that simple.

This is my battle cry for those among us who are dreamers, visionaries, and storytellers. It’s a slap in the face for those who are too afraid to even try. I have no sympathy for laziness or excuses. It’s too easy to feel like we’re not important because we don’t have the fanciest equipment, big budgets, or Hollywood connections. You’ll never realize how great you can be, until you realize how great you already are.


To keep updated with samples of my work, please visit my facebook profile, I AM CINEMA.

Also, be sure to visit Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue. Your visit and donations help provide funding for their food, medical needs, rescue maintenance, and overall quality of life for their Tigers, Lions, and Leopards.

Reedsburg, WI (Sauk County) Photographer & Videographer

Reedsburg, WI (Sauk County) Photographer & Videographer

“I Am Cinema” is a professional photography and cinematography studio located in Reedsburg, WI. This is in Sauk County, which is near Wisconsin Dells, Devils Lake, and Baraboo, and about 45 minutes from Madison.

My name is Nathan Grey. I’m a Wisconsin Native who’s lived in various places and states, including 4 years in New Orleans, and 5 years in Southeast Florida, by West Palm Beach. Regardless of where I’ve lived or traveled, my heart has always called me back home to this area. I specifically choose to open my two studios (I Am Cinema & Kaizen Tactical Combatives) in Reedsburg, due to it’s location to Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue. I’ve been an active sponsor and volunteer for them since early 2006. When I was first given the opportunity to work with these amazing Tigers and Lions, there was no going back in mind. I had found my happy place.

After years and years of working in full feature films, TV shows, and commercials, I found myself as a photographer and cinematographer behind the lens. I love this profession, as it doesn’t even feel like work. I get to work with actors, musicians, models, and countless varieties of people and businesses sharing my love and skill in photography and videography.

The last large production I worked on prior to returning to Wisconsin, was a comedic drama series called “In Sanity, Florida” by See~Worthy films. This series featured Burt Reynolds as a fictional version of himself, and followed the coming of age story of a young girl wanting to break out of the normal, to follow her passion as a singer. This was the second production I worked on as the Director of Photography for Marc and Shawnee of See~Worthy films.

My Reedsburg Studio is massive, around 5,000 sq ft with 13 ft ceilings. I started my studio with virtually no equipment, and absolutely no money. Over the years my reputation grew as did the number of clients I worked with, and the size of my productions. I made the choice with each production, to re-invest in my company, and continue building my arsenal of professional cameras, lenses, lighting kits, audio equipment, tripods, jibs, drones, and steadicams, etc. My studio is now equipped with over $30,000 worth of photography and video gear. This now allows me to offer truly professional packages for my clients, and bring to them the quality and versatility of a small Hollywood Production Studio.

While many people claim to be professional photographers or cinematographers because they bought a camera and can take a properly exposed shot in focus, most of them don’t understand the first thing about being a professional. I understand though… I was once there myself. We all start somewhere. I did my share of countless free productions, photo shoots, and videos. My reputation has now been established and I know the value of what I offer both with technical skill and creative ambition. I will never let anyone outwork or outperform me, and I strive to offer my clients more features, higher quality, and the best creative passion than anyone in my area can compare to.

I hope you enjoy my site and the samples of my work. If you’re an private individual, or a small or large business, I invite you to meet with me to discuss your goals and perhaps decide if my studio is right for you. Here are some of the productions I work on:


  • Wedding Photography
  • Wedding Videography / Cinematography
  • Senior Portraits
  • Family Portraits
  • Boudoir Photography / Bridal Photography
  • Cosplay Photography
  • Real Estate Photography
  • Aerial Photography


  • Real Estate Videography
  • Corporate Video Production
  • Testimonial Videos
  • Recruitment or Training Videos
  • Commercial Video Production
  • Music Videos
  • Indie Films & Full Feature Films

To keep updated with samples of my work, please visit my facebook profile, I AM CINEMA.

Also, be sure to visit Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue. Your visit and donations help provide funding for their food, medical needs, rescue maintenance, and overall quality of life for their Tigers, Lions, and Leopards.

Reputation is Everything

Reputation is Everything

Reputation takes a lifetime to build, and a second to be destroyed.

My reputation is something I’ll defend with passionate ferocity. It’s more valuable than any camera, lens, or lighting kit I could ever own. It is why I choose wisely both the clients and productions or people I team up with. I built a reputation for myself in tactical combatives and martial arts and made a living for 20 years training both enthusiasts and fighters. I built a reputation working with Tigers, Lions, and Leopards at Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue. I’ve now built a reputation for myself as a filmmaker and visual storyteller. Reputation is everything. It is how we define ourselves.

