HERNÁN MICHAEL OTAÑO
Cinematographer / Producer
Hernán Otaño grew up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. the son of Argentine parents. His father was the Audio Visual Director of the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum where young Hernán was introduced to the visual arts world. He moved to NYC after not taking to college life and started working on film sets. He cites his year as PA to screen writer and director Paul Schrader as his film school and his practical training was done on the job eventually focus pulling for many great cinematographers in the following years.
He got his first big break in 2001 shooting a period narrative short film set during the U.S. gas crisis of 1979 directed by Dave Silver called GASLINE. This short film went on to win Best Short Film at Sundance 2002. In 2004 the two collaborated again on the feature-length film CORN. His next career highlight came in 2007 as Director of Photography for the feature film TURN the RIVER staring Famke Jansen written and directed by Chris Eigemann. This film gained a nomination for an IFC SPIRIT award in 2007.
Independent film continued to shape his career nurturing both his collaborative nature and applied visual style. When the crash of 2007 came, Hernán had to make a change and became an accomplished camera operator on Features and Television including HBO’s GIRLS and 30 Rock.
It was on the Starz hit POWER that Hernán took the full time leap as DP. He just finished Season 3 of POWER. He also shot the penultimate episode and season finale of WGN’s new show UNDERGROUND. He is a member of The International Cinematographer guild local 600 a fluent Spanish speaker and lives in the East Village of Manhattan.