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Baltimore City

Influential Baltimore filmmakers Martin Whittier, Nate Brubaker die in car crash on I-95

Martin Whittier and Nate Brubaker, two filmmakers from the Baltimore and Washington D.C., area who are credited with advancing the region’s commercial advertising and TV/film industry, died in a car crash Thursday.

Whittier and Brubaker were sitting in a BMW M2 that stalled in the middle lane of a dark stretch of Interstate 95, Delaware State Police said. A Freightliner box truck traveling south on I-95 near Churchman Road around 10:20 p.m. struck the car from behind, pushing it toward the right shoulder. The box truck then caught fire and pinned the men inside the car.

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They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Whittier and Brubaker were driving on I-95 on Thursday to get back to Maryland from a production in Philadelphia, said Andrew Geraci, a friend and filmmaker.

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Whittier, 37, from Havre de Grace, leaves behind a wife and two sons. Brubaker, 27, of Halethorpe, leaves behind a fiancee; the pair had planned to wed in September.

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Brubaker was considered a pioneer in virtual production filming. His ingenuity in pursuing new and emerging technologies led him to create the first large-scale LED wall in the Baltimore and Washington region, Geraci said. LED walls are used to create expanded sets in large-scale movies and TV shows, such as Disney’s “The Mandalorian,” Geraci said.

“He worked his way up from nothing, just shooting videos, to owning and producing his own work at his own studio, which is pretty remarkable,” Geraci said. Brubaker owned Rock Shore Studios.

“Because of his drive and leadership, the DMV area and film/TV community now have a state-of-the-art facility to create new and engaging content, bringing the area together and generating more business for all who live here,” Geraci added.

Whittier started as a Steadicam operator and director of photography before he started a rental camera equipment company in Baltimore called Charm Cine. He also owned rental company Liberty Camera in Philadelphia and Capital Camera in Alexandria, Virginia. He recently sold his company to Red Star rentals to spend more time with his family.

Whittier was known for helping young filmmakers who just started in the industry by giving large discounts on camera equipment rentals.

“He was always a very personable, very honorable, very humble individual,” Geraci said. “And he was always at the forefront of learning about new types of equipment and new stylizations and implementing that into his company. But he was more of a cornerstone with people because he knew everybody in the industry.”

Delaware State Police are investigating the crash. The driver of the truck was not injured.


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