Michael Notar - Behind The Lens

Michael Notar is a cinematographer and commercial photographer based in Spokane, Washington. His experience encompasses feature film, episodic tv, commercials and documentary projects. He has worked for clients such as Anheuser Busch, HBO Sports, Modelo, Entertainment Tonight, Comcast, BNSF Railway, WSU Athletics, Pacifica Senior Living, Abbvie Pharmaceuticals and American Family Insurance.

Growing up in North Idaho, Michael was surrounded by nature and wildlife and sought out a medium to capture it. But he also has the mind of an engineer and was mechanically inclined. Michael found photography, the perfect blend of art and science while in middle school and has stuck with it since. Later, he attended Brooks Institute of Photography and earned a Bachelor’s of Art degree in 2005. While at Brooks, he studied advertising, Ansel Adam’s Zone System and industrial scientific imaging. He managed a photography studio for a couple of years before discovering cinematography. To this day he continues to work in both mediums.

Michael has extensive experience shooting EPK video for episodic television and feature length films. His involvement has included formal interviews and behind the scenes footage for all five seasons of “Z Nation,” a scripted episodic tv show airing on Syfy. To this day, he continues to provide EPK for feature films filming in the area. His strong background in lighting has also led to numerous jobs as a gaffer for HBO Sports, Surefire, Sig Sauger, Beretta, Call of Duty 4, Mercke, True Car, AbbVie Pharmaceuticals, Con Agra, Amway, Modelo, GMC and the Department of Energy.

Michael is equally at home with exotic projects. In 2019, he was tasked with proving the bullet resistance of a recently designed construction material. He filmed at 70,000 to 112,000 frames per second using a Photron camera. This technique effectively slowed down the action by a factor of 4,600 times, allowing the rounds traveling at 3,200 feet per second to be clearly seen as they impacted the material.

Michael's still photography has appeared in Ranger Rick and regional billboards and printed publications. He has been hired by some of the largest companies in the Inland Northwest including Panhandle State Bank, Silverwood Theme Park, Providence Hospital, William Brothers Construction and Architects West. He uses large format black and white film, medium format digital capture and Canon digital SLRs.