Ethan Mills is a Director of Photography for documentary television, promos, commercials and narrative. An industry veteran, he has been working in production for almost 20 years. During the earlier stages of his career, the creative freelance environment posed different challenges to today. The Internet had not yet become a place to showcase personal work and editing a passion project was simply impossible without access to an editing suite. In the episode we discuss this challenge and how he dealt with it.
Later on we discuss his work shooting Mind of a Chef, the Emmy award winning television series that airs on PBS/Netflix from Zero Point Zero, the makers of Anthony Bourdain’s shows. I met Ethan working on this show as a cinematographer alongside him and find his personal relationship to it quite interesting. We discuss how it has helped his career and what perspective he has gained from 4 seasons.
Ethan is one of those guys on set constantly teaching. Every opportunity presenting a new moment to pass on a helpful trick or philosophy, his positive vibe is infectious and often a saving grace on a grueling day of production. I’ve seen it firsthand. My favorite part of the conversation is our reflection on the difficulties of freelance life and the realities of coming to terms with the inevitable ceilings of one's own success.