July 2017: Cara Hamstra 

Filmmaker in fur hooded jacket, photo taken outdoors in winter

July’s Featured Artist is Cara Hamstra, the local video storyteller behind Caramount Pictures. Hamstra’s passion for storytelling came at a young age, when she filmed commercials, movie trailers, and talk shows with her siblings and peers. In high school, she began to volunteer to make sports interview videos for a local newspaper, and filmed her siblings’ weddings. “Anything that involved a camera, I was in!” she says.

Hamstra had never considered starting her own business, but her parents encouraged her to earn a living doing what she loved. She built up her portfolio by offering free/minimal profit work, and learned everything she could from teachers and YouTube tutorials. She notes that she often looks to YouTube to build her repertoire, saying that the video site is “phenomenal for learning new techniques, or buying/building contraptions to make your video look and sound better or just different than before… it’s truly endless what you can do with the world in front of you.”

Hamstra loves to tell stories, and enjoys capturing everything from the romance and intimacy of weddings, to business ads that build recognition and trust. She particularly enjoys matching suitable songs to a video; although it can be difficult and frustrating to find one that fits the mood, tempo and expression you want, “once you find it,” she says, “the whole video is transformed and that added dynamic is incomparable.”

Although new video equipment is constantly on the market, boasting advanced technologies, Hamstra wants developing videographers to know that you do not need the most expensive equipment, programs, or schooling to make something wonderful. “Yes, these things can help,” she says, “[but] having a lesser-quality camera doesn’t stop you from making something brilliant. In fact, it may make you even more creative in finding a way – other than money – to create what you’re envisioning.”

Recently, Hamstra was hired by the National Cycling Centre of Hamilton to develop their marketing. This has given her the opportunity to broaden her skills to include graphic design, social media, and branding. With new roles like this, her ability to tell a story and keep an audience engaged has expanded and evolved. Follow Caramount Pictures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or check out their portfolio on their website.

For more information about Caramount Pictures, click here to open a new browser window.