It’s a sad reality, we’ve all worked on productions we wish we never did, and have trusted the wrong people at times. It takes a strong backbone and tough skin to withstand all of the backstabbing and negativity in this industry. Even worse is when those individuals blame you for their own problems and can’t accept the painful and brutal reality of their own crimes against you. In my earlier years, I had the misfortune to team up with “less than professional and even less trusthworthy” individuals. The nightmares that came about still haunt me occasionally to this day. I take them all as a learning experiences now, and use them to empower and protect me, rather than weigh me down.

If only someone could have rescued me from the nightmare experience I would unknowingly encounter after agreeing to collaborate with a few of these backstabbing traitors and thieves. I can only chalk them up to learning experiences, and I’m now much wiser about who I team up with and which productions I become a part of. So in some weird twisted way, I’m glad they all happened.

Build Your Reputation and Protect It

I’ve built my reputation on my desire to create Cinematic Visuals. There are few things as satisfying as having an audience of several hundred people enjoy work you created on the screen. These days it isn’t easy. It takes constant work to build and audience and just as much work to keep them. The type of work we do, and the quality of what we do will determine our audience, and how they perceive us.

My reputation earns me the high level of clientele I have for luxury weddings, million dollar estates, photography clients, film productions, commercial and corporate videos, and more. It’s taken years to establish this, and in the beginning I did plenty of free work just to prove myself and build my portfolio. Finally, I’m at the point where I can pick and choose my clients, battles, and projects. I decide where I want my business to evolve and how it will grow. But the battle isn’t over yet… now I have to maintain it.

Protecting my reputation is just as important and equally challenging as building it. I must constantly challenge myself to expand my skill sets, knowledge, and creativity. I must experiment with new techniques and keep up with trends and technology. I have to consider how my actions in public, and even more so not eh set reflect myself and my company “I Am Cinema”.

Those who’ve worked with me know I’m very passionate about what I do, and I’m incredibly persistent on how something should be done. I know the end result I want to achieve, so that requires a certain level of intensity and extra effort on the set.

I have zero tolerance for laziness and arrogance. If someone on set presents valid, creative, and insightful advice or a better way to doing something, I’m all for it and willing to learn or give it a try. Respect is something I give to those who’ve earned and deserve it. When I have a crew member who busts their ass and shows passion and dedication, I reward it.

One of the best examples I can give concerning how passion and dedication pay off, and how someone builds a reputation, is by a young filmmaker I’ve worked with from See~Worthy Films. Her name is Syndey Bowers. She’s a young and wildly creative filmmaker. She with me on the 2nd season of TWEET, and let me just say, she amazed the hell out of me. When I gave advice, she listens. When I asked her for something, she hustled. When I gave her a task, she finished it. When I taught her, she learned with appreciation. Never once did she complain or take on a lazy attitude. She came to the set everyday and worked non-stop. She’d ask for advice, she’d watch how we worked on set, she developed technical and creative skills. Now working with me again on In Sanity, Florida, she’s earned the right to be a camera operator and is my 2nd in command. I know I can rely on her and trust her to not only work hard, but to be creative and do what we’re supposed to, which is tell a story.

The reputation I’ve built for myself has earned me the right to return as Director of Photography and Editor for See~Worthy’s new series “In Sanity, Florida”. My reputation has brought to work with real professionals with creative minds and a passion for storytelling similar to myself. When you work long enough and hard enough, you’ll eventually find others like you. I’m very fortunate to have the clients I have, and to work with the productions, casts, and crews that share these passions.

I’m not lucky. I’ve worked for this. I’ve suffered for this. I’ve sacrificed for this. I’ve been knocked on my ass time and time again, but I stood back up and kicked off the dust every time. With every negative experience I had, I learned from those challenges. I’m smart enough now to know who I can trust and who is for real. I recognize snakes in disguise. I recognize those who fight for quality reputation and have earned it by facing life head on and rising to success.

For those born into it… they’ll never know the value and reward of what a lifetime of hard work and determination feels like. When you finally break through and achieve success despite the odds against you… nothing beats that feeling. I’m very proud of the reputation I have. Yes, there are some individuals in this world as I’ve mentioned, who would say otherwise about me, but I recognize them no longer. They are dead to me and forgotten. Their opinions are void and full of bitterness or jealousy. What matters to me are the opinions of those I respect, and those who are worthy of it and deserve it.


To keep updated with samples of my work, please visit my facebook profile, I AM CINEMA.

Also, be sure to visit Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue. Your visit and donations help provide funding for their food, medical needs, rescue maintenance, and overall quality of life for their Tigers, Lions, and Leopards.

error: Content is protected !!