Alumni Update | Issue Four 2014
Nathaniel Schmidt
Cinematographer, Editor and Visual Storyteller
Bachelor of Media Arts, 2012

Nathaniel Schmidt is a freelance cinematographer, editor and visual storyteller currently based in Minneapolis in the USA. In 2012 he graduated from the University of South Australia with a Bachelor of Media Arts specialising in Film & TV. Nathaniel moved to the US following his graduation, and landed his first professional role with World Cycling productions – editing footage from renowned international road cycling competitions like the Tour de France, Paris Roubaix, Giro d’Italia and the Tour of Flanders.
Nathaniel Schmidt
He scored an early career highlight when he met prominent international cycling commentator Phil Liggett and recorded commentary from him during the Lance Armstrong doping saga. Such chance encounters, Nathaniel notes, are priceless in an industry where reputation-building is crucial to success.

“The creative industry is very competitive, and is not as advertised as others,” he says.

“You have to pursue interactions with people so they see you as more than a resume.”

Early in his career Nathaniel struck up a defining relationship with South Australian media identity Brenton Ragless, who began mentoring him after the pair met at a UniSA networking event.

“Brenton has been very generous with his time with me,” Nathaniel says.

“The positive energy he pours out into everyday life is great to be around – what he gives to you, you also want to return, and that attitude I have found is key to success in networking.”

Networking also led Nathaniel to work with photographer and director Jonathan Chapman, on collaborative projects with major clients including Samsung, McDonalds, Symantec, Target and Minnesota Twins Baseball.

“Working with Jonathan has undoubtedly kick started my career – I’ve had a lot of great opportunities with him,” Nathaniel says.

“A key element in our relationship is collaboration; there’s often a mentality to be very protective of your creative ideas and who you work with, but through collaborating (with Jonathan) I learnt so much more.”

Nathaniel also gives some credit for his international success to UniSA’s Global Experience program.

The program saw him undertake an overseas study tour to Prague in the Czech Republic in 2010 followed by an international student exchange at Colorado State University in 2011. .

“Global Experience gave me the opportunity to apply my skills and see career relevancy; it was key for me to get to where I am now and made my degree much more worthwhile,” he says.

Now he has begun to establish his name in the American industry, Nathaniel has consolidated his work into his own freelance business, ‘Nathaniel Schmidt Visual Storytelling’.

He also feels adjusted to life in a country he describes as a “land of opportunity”.

“You really do have the freedom to be as successful as you want if you work for it – it’s really fast paced, and everyone wants to be creating the next big thing,” he says.

However, Nathaniel does admit to taking a lot more inspiration from Australia since he left.

“Once you're apart from it for a while you realise the beauty of it more… I see things differently and it grounds me back to my roots.”

“I always make a point of going down to the Fleurieu Peninsula at least once when I come back – I spent a lot of time there on holidays as a kid, so it gives me a lot of inspiration.”

For more information on Nathaniel Schmidt Visual Storytelling visit, Twitter or Instagram.

View Nathaniel Schmidt's LinkedIn profile

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