Get the 4-Step Framework to Success

Enter your details below to watch a FREE training video on
our 4-step framework to success as a filmmaker

We respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe any time.

Nick Matthews On Allowing Yourself to be Surprised as a Filmmaker

by Clarke Scott | Last Updated: September 15, 2021

In this episode of the podcast we talk with LA based cinematographer Nick Matthews about his filmmaking process.

Show Notes

You can find Nicks amazing work here – https://www.nicholasmatthewsfilm.com/

Transcript

0:00
For me, I love turning a corner and being surprised by things I never knew existed and didn’t know that life could be that way.

0:09
Welcome to another episode of the next level filmmakers show where we interview filmmakers from around the world to explore their pathway to success that worked, what’s working now, so you can take your career and business to the next level. I’m your host, Clarke, Scott. And I believe that having the right systems in place is the difference between taking your career and business to the next level, or just being another dude or dudette with a camera. So if you’re tired of hustling for one off projects, being undervalued and underpaid, I’d like to invite you to an exclusive free training I’ve put together for filmmakers, just like you where I share the exact strategies I’ve used to grow my own video production agency. Just go to Clarke, Scott education.com. That’s Clarke with an E. Clarke Scott education.com. forward slash free training. That’s Clarke, Scott education.com. forward slash free training and start your journey to becoming a next level filmmaker today. for Mr. Matthews, do you want to you want to kick into this? Absolutely. Let’s do it. Okay, so the first question I asked everyone is, as you get you stop.

1:14
So I, you know, I feel like that everybody’s every step you take forward is sort of a step towards your future, whether it’s something that you think plays into your future or not. And so I feel like it for everybody, you know, as like, as a cinematographer, the most fundamental elements of who I am. And what I’m interested in are things that have been a part of my development and growth from the time I was a child. That’s said, the more you know, only reason I say that is like as a kid, it’s like, I love stories. I love literature I loved I was fascinated by being transported. And I feel like those sort of core parts of yourself that some people don’t even discover till they’re an adult, ended up actually all the weird shit that’s a part of your life is actually the shit that makes you who you are in the most interesting parts of who you are. For me, I got my start. I would say, I guess in college, I interned on a movie and I was a art pa on this little movie called Pete smalls is dead. It’s got Peter Dinklage in it, Steve Buscemi, a bunch of other actors. And it’s, it’s kind of an indie art film that I got a chance to at least see this is what a set looks like in action. And I was, I was pretty fascinated by it. But I was also a little overwhelmed and a little terrified, because I’d never been on a big set, I’d never been around that energy. And I and also just, I came from a very, sort of a smaller town, and I had just come to LA and it just started this internship. So it was a lot of life transition at once. That didn’t really, I wouldn’t say that factored much into my start as a cinematographer. So I don’t know, it’d be it’s worth addressing that I

3:18
did you What are you interested in? Like, why did you even Why did you even try and get on set? Or was it just like someone said, Hey, happened tomorrow? Do you want to tag along?

3:30
You know, actually, the more odd Okay, so I guess it See, going back even I guess, I, in high school, I had a friend, I love stories. And I was a writer, I was writing all the time. And I’ve written quite a bit. Not really, since mostly in high school and college, I really thought I wanted to be a writer at that time. And even even as far back as like, elementary school, I was writing stories and trying to write novels and stuff like that. And so when I was in high school, a friend of mine came over one day and was like, we should make a short. And

4:01
you like, what’s the short?

4:02
Yeah, like? What are you talking about? Yeah. And we, my parents had a, you know, old like handycam where it’s like the, whatever that was like, I don’t remember the name of those tapes. It was before mini DV, but it was like the cartridge style tapes.

4:20
I remember when like, yeah, it came.

4:22
Yeah, it was. Yeah, it was very a bit rudimentary and we had to edit in camera and but that was actually helpful for me because I started shooting shorts with friends. And that was like the real start, I guess, in a lot of ways was just starting to understand how to craft visual language together. And I remember there were movies that like, I remember I watched, you know, this will date where how old I am, but I’m not battled. But I watched a gladiator and I remember watching like just starting to watch films and

4:56
the gladiator

5:00
Yeah, I know I was a gladiator when it came out like early when I was just starting to get interested. And honestly, like, I ended up sort of delving into a lot of films in high school. I was when I saw my first, you know, Ingmar Bergman, tarkowski Kubrick and sort of started diving into stuff that was sort of shaped a lot of the history of film and and I really just fell in love with it and fell in love with I’d always loved literature and I love the story of authors and the story of writers. And so once I found film I just sort of you know, I was curious about film history and curious about what are the movies that have shaped where visual languages today and I would just run these movies again and again and again. And and specifically some that are like, not necessarily ones I would call you know, watch like, I remember I would listen to director’s commentary is a lot while I was doing my job. Yeah, really? Okay. Yeah, like I cuz my job involves me just doing like doing reading, looking for typos and things like that. So it was very just like, looking at the grammar and looking for mistakes and like,

6:09
so you just listening to them? You know, you’re not working with the directors. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, no, that’s interesting. It was for films

6:16
that I knew very well, like America, like films, I had seen a bunch. And what I would do is I would actually try to recreate not necessarily recreate scenes, but I would take the visual idea, like I remember the first time I heard Ridley Scott say, like, they cheated a location by and shot a reverse angle. I was like, what’s the reverse angle? What is it to cheat something. And so you just slowly start to pick up things there. But I really had such a theoretical, I was starting to build a base that was a theoretical base and knowledge of understanding film, but I didn’t necessarily know, I was so confused about technical and I didn’t understand that. That’s when I first started. I actually worked for this like really dogmatic, fundamentalist Christian, which I These are not things that describe or define who I am now. But that was where I grew up in a part of the culture and context of where I grew up. And I worked, I worked with the Creation Museum. While I was in high school, and the I was the first chance I got to actually, you know, start editing and start shooting, and I was involved with it in that capacity. And I, by the time I left high school, like I knew Final Cut really well. I knew how to use digital cameras. I had a familiarity with lighting, but not a heavy understanding of it. Yeah, and I didn’t want to I didn’t want to be a cinematographer. I wanted to be a director and a writer,

7:41
but I didn’t nearly everyone says the same thing. Right? Right. Every day. I speak to almost all of them said I really wanted to be a director. Yeah. Before before you go on because I don’t know people might ask about the Ridley Scott reference so that’s from the director’s commentary we and Russell Crowe was in that comment where they’re talking they cheated the internal of of the of the kind of the inner chamber of working Phoenix’s character because I remember I remember hearing the exact same law and go wow okay cool All right, let me and I pause it and try to work out to work out how they did that so cheating that reverse and you could you like they hit it really really well. And I reckon for me it wasn’t until I started cutting that I really could see just how how much you can get basically how much you get away with oh yeah yeah and it’s was it for me it was with with it was within the the editing suite so I think I when I heard that I went and downloaded a couple of you know, like torn downloaded movies, rolled them into final cut and cut cut them and just put a like a frame between each car so that I would watch the movie but it would go cup and like a little bit like a click just one blank frame. So I could see more obviously what was actually going on and it became um, the jigsaw puzzle became very very evident. So anyway, that’s just an aside

9:19
No, I love it. I think it’s great that that’s a fun common reference point. It’s just I’ve never talked to anyone else who had actually listened to that I was like oh yeah, I remember Yeah, it’s Yeah,

9:32
I think I think we both kind of stuck on the same thing like when you hear and it’s like oh, wow. Okay. Like for me there was there was a was almost like piecing and onion like the the my wisdom knowledge of filmmaking knowledge of how the boys do it kind of dropped through a layer when I heard him say that, that one thing. So when you said it was like Ah, cool.

