Cory Gehr

As we highlight our Classics collection; thoughtfully designed to be our tried and tested styles and made purposefully for like-minded individuals that share an interest in the Rhythm lifestyle, we celebrate the creative community of individuals and friends that inspire and pioneer in different avenues and fields.

It’s hard to put a label on Cory Gehr. A cinematographer, musician, gardener, self proclaimed “hobbyist” and “old soul”, he lives a life many of us dream of, surfing around his home in Los Angeles and creating art in its many forms. Rhythm has worked closely with Cory over the years, and we enjoyed stepping into his world in Torrance, CA to catch up for a day.

Photographs & words By Jake Smith

Video by Joey Breese

Cory, thanks for having us, we are digging your set up her in Torrance. Tell everyone a little about yourself, you're a man of many talents.

Howdy, well thank you. I’d say “hobbies” is more fitting. I’m a 28-year-old director of photography, filmmaker and photographer. I live here with my girlfriend and son Willie Blue (yeah he’s a dog), where I have an editing studio in the garage, and a garden in the yard. I spend most of my off days around those two spaces. Outside of my career, I enjoy playing music, tending to the garden, surfing, basketball, fishing (not catching), and trying to not burn food in my wood-fire oven. For the past 10 years, I’ve moved once a year until now, so it’s been quite nice staying put.

Film is a hard world to break into, it’s impressive how much you’ve already accomplished. What projects are most rewarding to you today?

Projects that I can really use the story of the piece to motivate the cinematography. Whether it be a film, music video or commercial, using the story to make decisions on how to bring the project to life really inspires me. My end goal is to be working on feature films. Years ago, I laughed at the thought of working in Hollywood - but once I started getting involved in projects with actors performing, everything changed. There’s something unique about being a DP on a narrative film - you are the first person to experience that scene playing out in front of you. There are times when the entire crew is tucked away in the back of the set, and it’s just you, the actor and the camera. The thought that one day that same process of filmmaking could lead me to capture a scene that the world will experience months later really excites me.


And how have you gotten to this point in your carrer? It seems like creativity is central to everything you do.

I’ve always had a connection to my creativity, whether through art classes, music, or terrible video projects for Spanish class in high school. But I didn’t really get hooked on photography until college when I started photographing surfing. Things sort of took off from there. Up at 5am every day to shoot awful South Bay conditions while working at Trader Joe’s til 10pm, and classes in between. This led to an unpaid internship with a 2-hour commute at Surfer Magazine where I learned a ton. Fast forward to transferring to the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, I switched from environmental science to
film school and never looked back. Hawai’i taught me the importance and sacredness of storytelling - something that I treasure in my work to this day.

Post-college, I worked at a creative agency for a few years and gained a lot of experience during my time there. As a cinematographer and creative director but also editor, film business person, and co-worker to some insanely talented folks. Once the pandemic hit, a natural course of events led me to pursue the freelance space as a filmmaker, with the ultimate goal of photographing feature films one day. Today, I’ve helped create a production company called The Sunflower Pictures, and work alongside a group of inspiring folks to create work that I’ve never been more proud of. Community and art are everything to me right now, and I’m fortunate enough to have made my way into a space to create with both.

Where do you draw your influence and inspiration from? It seems to surround you here at home.

Inspiration is everything. There’s nothing better than finding a good source of inspo for whatever it is you may be working on. I find a lot of source material from generations before mine. Music, film, art, photography, surfing style - you name it. People tell me I was born in wrong time… There’s definitely some truth to that. History is meant to be teach tape for how to improve the future, so I probably have some sort of subconscious appreciation for things from the past. I also think that due to the wide spectrum of interests that I have, there are some cross pollinations of inspiration in effect within my own work.

And how about you band? Has music always been part of your life

Glue LA!!! It’s fun, a great way to blow off steam on the weekends and to challenge my creativity. But music wasn’t really a big part of my life until the past few years with the band. I started learning guitar in 7th grade, but didn’t think much of it. Surrounding myself with musicians that are all more talented than me has really helped me grow as a “musician”. I’m grateful for the experiences and relationships music has provided me, and although I probably won’t ever pursue it professionally, I hope that it always stays a prevalent part of my life.

Anything we should keep an eye out for later in the year?

Well, The Sunflower Pictures team is currently developing our first feature project as I write this - so hopefully more news about that soon. We also have a short film called “Panorama” making its way through the festival circuit right now, so we’re excited about the life of that project. Otherwise, expect to see some vegetable harvest photos and perhaps another album from the Glue LA boys!