DP owner of RED Epic-M has love of storytelling

Chicago’s growing inventory of RED digital camera ownership has been enlarged by the recent purchase of the new RED Epic-M by director of photography Christopher Gearhart’s Lakeview Productions.  

The the Epic-M, Gearhart’s fourth RED camera, was one of the very first in the Midwest, arriving arrived from the factory as number 444 in April.

Gearhart, who calls himself “a first adopter” of new camera technology, was also at the head of the line to buy one of the first RED cameras when they were introduced in 2007.  Lakeview presently owns four REDS.  

“The Epic-M is a great example of the bleeding-edge power we can offer our clients,” says Matthew Byori Mann, Lakeview’s VP, who joined in April.

 “With Japan’s recent tragedies and mass production complications, the RED Epic’s full release to the public has been delayed indefinitely, the RED Epic-M the only available version of the RED Epic,” he notes.

Mann was hired as Lakeview’s first full-time employee since Gearhart set up shop in 2003, “now that we’re more full-service and doing more end-to-end production,” explains Gearhart, whose background is as dissimilar from commercial production as a RED Epic is from an ancient pictogram. 

“I’ve got a lot of varied interests,” says Gearhart in understatement about his other foot being firmly planted in an exotic world.  

He has a degree in computer science and is presently completing his PhD in biblical texts and ancient languages – Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic – at Trinity International University, a Christian school in Deerfield. 

He also travels to Russian and Korean schools to teach ancient languages for a few weeks every year.  “It’s fun and it definitely keeps me off the streets,” he says.

What holds both worlds together for Gearhart, “is my love of storytelling throughout the ages,” he says.  “Cinematography – using the lighting, camera and visual elements – I’m interested in how that enhances the story and give it its subtle cues.”

While Gearhart has been the DP on independent narrative shorts and TV pilots, he is writing the screenplay for his own  independent feature-length drama – genre and story being kept under wraps —  which he will produce with co-writer Kendall Miller.

Meanwhile, Lakeview Productions uses its RED armory, along with full-service production services, including 35mm, 5K Ultra-HD and more, for national and international commercials, music videos, sports shows and cable entertainment shows.