10:00
Not cool? No, I mean, I think that editing is one of the most valuable skill sets that like, even to this day. I remember once I was shooting a movie and the best boy electric came up to me and I don’t even remember what I had been doing or saying that he was like, how did you I’m, I distinctly remember I was telling the director, I’m like, we can shoot it that way. But I can assure you that it’s not going to cut. So you either have to use this angle, you have to use this angle, if you want to shoot it that way. Because we’re there, you know, I don’t remember the exact scene I remember exactly what was going on. But the my best boy came up and he was like, how did you know those wouldn’t cut and I’m like, cuz I used to cut like, I know, I didn’t really cut much narrative, but other than stuff I had created, but it’s really in that process of making things and sort of making mistakes, and then finding new ways to do it. And you kind of develop a lay, sort of like you build like with any skill set or any art form, sort of building the complexity and you, you try something and you’re like, I like this element of that I’ll use it on something else. You kind of layer and layer layer, and then eventually you’re like, you look back, you’re like, Oh, I have this entire framework, that sort of underlying everything I do. And I don’t even know that I have it. And I think it’s kind of all that like initial puzzle. piecing together that you do when you first get into filmmaking that, at least for me, that’s that’s how it’s worked. I guess,

11:31
I think Can I ask you a question? That’s a complete aside, it won’t. But I will, it will make sense in a minute. Much reading. I do. Yeah. writing.

11:41
I do write, I’m not writing then I knew that.

11:45
And I asked those two questions. Because I often do these. I’ll ask questions when I actually know the answer. I was convinced that you did. And I was convinced that you did within the first minute of this interview. And here’s the reason why. I asked you a question. How did you get your start? And rather than going straight and answering that question, you had about a 22nd tutorial remarks that set the context for what will come someone who has a lot and writes does that. And and here’s that, here’s the reason why I bring that up. I believe that anyone that works in filmmaking, behind the camera in front of the camera needs to learn how to edit. Because when you I’ve had situations where as a director, so I shoot but I’m not a cinematographer. Can’t lots of crap, I’d never done that. I’m a natural light director. Yeah, that looks good. Okay, let’s go. I’ve had situations where I’ve had to explain to an actor, and we’ve lost time because of it, I need for you to do this. And I’m shooting it this way, because it’s going to work in the edit, and she had no fucking clue. And she was being slightly diva risk. And I then had to manage a personality rather than managing or tweaking working on the performance, because she was pushing back on me. She didn’t know what I was doing. And I think I haven’t had the same with crew. But I’ve definitely had it with actors and in on multiple occasions, which could be a reflection of my personality, maybe. But I believe that being able to edit or at least understand editing, helps helps with coverage, just I mean, not only coverage, continuity, the arc of everything. You know, this way you shoot features, you don’t shoot linear. Very, very

13:39
few times. Never have I done that. And so

13:42
I’d love to, yeah, so if you’re able to, if you’re shooting the end scene three weeks before you, you know, the first scene or you know, and it’s an extreme example, the actors need to know where they are in the arc, but everyone else needs to know where the where they are in the Edit as well. And so the, that’s just something I strongly believe so. Learn how to edit people, anyway.

14:05
Yeah, no, I mean, I think that it allows you to, at least, if you know what you’re making, then you know, you need to make that. And I think, as if, you know, I sort of look at it this way, whenever you’re shooting a scene, like I really want to know what how are we getting into this scene? And how are we getting out? Because I know that along the journey, if we discover some sort of magic, or some sort of something that makes the scene like really go a different direction, at least we know these pieces will still make it together with the rest of the film. I know I’ve shot enough movies to know that like, not every scene I shoot is going to make the movie not every scene is going to be cut as it was designed. So it’s also helpful because you’re able to look at a scene and say, what’s what’s intriguing to me about this moment, and what what’s essential information from this moment and even if we had done it Listen in advance, I can walk in to the scene and say, Well, I’m just gonna grab this piece because I know that piece. It’s interesting to me for this specific reason in this context of the story. And if you’re working with a director who gets you and you get each other, usually I’m just like, Hey, give me two seconds, I’m just going to grab this or like, you know, oral, tell them before we shoot to take, at the end of the tape, don’t call cut, just let me reset the shot. And I’m going to get you another piece that you can use somewhere. But it’s all it’s not that it’s just coverage for coverage sake, it’s actually intentional in terms of what we’re picking up. And it allows you the ability to, you know, as a movie gets trimmed down and slimmed down, and a scene goes from being three minutes to one, you know, you’re able to get enough material that the scene will still cut and work.

15:51
Yeah, I don’t know. Yeah, I agree with you. I think if you if you know, editing, and you’ve had the right discussions with the right people, then you’ll know the aesthetic of the Edit as well. I’m sure the I know I do that. As a director, I know. I know the style of editing that I’m going to use, even in different sequences. The style of editing can change. I was talking with beyond Charpentier. two episodes ago, I think now two or three episodes ago, and he was saying that he’s really enjoying. I don’t remember the director’s name and he was speaking about but he’s, when he mentioned it, it sounds very European odd has to me and ease your pain. So it kind of makes sense. But he’s really, he’s really finding the stuff that’s inspiring to him is long one takes, and I don’t mean one is, I mean, if you look at someone like new biological organism, I’m a massive, I’ve got a man crush on that dude, I love his stuff he’ll use, particularly his earlier work. For instance, the opening shot of Buzek is probably goes for about five minutes. And it’s just like, it’s a locked off shot. Carried mainly by sound design. But you can see there’s an otter behind that, because it’s one shot, like, maybe they got other coverage, maybe they didn’t, maybe he knew I just need for you to walk through the snow and then come up to here, hit that point. That’s, that’s point i, and then I want you to turn around, I’m gonna pan on you. It’s a beautiful shot. And he does that quite often. And so I think, if you’re not, if you understand editing, and your writing so far as I mean, you’re right, along with everything you said. But the one thing that really stuck, stuck, stuck out stuck out for me then was bookending scenes. So knowing where you’re starting knowing when you’re where you’re ending, and how that fits into both the aesthetic of the film, The The, the arc of the narrative, and how that’s gonna play into the next shot is really, really important. So sometimes that can actually be almost like a lot the coverage the coverage is, is the action inside the frame. Exactly. Not the angles of the action. You know what I mean? Yeah, there’s

