Spencer Chumbley

Non-Fiction Cinematographer & producer



Spencer Chumbley is a freelance non-fiction cinematographer and producer focused on the creation of news and documentary content for broadcast and digital media.

He began his career under the mentorship of the producers at Al Jazeera’s award-winning current affairs program, Fault Lines. In 2013 he assisted in the launch of VICE News as a hybrid staff producer/cinematographer focusing on social justice and environmental stories in the United States. Since leaving his staff position he continued to serve as a freelance cinematographer for VICE's award-winning news programs on HBO and his client list has expanded include major broadcast outlets.

Chumbley has extensive field experience working in hostile and sensitive environments that dominate documentary production focused on human rights, conflict and social justice. He is often hired to work as the sole cinematographer on small and nimble documentary crews, able to run sound while shooting and field produce from behind the camera when needed.

His on-location experience in the news and documentary production lends efficiency and speed when working with larger crews in the world of non-fiction broadcast television. His approach to shooting and equipment are grounded by maintaining balance between the pursuit of cinematic style with the needs of the story and finding the most efficient way to maximize both.

In 2018, segments Chumbley filmed for VICE News Tonight on HBO were nominated for the News and Documentary Emmy Awards. He was a segment director of photography for the program's coverage of Libya - nominated for Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story in a Newscast. Additionally he was a contributing cinematographer for their news special "The Inauguration of Donald Trump" nominated for Outstanding News Special.



MSC Violence, Conflict and Development
School of Oriental & African Studies

BA Economics, Peace Studies Certificate
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee






Iran in Iraq (Segment Co-Director of Photography–HBO 2018)
A Revolution in Ruins ( Segment Director of Photography–HBO 2018)
Crude Reality (Segment Director of Photography–HBO 2017)
Assad’s Syria (Segment Director of Photography–HBO 2017)
The Displaced (Segment Director of Photography–HBO 2017)
Return to Yemen (Segment Director of Photography–HBO 2016)

Fighting ISIS (Camera Operator–HBO 2016)

Mysteries at the Museum Specials
Zodiac Killer (Director of Photography–Travel Channel 2018)
Cleopatra (Director of Photography–Travel Channel 2018)
Battle of Little Bighorn (Director of Photography–Travel Channel 2018)
Manhattan Project (Director of Photography–Travel Channel 2018)
Lincoln Assassination (Director of Photography–Travel Channel 2018)
Andes Rescue (Director of Photography–Travel Channel 2018)
Vlad the Impaler (Director of Photography–Travel Channel 2018)
(+ 4 forthcoming episodes)

Other Projects
ACORN & The Firestorm (Cinematographer–Tribeca Film Festival 2017)
Forced Back to Cambodia (Cinematographer–Al Jazeera 2017)
Grey Matter (Cinematographer–VICE Canada Reports 2017)
Shattered: Cowboy Killer (Cinematographer–Discovery 2017)
A Smarter Gun (Cinematographer–VICE Motherboard 2017)
Oil & Water (Producer, Editor–VICE Motherboard 2015 )
Castro: The Most Watched Man  (Cinematographer–Discovery 2015)

Ukraine's Proxy War (Camera Operator–VICE News 2016)
Earthquake in Nepal (Field Producer, Camera–VICE News 2015)
Pipeline Nation (Field Producer, Camera–VICE News 2015)
Bomb Trains (Producer, Camera–VICE News 2014)

Worst Place to Rent in America (Producer, Camera–VICE News 2014)
The Death of Corey Stingley (Producer, Camera–VICE News 2014)
Toxic Waste in the Windy City (Producer, Camera–VICE News 2014)



Canon CN-E 18-80 t4.4
Canon L 24-70mm f2.8 v2
Canon L 70-200mm f2.8 v2
Canon L 100mm f2.8 Macro
Sigma 18-35mm f1.8
Sigma 50-100mm f1.8
Bright Tangerine Misfit Atom Mattebox

Sony TX/RX Wireless System (2)
Tram TR250 Lavalier (2)
Sanken COS11D Lavalier (1)
Sennheiser MKH8060 Shotgun
Sony XLR-K1M (4 channels of audio)

Westcott Flex Light Bi-Color Mats (2)
12” Quasar Science Bi-Color Tubes (2)
7” Quasar Science Bi-Color Tubes (2)

Sony FS7-MKII Super35 Camera
Sony XDCA-FS7 Extension Unit
Sony A7S MKII 35mm Mirrorless

Aerial (click for samples)
DJI Phantom 4 Pro+
Polar Pro ND/PL Filter Set
FAA Part 103 License

SmallHD 703 Bolt Wireless
Teradek Bolt System
Small HD 503 Ultra Bright
SmallHD 502 Bright

Zhiuyan Crane 2 Gimbal
EasyRig Vario 5
Sachtler FSB 8 Tripod
RigWheels Car CloudMount


2017 - VICE News - VICE on HBO Behind the Scenes in Syria
2017 - UW-MilwaukeeEcon Graduate Tells Stories Through a New Lens / University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
2016 - Milwaukee Record - On the Record with Spencer Chumbley (Podcast)
2015 - The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann - The "Ticking Bomb" Below the Great Lakes (Television Interview)
2015 - WORT 89.9 FM - Oil Pipelines that Dwell Beneath the Great Lakes (Audio Interview)
2015 - David Pakman Show - There's a Ticking Timeomb Oil Pipeline (Video Podcast)
2014 - Milwaukee Record - Inside the Milwaukee Film Festival

2017 - NewsShooter.com - Back to Basics With Rush Design's VCT Baseplate
2017 - NewsShooter.com - The Zamboni Belt: Keeping Everything at Hand for News & Doc Shooters
2015 - Sony Action MagazineDocumenting Conflict and Crisis on the FS7
2015 - NewsShooter.com - Moving from the C100 to the FS7
2015 - NewsShooter.com - How I made the C100 A Web News Workhorse
2014 - NewsShooter.com - VICE News Goes Live: What Does it Mean for Generation 5D?
2012 - NewsShooter.com - Shooting Public Television in Wisconsin - on a DSLR