Alumni Spotlight: Caitlyn Cutler

"I tell everyone to go to UVU, because they are passionate about art."

A 'Wonderful, Wonderful' opportunity

When Caitlyn Cutler got a phone call from The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers, it was all business. Her pitch for a lyric video to accompany one of their new songs had intrigued him, and he wanted to talk about the project.

 

Months later, she was in the Nevada desert, directing a film crew and realizing her vision for the video.

 

“I was laying on the dirt, putting pieces of paper in the cracks of the dirt by myself, when a 70 mile per hour wind came up,” she tells us of the process. “We were running around trying to catch them.”

 

All of the work she did on set didn’t compare to how long she spent editing, fine-tuning to the band’s requests - one frame at a time. Representing the music of The Killers, and honing her creative vision alongside theirs, was a slow process that required a lot of trial and error.

 

The results, however, are breathtaking:

Education and freelance career

After graduating from UVU’s photography program in 2016, Cutler moved to Los Angeles and worked on film sets for commercials and music videos, trying to make a name for herself. She worked with American Eagle, The Grammys and Vogue, in various capacities. Although she had studied photography, she almost never turned in a project that was a still image.

 

“John (Rees) and Travis (Lovell) were so cool because they changed the program to help me. I always took extra classes in digital media - I’m just better at video,” she said with a laugh. “I like how you can use music, and so many different elements in video.

 

Her professors worked with her as she got freelance and longer-term jobs with local companies that wanted Caitlyn on their team.

 

“I remember they would always say in classes: they’d rather we be out doing stuff, and getting jobs than sitting in class learning about it,” Cutler said. “I tell everyone to go to UVU, because they are passionate about art.”

 

Cutler emphasized that her work speaks for itself. For a while, she was trying to curate an Instagram feed that would get her lots of followers. She said she knew there was wisdom behind the idea of building a following that might help her get jobs, but ultimately decided against it.

 

“By the time I graduated, I thought: when I’m older, I don’t want to be looking back saying ‘I had 50 thousand Instagram followers once!’” Cutler said. “I’d rather have really cool jobs that I worked on and nobody know who I am. Stop focusing on building your Instagram profile, and try to make your work better.”

 

She has learned a lot about valuing her work, making sure she charges the right price for her unique and sought-after style. Now, she will continue freelancing for local companies and local bands - and letting her directing and editing do the talking.

 

“I’m constantly trying to figure out how video is changing, and watching videos to get ideas,” Cutler said. “I love Isaac Ravishankara, who made ‘Sleep on the Floor’ for The Lumineers and I’m obsessed with that video.”

Caitlyn on set directing 'Wonderful, Wonderful'