18:09
not it is not? No, those become almost more essential, the more intentional and specific you get with your filmmaking, and then I just did something where it’s nine minutes, and we have three shots, you know, and, and it’s sort of like, you don’t get a do over if those three shots don’t cut together. Yep. You know what I mean? So it becomes essential. And I look personally for me, I love risky filmmaking, that’s very, that’s very precise and intentional. And that’s not to say that there’s no they’re not looking for accidents, or happy, you know, the sort of magic of some moment, but the point of view is very specific and how it’s shown sometimes that’s using coverage or like Lynn Ramsay, somebody who, the way that she uses long lenses and the way that she sort of structures a scene, it’s very different than another filmmaker. And it’s, it’s very specific, and it’s very precise. Similarly, like Steve McQueen, and, you know, the way that he stages like that two shot and hunger, you know, those are the sort of the, the scene with the priest and yeah, it’s like, it’s just, it’s great. And you don’t need more than that. For the scene to work. Yeah. So it’s I love I think filmmaking is all about perspective. And it’s all about point of view. And that goes from writing, like writing something. It’s like, if you could have written anything, why did you write it this way? Same with directing, shooting, editing, it’s all about, you know, to me, the way I look at is like, the directors the conductor of the orchestra, and they’re sort of like, you know, I need this piece to play and I need this, these sort of movements to happen. Right? And I get to be like one of those, like, you know, one of those chairs within the

20:07
show, you’re the right.

20:09
Yeah. And truly, like, it’s, it’s a chance for you like what the best directors I’ve ever worked with? Are the people that know how to play, the people they’re working with. And I mean that in the best way. I don’t, I don’t mean that in a scheming way. I mean that in the sense of like, they set me free. Yeah. And you know, they stand up every Yeah, and, and you feel like you’re part of the team, your ideas are valuable. And this is your film, but it’s in service of someone else’s vision. That to me, those are the those are the great directors, those are the people who and some people that’s not how they work. And there are great directors who are just like this is it, this is what we’re doing. And that’s exactly it. Yeah.

20:49
I would say that the, the great directors to work for but they’re not necessarily the best directors sometimes. And I’m not saying become a tyrant. But you know, I think the key word here and this this goes across every department the key word is intentionality. Yeah, if you’re if the director is intentional, and everything that he or she does, that that comes across, it comes across, in in everything, if there’s a lack of intentionality, everything, too, all the way down to designing the light set, just you know, having a practical here rather than there. If there’s intentionality in that the that thing is there for a reason. It’s to light the fires, but also for this. Although you’re not really good, I haven’t. I’ve lit faces off protocols just because they’re absolutely cool. Anyway, let’s let’s get move on. Because, yeah, we’re half an hour in we haven’t even got past question one. So we’re still on how’d you get you start? So you’re on this movie set? And then how do you go from that to where you are today?

21:50
Um, the shorter version of that is essentially I after school, you know, I finished that internship ended up moving back to the Midwest, I got a job working as an editor and videographer for and for once, I mean, I ended up working at the Creation Museum through college, and then after that, so kind of in that process, I sort of

22:17
Was that your family upbringing? Yeah, yeah. Have you ever? Have you rebelled totally against that?

22:23
Yeah. I mean, I have in my family, there’s seven of us total, and I’ve got four, or three brothers and a sister. All of us have kind of, I’ve got three of my siblings are, you know, part of the LGBTQ community? Like, I think for all of us have, yeah, I mean, they had to deal with more than I did as like a straight, Sis, man. But watching that happen, and also caring deeply about the people that are in that process was a huge part of my own transition. I think for me,

23:00
the parents? Yeah,

23:02
I mean, it’s, it’s sort of, I’m very fortunate that my family is very close, and very affectionate and very loving. And also, the thing I take away, you know, my, my parents, the thing I take away from my parents, more than a lot of things is they pushed all of us to do what we believed in and to fight for what we thought mattered. And it’s the reason that, you know, I have a brother who’s been on the Appalachian Trail. I have a brother who went to Juilliard. I have a sister in Benin right now, with the Peace Corps. It’s like, it’s part of the reason we’ve all gone different directions. And, you know, I’m really grateful for that. And I feel like, because I have four siblings who have all like, gone in different directions, and lived different lives and made different mistakes, I can collectively sort of gain from their wisdom from their experience and, and it allows you to empathize and sympathize with ways of life that I probably wouldn’t have. Because of the really, you know, the culture I grew up in, we couldn’t go to the movie theaters, you know. So, I guess in some way, I’m like, look at ya know, I got a movie called coming out. Oh, really? Yeah. I did it. No, I’m very, I I love defiance, I think that art is is one of the most valuable human ways we have to call out and, and transform society. And I feel like, you know, as a cinematographer, you’re the first I that gets to kind of experience that and I love that. So yeah, I ended up basically I worked there for a while and started shooting at the Creation Museum. I kind of in that process, honestly, the dog mob, the place and sort of, there’s a lot of great people there. But there’s also just as you might expect, there’s a lot of dogma, there’s a lot of ritual. There’s a lot of frustrating, even within the world of faith, which I’m no longer a part of, that there are a lot of challenging things about that place. And so

25:01
still there every way. There’s right wing politics is over and left wing politics and filmmaking. Yes. This dogma in in commercial filmmaking Yeah, the the I mean I get I get emails from people I’ve I do a little bit of education and the education that I do is misunderstood. And people believe they believe what they want to believe. And they can be very closed minded. And I think for me, one of the the, one of the core things that that I developed as a younger man that I really still, I’m trying to emphasize in my own life, trying to instill in my family members, younger family members, and that I really appreciate is the ability to think, if you can have the ability to think, think past your own predilections, then you’re going to be able to have greater empathy for others that are different than you, you’re able to see a different perspective. And that through that, and this is part of the reason why I love cinema, cinema forces you it can force you to see the world from a different perspective. In doing that, you grow and that’s, that goes to what you said about art, is, art, defies in some ways, the status quo, that’s its power that enables you to live the life. For instance, one of my favorite movies of all time is blue Valentine, which is a marriage that breaks down it’s two people not communicating. And when you watch that movie, you’re living their lives, which means that as I have a wife when we’ve watched that movie, we’ll will often watch movies and then not argue but kind of have discussions where Sophia has an opinion I have opinion they differ and then we talk about why. So we’ve been able to live through a divorce without actually having to go through one which is fantastic. And the only way that happened is because a bunch of people got together on with a common idea let’s make a movie about this. And everyone everyone went yes and they made a piece of art that will that is just beautiful.

27:14
I mean I yeah it’s it’s Yeah, I mean I could talk forever about I think the i think it’s it’s a very powerful way to open your eyes to other perspectives and it’s wonderful I think it’s fascinating that you can create a film that allows people to feel for somebody and to feel without like literally even it’s something we even deal with like with this film that I just you know, this film that’s coming out kg is like it’s an entire I mean it’s about an outright vlogger like he’s not necessarily somebody that most people want to spend time with. And it’s sort of but you might end up watching the film and at points feeling for somebody that you’re like I don’t even understand why I’m feeling for this person. And I think that’s kind of part of the power of cinemas like you it sort of allows emotional things to happen that you know may not even be happy like are there beyond ration there beyond sort of like the logical mind I guess that Yeah,

28:17
I watched the trailer for that just before we got on so there’s that’s the guy that lot of lost my money. I lost my car. Yeah, there’s all these illegals and they rule everything was that that’s the Yeah, okay, cool. Yeah, no, it’s Yeah, looks good. Alright, let’s let’s move on. Because we get caught up in the, in the, our fascination with the world of filmmaking.

