Wildlife Photographer and Filmmaker Florian Schulz Talks Working with The SHOTOVER F1, Adding an M1 to His Equipment, and Life During Quarantine
Coming to America as an exchange student from Southern Germany in the early 90s, Wildlife Photographer Florian Schulz continued to pursue his dream to explore some of the last truly wild places on this planet. Schulz is a National Geographic photographer and the author of multiple books. While Schulz built his career as a still photographer, he has dove into wildlife filmmaking over the past decade.
Today, Schulz is well recognized for his photography work but is driven by his ever growing passion for the moving image. “The thing with me is, I rarely do something half-heartedly. It might be risky at times, but I tend to jump into things full on to do it right” Schulz says about his decision of moving into the film industry and purchasing a SHOTOVER F1 a few years back. He has since rapidly expanded in the nature film world and is the proud new owner of the SHOTOVER M1, a system he looks forward to putting to work in conjunction with the SHOTOVER F1.
“Coming from the world of still photography, there are some moments that need motion and movement and I wanted to bring my photographic eye, to the moving image,” said Schulz.
“In the beginning, I had a V14 Cineflex but SHOTOVER did a really good job of appealing to me by showing how innovative the product was and how myself as a customer could have the flexibility to swap lenses and provide feedback on additional camera and lens integrations. I decided to purchase an F1, and after much success, I decided to add an M1 to my tool kit arsenal.”
The stunning visuals Schulz captured with his F1 can be seen in 2019’s BBC Blue Planet Live Series, where the system was mounted on both a boat and helicopter. The trailer to his Giant Screen film “The Arctic: Our Last Great Wilderness” is just launching and he is an integral part with his visuals to the campaign to #ProtectTheArctic.
While Schulz is currently in production on two major feature-length films where he utilized the F1, he is looking forward to putting his new M1 to work..
“Because of the COVID shutdowns, many film shoots got cancelled,” explained Schulz. “However, being at my base in Alaska has been ideal to complete post-production on my two arctic film projects with Terra Mater and also be available for more spontaneous film shoots. Just this past month I was able to put the M1 to work for a multi-week shoot for the BBC here in Alaska.”
While no one knows for certain when things will be back to normal, once the shutdown is lifted, Schulz has big plans for his M1, including using it on multiple wildlife shoots with cranes on compact boats and mounting it on helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, across Alaska and Baja California, Mexico - for wildlife projects.
“With more flexibility and less need for counterweights on smaller helicopters, I’m really looking forward to expressing my visual ideas with the help of the M1 and its cutting-edge technology,” said Schulz. “Having only two cases to transport the system in will be a nice change as well.”
Florian Schulz has come a long way from the young boy who was passionate about animals and the environment in Southern Germany. So we asked him if he had any advice for young filmmakers with aspirations of working with SHOTOVER equipment and pursuing a career in filmmaking. He had this piece of advice to share: “Instead or running after what others do, think about what you are passionate about and give it time and dedication. Your passion for the topic will guide you and it will show in your imagery.”
About Florian Schulz
For more than 25 years, Florian Schulz has been following his passion for nature photography and filmmaking. The result of his efforts are not only stunning images and adventurous stories, but rather entire conservation campaigns. To bring the wild side of our extraordinary planet even closer to his audiences, Florian dove into nature filmmaking. The films and photographs by Florian Schulz open a window into natural world, where you can experience moments that few have ever seen. For more information, visit florianschulz.org