E. Gunnar Mortensen, a camera assistant on “Transparent” and the Apple TV+ series “The Morning Show,” died on Monday from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. He was 39.
Mortensen was a member of Local 600 for 13 years. In that capacity, he served on the National Executive Board of the International Cinematographer’s Guild since 2013 and as a co-chair of the Active Engagement Committee since 2017. His most recent work was on the upcoming feature “Your Place or Mine,” a romantic comedy with Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher.
“We have reached out to the family to offer our condolences and any support we can provide,” ICG National President Baird Steptoe, Sr. and National Executive Director Rebecca Rhine wrote in a note to members. “I know all of you share our deep sadness about this unbearable loss for Gunnar’s wife, Keely, his son, Lars, and our local, to which he gave so much, so freely.”
Mortensen worked on the camera crews of such films and shows as “All The Money in the World,” “I Am the Night,” “Chasing Mavericks” and “Sons of Anarchy.” Mortensen also taught workshops for focus pullers.
Mortensen started his career in Denver, but moved to Los Angeles in 2006 to pursue better job opportunities. In a Zoom workshop in 2020, he talked about starting out working $100-a-day jobs until he eventually got enough experience to get into the union. He emphasized the importance of building relationships along the way as he developed his craft.
“‘Transparent’ was a smaller show, but it was a beautiful show, and that helped me build the foundation from that,” he said in the workshop. “Every job that you do that you think, ‘Oh I don’t know how I can do this shot,’ and then you do it, and then you just get stronger and better and faster and more efficient. And then it just prepares you for the next job… All that goes into making you a better person and a better focus puller.”
Mortensen’s fatal crash occurred on Highway 74 between Hemet and Mountain Center, according to news reports.
A GoFundMe page has been launched to help support Mortensen’s family and has already raised more than $75,000. Mortensen is survived by his wife, Keely, and their 2-year-old son, Lars.