28:38
Yeah, I know what to do about it.

28:41
Totally. So question two is, what’s the one unique or even strange thing that you do or have done that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

28:53
You know, this is, to me, this was a really tough question. Because I think most things feel normal to the person doing them. I think I ended up talking to some friends about it. And then, you know, I just I worked with there’s an actor I just worked with who we we got drinks afterwards, like the director, actors and whatnot. And we were talking about the project that we had just done and I was telling him my approach and why I took the approach that I did. And in the process of doing that, this you know, this piece deals with I don’t want to give anything away about it because it’s not out yet. All that basically, this actor ended up saying to me, I’m most DPS Don’t think like you and what he was saying, was I I approach it, like I approached the work and I approached cinematography, like a writer. I’m so interested in how like, what are the themes, what are the arcs? What are the, you know, who are the characters and my first question for any film and filmmaking, if I’m going Shoot a project is who’s the what is this character? Who is this character? What are they feeling? How does that translate into some sort of visual reality? And I think, I guess to me, it feels very natural and normal that you would always ask that question you would always ask, what are we trying to say about the world? What are we trying to say about the human condition? And how can I use visual language is sort of play the, you know, cinematically reveal that, to me that feels very common and very normal. But I you know, my first approach is not how can we make this look cool? How can we make this glamorous? How can we do this, I saw this really cool look that I want to do. And it’s like, I don’t, to me, that’s not interesting. It, it can be challenging on projects, because you go in, and it’s like, you have a very limited amount of time. And you can’t approach every project as though you’re going to write an entire thesis. I think my favorite experiences are the ones where I’m able to, I want to learn on everything I do. I’m curious all the time. And I think there are a lot of other things that play into like, that have played into my, it, you know, it doesn’t feel like such a success, I guess. But I look back and I’m now like, I know, six years ago, when I moved to LA, if I knew what I would have done and where I would have gone in that time, I would have been like, That’s insane. Like, what life are you living? That’s crazy.

31:23
Economy non so the question though,

31:25
yeah, no, I

31:26
didn’t use around it. But let’s let’s tease it out. Because it is a hard question. And it’s, it’s, it’s really meant to try and work out, as I was saying, before we hit record is to find those 1% things that you’re doing differently. So what stuck out? For me when you were just talking, then I don’t believe that the one thing that you do is that you work out what the character is feeling. And then and then sure, yeah, I think most DPS do that. Most nearly every GP that I’ve worked with does that. So maybe it’s just a select few. The actors hasn’t worked with every dp. So for him to say that you’re not like any other. I’m going to call bs on that. But there is one thing that you did say that could point towards like the finger pointing at the moon, point towards the what’s actually going on and use the word curiosity. You said, I’m very curious. So if we couple that with the other word that stuck out for me when you’re talking and that was feeling like feeling what the character, the Curiosity is that what you’re what you’re doing is that you’re spending more time worrying about not worrying about the, the the technique of cinematography, the technique of lighting that you’ll you’re spending more time because of your curiosity, and your attention to detail about the inner world of the character is how is that mapping to the inner world of the character? Does that sound like? Like it’s in focus? Yeah, I

32:58
think and I think you know, just like even draw, like even thinking of why that actor had said, what they did to me was my entire I showed them. So this piece I did was deals with, like serial killers. And so I had actually gone and like, pulled the photos of Ed Gaines house interior pulled photos of aerial Castro’s house interior pulled basement photos of I don’t remember the guy’s name in Austria that had kept his daughter, like, you know, in Yeah,

33:29
I chose not to listen to that. Yeah,

33:32
terrifying, right. But the thing is, you know, this is all real. This is all based on reality. So every project that I do, I’m trying to find what’s real, what can I draw from and I think other DPS do this as well. But it’s like, how would this character light their space? How do you get into the headspace of the character to the point that the environment that, you know, if somebody lives in a room, or in a house that reflects something about them, it says something about who they are what they are, which is probably funny, because what’s behind this is a lot of my wife, um, but also, I’m not a punching bag. And,

34:10
and I just caught a call that I saw it, I was like, Cool back. So so here’s this where I want to take this from from from this point, because I think what you’re saying is every GP does exactly the same thing. How and but this is after you’ve got the job. So yeah, so what? What are you doing? Are you using that curiosity and what you’re talking about now, in order to win the job? Well, like how does that even look? How does your How does your your pitch to a director? How does that look? And is that curiosity imply at that point?

34:45
I don’t Yeah. So I don’t you think about I think that I always have to find what’s the kernel within something that that makes that ignites my passion and interest. And I don’t know that I can do something unless that’s there. And so for me, it’s it’s sort of earlier in my career, it was finding, is there something visual about this, or the way that we can tell this story that ignites a fire within me, that makes me willing to put months of my life into something. And to sort of learn and grow and kind of find new ideas along the way. And I, for me, it’s like, I want to be challenged by everything I do. I want to learn on everything I do. And I want to try new things and take risks, and sometimes you fail in that process. I think. my curiosity, though, in that regard, looks like this. It looks like you’re trying when you meet with a director and you’re getting ready to like, do a job for me, I’m much more interested in like, do we connect as human beings? Do we have a common sense of how we look at the world and what we’re trying to tell, and I hope, with every director that we sort of, like have enough, like, we kind of have like, 75% in common, if that makes sense. And then there’s enough of us that’s unique and different, that we’re both going to challenge each other and bring new things to the table. Um, my curiosity right now looks like you know, I’m drawing. You know, I took that up this year, because I wanted to try something creative, that I had no ego involved. And it was just a way to learn something. And it doesn’t matter if I do anything good, or show it to anybody, but it expands your creative capacity in another realm. It looks like this year I’ve been I decided to read. I was like, why did I get into this and what made me interested in how I’m going to do this for a long time, which I do, I need to do the things that I believe in and care about and that keeps me passionate. And one of those is, you know, this year I read a lot of Southern Gothic again, I grew up in the south I love Southern Gothic. I love the those worlds I’ve been reading a lot of like Flannery O’Connor and Cormac McCarthy and William Faulkner, but also reading you know, books like the body keeps the score, which is a psycho, you know, psychological work that deals with how your body internalizes trauma, and reading about, you know, I read that book, like, it’s just been a lot of reading a lot of new sort of discovery in different areas. And I usually try to, I usually try to find one thing every day that is new for me. And that might be listening to a storytelling podcast, like the moth or risk that might be listening to Malcolm Gladwell that might be less, you know, Monday listening to something about sexology or I’m, I’m great films and great stories are not about film or storytelling, they’re about humanity. And so I’m, I want to follow the things that fascinate me about humanity. And along the way, within that, you know, in order to stay sane, and keep going, like, you know, I meditate every day, or most days, I try to do some form of physical activity or exercise every day in order to I mean, it’s just healthy for your mind, it’s healthy for your body, but it also allows you to release you know, endorphins and it sort of keeps it’s doing those things. When I first started, I didn’t do some of those things I didn’t you know, I didn’t always make it upright, like I didn’t always make priority for certain. Like for my curiosity, now I try to actually build into my schedule time to go to the Getty. Time to read time you need that otherwise, it’s like you can’t output with no input, you know,

38:39
yeah, they know that’s you. What you just said was beautifully said. And very true. What I’m hearing however, is that the, the question was never answered. And that’s okay, because that’s okay. It’s It’s It’s not a it’s not a test. They question, but it’s not a test. They really just questions to elicit discussion. And then we can we can do stuffs tease stuff out. Let me ask you, I’ll basically pivot on its head. Tell me how you got your first agent.

