Mika Matinazad

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Mika Matinazad Episode Summary

This week we’re hanging out with Cinematographer Mika Matinazad. We’re talking about his journey into filmmaking, working with big national brands, shooting music videos with an iPhone and so much more. We also talk about how to make a living as a filmmaker with multiple income streams.

Mika Matinazad Episode Notes

This week we’re hanging out with Cinematographer Mika Matinazad. We’re talking about his journey into filmmaking, working with big national brands, shooting music videos with an iPhone and so much more. We also talk about how to make a living as a filmmaker with multiple income streams.

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Mika Matinazad Transcript

Corey Allen  00:06

Hi, I’m Corey.

Bill Cornelius  00:07

I’m Bill

Corey Allen  00:08

And together,

Bill Cornelius  00:09

we host the infocus podcast.

Corey Allen  00:12

Today’s episode is brought to you by gnome studios will tell you all about gnome studios at the end of today’s episode, today, we’re joined by cinematographer and director Mika Martin is on Mika. Welcome to the studio. Good morning. Thanks for having me. Thanks for showing up how you been.

Mika Matinazad  00:29

I’ve I’ve been doing pretty well, just trying to stay rested and not be over exhausted by this industry that we’re in.

Bill Cornelius  00:38

Yes. It’s easy. It’s very easy to read.

Corey Allen  00:43

Yeah, no, that’s great. Not well, we’re glad you’re here. We’re looking forward to talking about you some of your work how you got into the work that you’re in today. And hopefully it can maybe learn a thing or two. I’m very curious. Curious would be one of the words a very selfish was the word I was actually. I’m hoping I can learn some of the some of your secrets today.

Mika Matinazad  01:03

Yes, absolutely. Which one do you want to start with?

Bill Cornelius  01:08

Which secret Do you want me to reveal? Like, yeah,

Mika Matinazad  01:11

I don’t really have many secrets. My path is very untraditional and unlike what you hear for most people, and I’ll just try to make it as relevant and easy to understand as possible. Awesome. Excellent.

Bill Cornelius  01:26

Well, how did you get here into into film production? What What led you on this path?

Mika Matinazad  01:31

Well, I started in 2013, as a photographer, actually. So 2013 I was set that’s seven, eight years ago, that I mean, I was 1415 ish. When I started with my little iPhone five, just it was around the time when Instagram was starting to build up as in like, photographers, were starting to, you know, get a following getting that cool this go look on all your photos and all that stuff. So, you know, my friends were doing it. I wasn’t really in a creative path at that point. I mean, I, I was I grew up playing sports. Soccer was like my sport, like, that’s all I wanted to do.

I wanted to be a professional soccer player, so but when when the photography stuff started, you know, hanging out with friends taking photos of them eventually led to me taking my parents little digital camera, it was like a s, it was like a Canon s SL one or something like super, super cheap, little DSLR that I was like taking portraits with and I had a little 50 millimeter lens. And just one thing led to another and I started doing portraits and events and shooting artists and all that stuff, then around 2017 2017 I think I kind of started dabbling in video just because I like I felt like I hit a wall with photography in terms of I felt like I just I learned all the all the things I needed to learn about photography.

That’s a little ignorant of me to say there’s so much to learn about photography, but I just felt like creatively, I hit a ceiling. And I was I was in school at the time I was at Lipscomb University, like, two years into Lipscomb University. And I was doing coding, like software developing Oh, really, for about two years, and I absolutely hated it. I thought it’s what I wanted to do, like web design, UX, UI kind of stuff. And it was it’s really difficult. And I really appreciate the people that are in that field.

But it just, it’s just, it’s not for me. So my friend, john, who is in film school at the time was like, dude, you should come like audit some of the classes and then I like audited I was like, This is fun, like, sick I can I can probably do if I do foot like photography pretty well, I can probably do video, and maybe I won’t make as much money as I would if I was you know, doing web development. But you know, screw it, you got you know, we got one life here. So yeah, so I just made the switch over to doing you know, taking a lot of film production classes.

And while I was in school, I was you know, freelancing and pretty much earning like a full time living doing video just because I set my mind to it and I was like, This is what I’m gonna do and this is the only thing I’m gonna do. I’m gonna make it happen. So while I was in school, you know, you have access to the gear closet and you know, we had sky panels and C three hundreds and you know, zoom lenses and like, You know, at the time you’re like, Oh my god, this is like, this is the gear I dream of using for these videos. Yeah.

So I would kind of bribe my way into, you know, music video shoots, like saying like, hey, like, outbreak, I literally, I’ll bring the gear. Yeah, you just make it like you just give me the thumbs up and I’ll be there, I’ll shoot it, edit it, like do the whole thing. So while I was in school, I try to take advantage of that as much as I could. And, you know, once I was done with school, obviously, you’re like, dang. freakin do, like, put my whole rate into renting stuff. Yeah. Once I was done with school in 2019, when I graduated, I just started freelancing and continuing to grow. And you know, when you’re first getting started, you’re kind of doing everything you’re, what’s the word? predator? producer, director, editor?

Corey Allen  05:59

I hadn’t heard that before.

