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Visual storyteller: New Mexico native brings film production company to ABQ

Justin Hunt outside the office of his company, White Whale Pictures Inc., in the Aperture Building, near Netflix Studios in Albuquerque. (Courtesy of Brandy Sanderson)

Telling stories is what drives Justin Hunt.

It’s been that way since he started out in journalism.

Flash forward a couple of decades, and Hunt, 43, has brought his production company, White Whale Pictures Inc., to New Mexico.

Though journalism is in his rearview mirror, the stories remain a constant.

“I love storytelling,” Hunt says while inside his production office at the Aperture Center at Mesa Del Sol. “The marriage of sound and picture to evoke emotion in people. That’s always the goal.”

Hunt returned to New Mexico from Colorado Springs in August. He was then gone in October while working on a documentary for Netflix in the Netherlands.

Since November, he’s been spreading the word about the production company.

White Whale Pictures Inc. is as an all-inclusive video production company.

“We’re a little different in that we do everything from feature films to documentaries to feature narratives and corporate marketing. Then there are TV commercials and screenplay writing.”

That’s why Hunt doesn’t do well with idle time.

And he’s involved in an array of projects, including a fuel company in Alaska, an energy company in Texas, a coal company in New Mexico, a nonprofit in Albuquerque, an animated safety film in Navajo and screenplays for feature films.

“Plus, I’m writing a book,” he says with a smile. “I’m constantly staying creative and coming up with new concepts and the clientele changes all the time.”

With all of the projects in motion, Hunt makes sure he compartmentalizes each task.

Justin Hunt onstage in Charlotte, North Carolina, with comedian and former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Jim Breuer while opening for Metallica in 2018. (Courtesy of Ben Chrisman)

“When I’m waiting for a response, I get working on another aspect of a different project,” he says. “Oftentimes, I’ll think to myself, you have 27 minutes to figure this out and then get started.”

Hunt says he is excited to be back in New Mexico and to see the environment that has been created for companies such as his.

He grew up in Bloomfield and graduated from San Juan College.

Hunt’s films have been distributed in over 70 countries in more than a dozen languages.

The titles, “Absent” and “The Speed of Orange” can all be found on numerous digital platforms.

He’s also been at the helm of the 2015 film “Far Too Far,” which was filmed in Farmington.

“I wanted to challenge myself to make a film that hired Farmington residents,” he says. “Everyone was from Farmington, with the exception of one guy. I had promised him a role if I ever did a film. This was nine years prior. We got it done, and I’m proud of that film.”

 

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email film@ABQjournal.com. Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.

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