39:17
They reached out to me. I Well, I know I spent

39:20
No, to any dp for no reason. Yeah. I

39:27
you know, I spent a long time trying to figure out how do I get an agent? What do I do? Like, how do I talk to them? You know, reaching out to people and it was sort of it was way a lot of it was wasted energy. A lot of it was I think that I’d heard before that, like when it’s right, it’ll happen. I don’t know that. That’s totally true. I think you have to sort of put in, you have to sort of you have to put in the work and you also have to reach out to people and make people aware of what you’re doing and make people aware of what it is that is unique about what you do? Specifically, you know, I didn’t ask them what they I didn’t ask them what made them reach out. I think in my case, I I’ve tried to use Instagram as a way to inspire their filmmakers in the work that they do by talking about the process and the things that interests me. And in the course of that I’ve shared work and honestly, they found my Instagram and then went to my website, watch to work and they’re looking for I mean, an agent is looking for can this can I sell this person to people?

40:41
Do they have enough? Can I make money from this person? Yeah, and

40:45
it’s in and so much of that is, you know, when they look at the work that you have, both in the feature context and in the commercial music video world is this somebody I can pitch to production companies, and they’ll see a spark of something. And then the irony of it being that, you know, literally, like three weeks after I ended up signing with zero gravity, like somebody over there saw caulk and basically what you know, went to my agents not knowing I’d been signed and was like, you guys have to sign this dp like, you know,

41:21
I think, and they like we’ve we already had,

41:25
like, we got we got him through. Yeah, exactly.

41:27
So let me let me just stop and say, What were you doing around the time? Let’s say six months before you joined? Was there some kind of moment where you went, you know, what, I kind of need to be a little bit more strategic with how I’m I personally, I think, the idea of I call it hope marketing. Yeah, kind of whacking screengrabs up on the onto Instagram and hashtagging them, you fucking living in hope if that’s going to give you work? So the and the reason for it is that just doing that you’ve got to create the right content and find the right people to put that in front of at the right time. So zero gravity, obviously looking for another dp, timing was right there around looking they using Instagram to do that. So and you weren’t, you know, you said that they reached out seem like luck. I’m gonna call bs on that as well. They must have they would have seen something. And part of what would that what they would have seen is stability. You know,

42:32
I I actually know what they saw too. Now that you’ve cool. Yeah, so I shot this commercial this year for specialized bikes. And it was a piece I shot in France. And it’s it’s one of the first commercial pieces I’ve shot that I feel like, it really allowed, like I was able to do the things that I do in narrative with within a commercial context. And that was the result of a creative director that was interested in that and director that was interested in that.

43:01
Was it MC or that was a that was a job. No,

43:04
it was a job. Yeah, it’s it’s one of my specializes one of my favorite. The stuff I’ve done with them has been some of my favorite because there’s the creative director, it’s a very, like, there’s no agency’s creative director, director and when, like, we have a lot more freedom, it’s great.

43:23
That worlds Yeah, if you Yeah, you go down that then the director brand is a lot, there’s a lot more freedom in that. Can I say this is the other side when I watched your reel, everything feels really stable. I like all of the shots really like the steady cam stuff. It’s all very steady camera or some kind of like motor, but everything feels really kind of really stable. And then you get to that spot and the first shot in your reel is this thing doing that and it was like Oh, actually didn’t I didn’t like it. I apologize for saying that. But it’s interesting. So what I’m going to do is go back and watch the entire the entire spot to see what they saw. But I think what you’re saying is that it’s the because you worked really really dark of you and I mean it’s a trend that’s been happening over the last 10 years just DPS they just they’ve just it’s got darker and darker and darker. But it is a commercial bikes spot but really dark and moody. And that’s what they that’s what I saw.

44:28
I think that was the first piece they saw before they saw anything else that was the first thing they were like okay, that’s interesting. I think in terms of like so would

44:39
you say that being different, like doing going against the trend is therefore because if they if they’ve said if they’ve maybe they had a client that or they were looking to go into the action sport area, and everyone else that’s been doing box has been doing bikes, you know, high key type stuff and then the is another thing over here, that’s very different. Do you think that’s what what it was? That was the difference?

45:05
No, I mean, I feel like there, it’s like if an agent, they’re interested in what they want to see your body of work, and that your body of work reflects a specific like that it’s, I mean, for them, it’s like that does it? Does it reflect a specific voice that they can sell, you know, where it’s like, I can pitch you with these projects, and I know who I can pitch you to. I know for me, you know, I don’t think that I think that the most important things in your career, at least for me have been creating, sustained and sustaining like, collaborative relationships with specific people. And as those people’s careers have continued to grow, and as their stature has continued to grow, my career has grown and, and similarly, so much of the career is taking the work that you’ve either made yourself or that someone has hired you to make using the pieces that best reflect you and and you know, what you want to continue to do in the world, and reaching out to new filmmakers whose work you admire? and seeing if there’s a connection there. And if there is, potentially that becomes a relationship, wherein built on trust, you can continue to make other projects? And then yes, along the way, there are people who see something you did and are like, we need that guy, because he did yada yada, and, you know, but ultimately, like I don’t, like you had asked like, six months ago, what were you doing? You know, I think what I was doing was continuing to try to forge new relationships with directors and producers. And ultimately, like, you need the right people talking about you at the right party. At the end of like, that’s, that’s the thing. So you know, so much of this, it is a relationship industry, it is a people industry, and, and some of that is, is making work that splashes in the right way. And some of that is also just developing honest, authentic relationships with people. I think that, you know, when I meet a director, I know they’ve already looked at my work, I’m not going to talk about my work, we’re going to, we’re going to find out whether we like similar filmmakers, whether we get excited about similar ideas and ways of making films. And, you know, you hope that like they’re, you hope that the right people talk about you in front of other people. I know that’s like, it’s kind of frustrating along the way, because it’s, it feels like you’re semi powerless to do certain things. I think, I think that’s not true, I think that you were power is that you continue to persist, that you continue to make the kinds of things that you want to make, and you and your career, no one else cares about where your career goes as much as you do. And no one else cares about the kind of work that you make as much as you do. So I think, like, no one else is going to try to, like no one else, no, you know, no one else knows you, like you do. And so then it’s sort of like you have to get very intentional about what do I want to do, what do I want to say, with the work that I do, and then find the people who are making that kind of work and become known to them. And some of that is, you know, it’s very, like, it’s just, I mean, it’s as simple as reaching out in an authentic way to people and, and going from there it does, it takes time, I’ve never had a relationship where, you know, I met a, I don’t think for me, I’ve ever had a relationship where I met somebody and then within six months, like, we were doing just like, it just so much of it has been we we established a relationship, we continue to get to know each other, we know for features, it’s I’m reading scripts that they’re writing, and then, you know, two or three years down the line, something happens for them. But I have a real relationship with them and maybe even before they had any traction and those relationships. You know, when you guys hadn’t done shit, and you knew each other and you actually like gave each other time and you helped each other, those relationships become very powerful. Yeah,

