You already know this, but here at CVMN, we ~live~ for travel content and films. That’s why this week, we’re putting a spotlight on one of our favorite nomads. Meet Struan Wallace. A filmmaker by choice and a nomad at heart, the 37-year-old gearhead has been to over 20 countries and counting, has raced cars and filmed Ferrari acts around the world, and makes a living by flying a drone and shooting videos—he was the mastermind behind the recent viral hit Tara Na! video for Angkas, and was also our main drone guy for our successful On the Fly travel film series.
I’ve raced and worked on cars. I’ve filmed ferrari acts around the world
But while his multi-hyphenate status places him above the level of your ordinary videographer, don’t think for a second that he isn’t the most down-to-earth guy. He’s an avid dog lover and a devoted son to his Filipina mother and Australian father. One look at his social media and you’ll see that he loves adventure and makes sure to spend time with his loved ones the best way he knows how: by traveling. For our latest edition of CVMN Features, we talk to the Struan himself and get a peek to see who’s behind the camera:
CVMN: What inspired you to be a videographer/filmmaker?
Struan Wallace: To be honest, I just kind of fell into it. When I got into university in Australia, I had no idea what I wanted to specialize in. While looking through the course book, I saw “Video Production” and thought: “Hey you know [what], I watch a lot of movies and have always been curious how they were made.” It’s just as well I ended up having a knack for it.
How did break into the field?
SW: After university in Australia, I found a job at an equipment rental house for film production in Sydney. It was there [where] I learned a lot [about] the backend of production. I also learned how to be a camera technician. After a few years, I wanted to do more than just prep the equipment, so I started going out on shoots and gaining experience from there. I have experience as a PA, a gaffer, a camera assistant, a camera operator, a cinematographer, and then eventually a director.
How did you get into drone photography/videography?
SW: I always loved the different perspectives you could get from drone images. I also have a background building remote control cars and boats so when I saw the rise of drone photography/videography, I saw an opening to add to my arsenal of shots. I eventually bought my first drone and taught myself how to fly.
How do you make your drone photography/videography different from other drone pilots?
SW: I think as with every photographer or cinematographer, you have your own style. I just incorporate my style into my shots. I am also constantly thinking of new ideas and frame compositions. As with any medium, practice makes perfect. I love finding new ways to express my vision.
You do a lot of filming Ferrari race car driving. What was that experience like?
SW: It’s probably one of the best experiences of my life. As I mentioned before, I am an avid gearhead, so this was a dream for me. I still get goosebumps whenever I think about it. I’ve also been lucky enough to visit some of the most iconic race tracks around the world.
Do you also race? If so, how did you get into that?
SW: I’ve done different kind of races throughout my life. Nothing professional. I started drag racing, then circuit, and eventually drifting. These days I just join track days and amateur races. My dad was a race car driver in his younger days, so I’ve always had an interest in cars, and my parents have always been supportive.
What’s the one thing that drives your career?
SW: To make art. This isn’t just a job for me, it is my passion. I’m constantly trying to get better. I love learning new techniques.
A lot of people would say that you have a dream job: getting to travel and create content for a living. But what’s the reality/downsides to it?
SW: It is a dream job. ‘Nuff said! Haha. Just kidding—it is a lot of work. I’m not only directing the project, I also shoot, light, do audio, and fly the drone. But when it comes down to it, I absolutely love my job.
What kind of traveler are you?
SW: I love a good adventure. Life is all about stories and memories, so I’m always trying to make some.
Dream project collaboration?
SW: I’d love to work with the likes of Philip Bloom, Peter McKinnon, and Devin Supertramp.
What places are on your travel bucket list?
SW: South Korea, Cuba, Iceland, Sweden, Scotland, Ireland, Christchurch, to name a few.
What are your travel essentials?
SW: My gadgets. Sony A7S II, DJI Mavic 2 drone, GoPro Hero and Fusion, small HD monitor, and a good set of lenses. As for everything else, I always have a good pair of water-resistant sneakers, rain jacket, hoodie, cap, and my trusty backpack with all my other accessories.
Favorite place you’ve been to?
SW: Japan hands down. I love it there.
How often do you travel with your dog?
I travel with them almost weekly, but only to our house in Caliraya. My plan when I got them was to bring them everywhere with me. I imagined going to car meets and track days with my dogs in tow. I dreamt of days at the park and having them walk by my side off-leash, but oh how I was wrong… so so wrong. Because my dogs are energetic and naughty, I’m scared to unleash them for fear they might run away, cause chaos, and never come back. You see, they have minds of their own, but I love them for it. It gives them so much character that life with them is never boring.
How do your dogs help you when you travel?
My dogs may not help me when I travel, but they definitely help me [in general]. They bring me happiness and I consider them like my children. Haha!
Watch some of Struan’s work here:
Follow Struan Wallace’s adventures on Instagram via @struan.
All photos courtesy of Struan Wallace