49:21
okay,

49:22
that’s I don’t know that

49:23
I like no, I like that answer. I think that the forging genuine and authentic relationships is key to life, not just business. And if you can do business in that kind of way, then it makes business. Less achy. Yeah,

49:39
yeah, that was a that was a shift in terms of my mental framework, because early on I just, you get very scared Am I gonna make enough money and those fears don’t really go away. You can assuage them a bit by meditation and you know, yoga and working out all that sort of stuff. But

49:58
yeah, this way Yeah. To get rid of them, it’s just nice to be financially stable. That’s I mean, in the wire is just not there. So I want one final question around that, and then we’ll move on to the last three are still on question to my friend.

50:14
I know I’m a chatty person,

50:18
by some. So in the way that you sort of basically gleaned, what I’ve gleaned from the thing that you do do differently is spending time. Preparing, I suspect, preparing and nurturing relationships in a very specific way. So talk to us a little bit around that, like, let’s say that you, you see someone’s work, and you’re like, I really like to shoot for this guy, or girl. What do you do next?

50:55
So I think,

50:57
and let me let me preface what what that question. So let me go back in time and preface the question by saying that, for me, the word strategy, or being strategic equates to being smart. And I think that as artists, and as filmmakers, we get stuck on words like strategy or marketing, I fucking hate the word marketing, it makes me feel sick. I don’t like it. But I have to use it and, and I teach people about it. So it’s kind of ironic that I don’t like the word marketing. But to me, it feels icky. The word strategy doesn’t feel icky. To me, it feels it just what it means to me is smart. So one of the things if you’re using the word has come up quite a bit in this interview, is the word intentional. So where have you been intentionally strategic insofar as forging some kind of relationship that ended up turning into work?

51:52
Yeah, what’s I think? I think what’s interesting about that is my most significant relationships. Well, there’s a bit of luck involved in relationships, because you don’t know. You’re just people, you know, and people are messy. People are complex, and and you don’t, you’re gonna naturally connect with some people more than others. And relationships, two sided, you can’t force somebody to like you, you can’t force somebody to care about you. So I think how I’ve been intentional is I would say that, as I’ve met people, or as I’ve seen work that I like, I’ll reach out with an offer, like with an authentic response to that, because, yes, I’m sure yes, I’m sure directors get hit up by other DPS. Yes, I’m sure they get hit up by, you know, actors and whoever. But everybody likes to hear about how their work has meaningfully impacted somebody. And I

52:49
basically you saying, don’t talk about yourself, because I get hit up all the time. Yeah, like, you know, yes. Here’s my real love to work with you sometime. And I just delete, like, if you’re not smart enough to say, I saw this thing that you did, and I really loved it. or what have you, like, if it’s if they haven’t, if it’s just about them? That is not a relationship I want to get into? And it’s definitely not someone I want to hire. Would you say that that’s what you’re doing that you’re making it? Yeah, I want you to, yeah, to me, what

53:24
what’s important to me is like, Look, you know, I, I want to, when I reach out to somebody, I want to talk about what clicked for me and what touched me. And what what I found interesting about it, and I’m not gonna waste my time reaching out to somebody whose work didn’t do that for me. And usually, what I’ve found is that this very specific things that I’m connecting with, are often things they’ve embedded within that piece. You know, I had a meeting with somebody recently, where I was, like, I loved the opening shot from this reminded me of the opening from silent light. It’s like, Okay, I know, that’s a semi specific reference, but I’m pretty sure based on the way that was it, this was composed that was in these like, Oh, yeah, like, that was a reference point for us for that sequence. And it’s like, being able to sort of identify each other’s visual language and, and identify that, that’s just a starting point. That’s just to say, see, like, let’s grab a coffee let’s grab a drink. You know, if you’re around and those things take time, you have to sort of pursue people people get busy, you know, and that’s the nature of it. But from there, it’s like, you know, you meet you meet and just, it’s really like a gut thing. I think people at a core level either connect or don’t, what from there. I think what’s been interesting is what I’ve definitely had relationships with director early on, I just thought, I need to find I got to keep working. And I got to find people who are working and work with them. And over time, you’re like, I know exactly the kind of work I want to do and the kind of people you know, that I want to work with. And so you hold on to the people that continue to learn grow and are continuing to do those things. And I have, you know, I have friends who I’ve known for four or five years now who we’re just now getting into like it, we see it as this is the very beginning of our careers, you know, this is we’re going to do some crazy shit and make movies like nobody’s seen before. And you have and all that has to be built on risk and trust, and like a common language. And so yeah, it is being intentional and strategic. But it’s also being authentic, because you can’t force this. This in filmmaking is something where you’re going to live in the trend, you know, dp that I know, who’s been doing this for a long time told me he’s like, ultimately, every director just wants to know, is this somebody I want sitting in the foxhole next to me for the next six months? Yeah. And and it’s like, yes, the work, yes, yada, yada. But reality is, do they like you? Do they like your personality? Are you going to make their actors feel comfortable? Are you going to make that is the SEC going to be a calmer, happier, more focused place? Because you’re there. And those are things that, you know, for some people, you know, they meet with me, and they ask, and we click, and for some people, that doesn’t happen.

56:12
That’s what it comes down to Kobe. You’ve mentioned the word core a couple times, and I think call those if you understand your core values as a, as a human being. And if we look at the relationships that we have, where we get along with someone, it’s often because Kobe is similar. Yes. And so great advice, I will move on. I feel like Harvey doesn’t want to, I want to keep digging down that hole. But I think that I think we’ve all got enough to kind of understand what it is. I, it’s interesting, that you talk about what you mentioned, is very similar in business. So if you’re, I do a lot of director brand type work. Yeah. And if you and I’m what I seen, and I teach this to other filmmakers, if you present yourself as he’s my work, I shoot, you know, shoot on a red or some kind of you speak the language of a filmmaker, what I hear is, Hi, I’m a dude with a camera, do you need a video? Or do you want a video some some variation there off, which basically means you’re talking about yourself. And it feels selfish, and they buy unless they’re at the point at which the marketing, the CEO and the CMO have gone we need a video right now. They’re probably going to say no, and but what if they do say yes, they’ll then go, cool, how much? So all of a sudden, your service provider right, as opposed to coming at them and talking about them? What’s your business? What’s the business problem you’re trying to solve? If you can make it about them, then all of a sudden, they don’t perceive you as a do with a camera, they perceive you as someone that can help them. And so your pre framing conversation, that’s vastly different, you’re not a do with a camera anymore, you’re a consultant. And therefore, if you go ahead and say, You know what, that thing is gonna cost you 30 grand, and you can prove to them, they’ll make more money back than the 30 grand, they’ll pay it, where if you’re a dude with a camera, they won’t pay two grand for a video, because they don’t think they need it. So it’s interesting that those two parallels between the kind of narrative filmmaking world and the strictly commercial filmmaking world. Most filmmakers make it about themselves. If you read most filmmaking, BIOS, and what happened, of course, you’ve got to do it on your bio, but a lot of filmmaking marketing collateral is, look how wonderful I am. I’m an award winning filmmaker. And, you know, I’ve actually had DPS hit me up and say, I’ve, these are, these are the awards I’ve won. fuckin, I do not give a shit. Okay, what do you like as a human being? That’s, that’s one of the first questions I asked. And here’s the final point on this. And I think it was really interesting that when you mentioned, I really liked you at the point at which when I asked a question, you had this 20 seconds of preparatory remarks to set the context before you answered it. I immediately went, this guy’s smart. So So one of my core values is intelligence is the ability to think for yourself. So all of a sudden, Kobe, Kobe. And then when you was telling us about the Ridley Scott thing is like, I like this guy actually had go off in my head. I like this guy. And I don’t like everyone that I interview but let’s say I like this guy. I’m not I shouldn’t say that. Should I say it’s cool Vegas is always Yes. I think that really does go a long way. to being a good human being is understanding itself or come to me it comes a lot comes down to if you can understand yourself as human being, you can understand what makes you tick. Then you better able to navigate life because life can be fucking hard sometimes. And when we feel stuck, and when we things aren’t going the way they we think they should be going. It’s often because there’s some kind of personal issue issue, I say to my I say to people, I don’t want to keep mentioning the program. But I say to people that I know quite often, none of us have business problems. We all have personal problems that manifest in our business, you could just translate the word business into Korea. None of us have career problems, we all have personal problems that manifest in our careers. So if we understand ourselves better, then our careers and our businesses will go better. Anyway, that’s a little bit of a rant, let’s move on. No, I

1:00:44
mean, it was the the thing I would say that’s interesting, though, about that is, I think, if you ask yourself the question, like, the more that you understand this yourself, and the more you can ask yourself, how would this affect like, if if I was the other person, it’s that same concept of point of view and empathy? You know, what would I want? That being able to see that and other people and ask that for other people, it makes it a lot easier. You have to sort of navigate?

1:01:15
Yeah, yep, that’s another thing I teach is understanding. I call them pain points, understanding the pain point of a business owner. what they’re going through, is the difference between doing having a video production agency that does well, and the one that doesn’t, let’s move on, because we’re still good enough to get through. But these these will be easier. What are you doing? What do you do to sustain your career? So you mentioned meditation is there I meditate everyday, every single day? The and have for 20 years? A little bit longer than 20 years? Actually scary? So what are you doing amazing.

1:01:54
Yeah, but I would say I’m still figuring those things, I’m still figuring that out. I think that’s part of it is that we are constantly evolving, life never lives in stasis, human beings are not in status, we’re always moving forward, you know, we’re moving, we’re and so I think recognizing that your interests are changing that you’re that way you care about changes that what you understand about the world changes, those are actually like core to your development as a person and as an artist. So I think I, I have a number of things I do to try and sustain my career. It starts with sustaining your own personal, like your own self, you know, and, and finding those things that for me, that’s exercise, meditation, and, you know, even just taking, making sure that I’m eating better, and drinking water and staying hydrated, they’re really basic things, but they become very important for your ability to do your job. Well. That’s, I think, sort of the base thing, I think, you have your sort of relationships, you have your kind of, you know, your person to person sort of relationships and managing that and sort of dealing with that. And for me, it’s like, I look at these people as friends. So it’s not really something where I’m like, Oh, I got to specifically meet with this person, right? usually just it organically happens. But I also circle back with people and we get coffee and we check back in every six months. And, you know, no matter what it’s in those become also the people who can celebrate your successes with you. Those are the people who can, you can talk to when it’s a slow period, you know, and you guys have each other’s back and you can inspire each other and sort of developing a community where in which you can be continually inspired. I have friends who we try to watch you know, new films together, if not every week, every month, it depends on how busy and booked I am. But you know, even within the last week, I watched Claire Denise 35 shots of ROM and I saw get to for the first time and it’s like, and I watched the three colors trilogy for the first time on in theaters, because they had a screening at the Egyptian in LA and I seen them in college and loved them. Anyway,

1:04:10
it’s finding I’m getting shot of blue testing. I love that.

1:04:13
There’s so much that I loved about Roger watching it again at this point, because you know, I’ve it’s been 10 years since I’ve seen them and we I know so much more about cinema, and yet it’s still on a guttural core, deep human level, those movies wrecked me again. And I think it’s finding things that inspire you both within your craft. That’s films. That’s also I think, you know, one of the next things for me is I’ve got a couple projects I’m putting together with passion projects are important. Their passion projects, because there are ways that you can explore new visual language, new styles, new ideas, and I have a couple of those I’m putting together and some new things I want to try. She’ll do Short Form. Usually I feel like Pat, it’s hard to do long form passion project because of the nature of them. I’m sure Doc’s kind of end up being that sort of just because of the way that they have to get made. I’ve never done a doc, I’d love to at some point. But yeah, I think it’s finding, and then it’s staying. You know, what inspires you outside of your work is I think, you know, I just was at the park the other day, and I met an actor who is walking his dogs, and he’s been acting for 20 years. I looked him up afterwards. And he’s like, Oh, you were in Magnolia. You were in a bunch of shows. Always playing big part.

1:05:34
Tell us about these. So you’ll work walking, walking? Yeah, walking through a park. As like, Hey, I know that do? No, no. So how did you meet

1:05:43
my wife and I were hanging out at the park, I was drawing. My wife was painting. He his dogs ran over next to us. We met his dogs, we started petting his dogs. And we just started struck up a conversation. wherein you know, in during the conversation right

1:05:59
now it so you know, get down any in any direction hit Yeah, an actor or dp problem.

1:06:05
And, but also like, and I don’t normally, you know, I don’t, and I don’t usually try to talk to strangers unless it, you know, unless it just happens like that. But he, one of the things he told me was when he first moved to LA, he went to an audition. And he saw a guy looking at a catalogue of tugboats, and he was like, do you? Do you? Like, are you gonna buy a tugboat soon? And the guy’s like, you’re new here, aren’t you? And he’s like, Yeah, he’s like, get a hobby. And I would say that, too. As a way to sort of, you know, we, I think it’s important to have other outlets for your, because honestly, the things that are not the part of the job end up really helping you to understand what you’re doing. Like if, for a while, when I first started, I was just like, everything was about like making this, you know, making my career happen and making that yada. Yeah. And I think that’s, unfortunately, you kind of have to do some of that in the very beginning. Because you just have to, like know, like, it’s a really tough road at the beginning. And I don’t I imagine they’re still

1:07:09
there many glad you said that. Because that is true. There are phases in careers, and the first phase is learn your shit. And the only way to do that is to be obsessive about cameras, lenses, understanding, understanding the nature of a 35. But what does that make you feel like, understanding nature was 70 an idea 130. Understanding, you have to, you have to have good, you have to, you have to know your shit. Yeah, so then after that, in order to go to excuse the pun intended, but excuse the cliche, to take it to the next level, you’ve got to then begin to see how that then fits into the wider scope of humanity, which is one word that you chose to use earlier. So I’m glad that you, you know, it’s not just about getting getting a hobby, it’s about getting hobby at the right time. So if your hobby is self education, for the first five years, great, just go down that rabbit hole until you’re burnt out, and then start to link back. And then utilize all the information, all the stuff that you’ve kind of embedded in, in your, in your own being, and then apply that to

1:08:22
the world. Yeah, and those, I think your brain makes unconscious connections. Like, as you learn in other arenas, there are sort of things that you’ve already, you know, at this point, there are certain things that just like, I will look at a space and I’m like, okay, we can light. First of all, every space is broken up into foreground, mid ground background, if my color palette is, let’s say, yellows, and greens, and maybe some sort of like a grimy sort of blue, I can start to think, Okay, what do I want to play with in the background? What do I want to play the the mid ground, what I want to play from the foreground, maybe you simplify all that you’re like, we’re gonna strip out color from this entirely. But it’s like, the more you do this, the more your brain sort of, can reframe and reshape, and then you can start to really play with the pieces. And I think it’s the same thing in any other field. You know, I did martial arts for seven or eight years and got a black belt and showed a con when I was in high school. And with martial arts, they talk so much about when you get a black belt, you it’s like getting your white belt all over again. Because you’re the master becomes the, you know, the master sort of like becomes a student again, and it’s sort of this idea that as you learn more and know more and grow, you sort of have to return to the basics and let go of everything at a certain point. And it’s not that you’re pushing all that away, like in a way that sort of just becomes a foundational part of what you know, I guess, for lack of a better word, but it’s sort of being able to put that aside and sort of come at something from a new like from a fresh perspective.

1:09:57
Yeah, yeah. I I remember when I was in high school, the more I, I went to art school for music, and I remember, I remember thinking, the more I know, the more I realize, I don’t know anything. It’s really weird feeling of, like, I’ve got a crapload of knowledge right now. And I just feel like I’m shooting in the dark, like, I really don’t know what I’m doing. And I think if you’re able to ride that wave of that, that feeling, that feeling that is actually what pushes you forward. If you always feel like I’m not quite there, then that, that feeling is there’s an energy behind it. And that’s that energy that just kind of slowly drives you forward. That’s a good space to be in, and it’s all around education. Alright, let’s move on to the next one, which is what are you doing today if you’re tomorrow?

1:10:50
I mean, I feel like I would probably reiterate a lot of a lot of the same themes I just said,

1:10:59
Alright, let’s move on to the next one, then. Yeah, because we’ve been going for an hour and 20

1:11:05
Yeah, cut it down, which is cool, man.

1:11:06
I won’t be cutting down that it’s too much work. Yeah, the tile export. Yeah. Read watched or heard that inspired you recently? Okay,

1:11:20
um, you know, I think I would say so much. If I was to choose one thing, I saw secret sunshine. It’s a leeching dog film. And if you haven’t seen Absolutely, it’s incredible. It’s a if you have criterions. The, you know, the subscription service, it’s on there. There’s an inner interview with leeching dogs, as well. Check them out. They’re incredible. I think his approach to cinema is he this year, I’ve gotten to see some films by him and Agnes Varda and Clara and he and a couple other filmmakers, but I had never seen movies by I ended watching through a bunch of tarkowski this year and Kurosawa and it’s like, in that process, it sort of I love the for me, I love turning a corner and being surprised by things I never knew existed and didn’t know that life could be that way. And even these filmmakers all have not only do they make films in a way I’ve never seen any other filmmaker make. But they also deal with people and places and cultures and ideas and themes that I’ve not never seen another filmmaker deal with. And I love that so much. It’s really exciting. It’s really refreshing. Yeah, check out secret sunshine. It’s a great film. I will. Yeah, even

1:12:46
what I love doing, I love what, just recently, my wife and I sat down and watched in, in sequence, every tarkowski movie from start to the end and seeing, seeing the progression of his thought process, his ability to tell a story, which was always there, but it just it got more nuanced. was just it was it was wonderful. And unveiling the word that you use, but you said about I think it’s surprises what the word you know. That’s a really that’s a really nice feeling to to have that feeling of surprise, like, wow, you know, at the same time, I look at his work and think, Fuck, I’m never gonna be the sweet moment. This is really good. And, um, man, I feel really shitty about myself at the same time.

1:13:42
Well, you you probably wouldn’t be a very good tarkowski but you might be very good to you. Yeah, that’s also what’s great. Yeah, there’s like the world has never had you before. Yeah, wherever you are,

1:13:52
because mine is not as good as his him. No matter why, no matter what way you shake it out. Anyway. Thanks, man. I really I really enjoyed this conversation. Did you have anything you wanted to say at the end? Because I felt like I caught you off just then. Oh, no,

1:14:09
no, I think I think that we’re very, I think that we’re very fortunate to get to do this, in this time right now where a multitude of voices from a lot of different cultures and different places, because of the internet because of streaming because of the way that films are going. There’s a lot of possibility and I think that genuine who’s listening in to anyone who sort of just starting their career, I think it’s such an exciting time to be a filmmaker. It’s such an exciting time to be a storyteller. And I sort of think you have to you have to gamble on yourself. You have to take you know, you have to take risks for yourself because there’s, as far as we know, this is the only chance we get and I think I had that moment of knowing if I don’t take this risk, then I’ll never have I know I’ll regret it. And I think I would rather take risks and fall on my face every once in a while and then to live a life right? I feel stuck, you know, and I, I live like I I tried to be authentic and everything I do, and yeah, sometimes you get hurt in that process, but I would rather live my life authentically than than live in fear. So make great movies and challenge people and, and deal with the paradox of

1:15:30
life. Beautiful, I love it. Thank you. Thank you so much. Have you enjoyed today’s episode, and here’s what I want you to do next, I want you to take one thing that you got from today’s show, and to put it into practice in your career in business, because it’s only through having the right systems in place, that you’ll be able to take your career and business from where you are today to where you want to be. So again, I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. So until next time, I’m Clarke Scott from next level filmmaker. Have a great day.

Stay Ahead of Industry Trends

Just enter your email address. It's not hard. Click here if you need more convincing.

We respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe any time.

Get the 4-Step Framework to Success

Enter your email below to watch a FREE training video from our founder & CEO Clarke Scott on the 4-step framework for creating your own success.