Mika Matinazad  06:01

Basically, yeah. Um, and ever since I’ve just tried to focus on cinematography mainly, and I direct as well, whenever, like, I need to direct I just, I just have been wanting to focus on you know, cinematography, it’s kind of where my passion is. And, you know, that’s, that’s kind of like, I guess a summary of my story in terms of film production

Corey Allen  06:28

is awesome. So when you made that when you made the move from us stills and started to dabble in video, obviously, you know, you had the access to the gear closet, which is awesome. Once you no longer had that access. Where did you start out like, were you shooting on a mirrorless? Like still using a DSLR? with video or?

Mika Matinazad  06:47

Yeah, so when I was in college, I saved up and got an ace m&s too, with like two lenses. It was like a 28 millimeter lens. That was like 400 bucks and just another lens. I had a little like a Zune Cray crane, basically, yeah. And that’s all the gear I had, I had, I didn’t have any light, I had a little RGB tube light. And that’s all I had, you know, small shoots. If I’m in a studio space or anything, I’m just using that gear. And I would say, if you go on my website, probably the first or the the bottom. Four videos of or five videos are shot on my Sony camera. I mean, anytime I have a budget to rent cameras, I definitely well, but that was kind of the camera I relied on most of the time. And you know what, it’s low light capabilities.

Corey Allen  07:43

Yeah, that the a seven S line is like, an absolute workhorse. Yeah.

Mika Matinazad  07:48

Yeah, it’s kind of tough because like you showing up on set, or like, you have this music video plan and the artist is like, Wait, you’re gonna shoot with that camera. And it’s like, it kind of takes a little bit of your confidence out of you. But I absolutely love that camera. definitely have a hard time coloring Sony footage for sure. But you know, the low light capabilities and, you know, like, he can freaking shoot two hours of 4k on like one

Bill Cornelius  08:18

part. So plus, they’re so small and lightweight. That’s what I found to like, the applications for those cameras for gimbals and things like that. They’re so small

Mika Matinazad  08:28

and autofocus is pretty good. You know, it’s gotten better for sure. But at the time, it was like it was good, just good enough to like I don’t even need to you know, because like a lot of times I feel like when people get started they’re wanting their first AC or they wanting this whole kit and stuff and I was like I didn’t have access to any of that kind of stuff. Yeah, I didn’t even know what like like a focus bullet really did or like what the first AC like I kind of understood that but I was like I’ll never afford that.

So it was just kind of on me to figure all the camera stuff out. And then just I guess as of like a year ago I just kind of not necessarily upgraded but I just switched over to a Pocket Cinema Camera system so like typically end up shooting with like a 6k and a 4k or something like that. So

Corey Allen  09:20

I think I remember when I first saw that camera show up in your ID stories was like Mikko Look at me got the pocket.

Mika Matinazad  09:27

Yeah, I know. I was I was just I was convinced I it’s really tough because like you, you don’t want to get a small camera again. Because if you’re a dp it’s it’s kind of a flex move to have a really nice Cinema Camera like you get you get your foot in the door if you have a camera because people will remember you and your gear for sure. So even though like a you know pocket 6k isn’t a big camera when you build it out.

Yeah, to a client and it feels like Oh man, this is legit, even though it’s like, you know, you probably dropped like maybe 4000 or $5,000 on the setup. It’s nothing compared to many or like a red dragon or something, but it just it kind of helps you know, it gives you a little booster. But other than that the six Hey is a beautiful camera. I’ve used it on a numerous amount of music videos, and I’m always impressed by how good things look on camera. So yeah, yeah, definitely.

Bill Cornelius  10:28

Yeah. I mean if it if it gets the job done, and it makes things look great. And yeah, that’s all that matters. Yeah, exactly. It may not have like, the Instagram flex, you know? So yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. To fully build it out. But yeah, I mean, it’s all about the image at the end of the day,

Mika Matinazad  10:47

correct it? Yeah. As long as the clients happy, and it looks good. And it’s in focus. Again, we’ll make a work.

Corey Allen  10:54

Exactly. That’s an important point, though. As long as it’s in focus.

Bill Cornelius  10:57

Yeah. Which I guess is an artistic joy.

Corey Allen  11:03

It is the first note I suck though is size definitely matters. Kids. So yeah.

Mika Matinazad  11:10

The size matters. Yeah. Oh, forget, write that down.

Bill Cornelius  11:12

Yes. It’s funny. So I took a look at your work and your reel and everything. And it just it just in a short period of time you say you’ve you’ve relatively been doing this. I mean, you’re you’re killing it. It seems like you’ve done some great work and with some big clients. Yeah. Like, is there any one of these clients that you’ve worked with? Where you’re just like, Wow, I can’t believe I’m working with so and so.

Mika Matinazad  11:40

Yeah, I have a couple written down. One of the one of the first clients that came to mind when you asked me that question was, I mean, I got to play a really small role in this video, but it was the caged elephant Madonna. Music Video, no big deal. No big deal. Black Madonna. Yeah, not not a big deal at all. But I had that came, like how that whole shoot came together was really interesting. I don’t know if I’m supposed to share this but but it was a it was pretty low budget. I was I was getting my day rate. But it was spread over four days, essentially, because we were having to prep things. I was having to go pick up gear I was having to set up the camera.

No first first AC or anything. And it was one of my first times working with my friend Bennett who I’m sure you guys know of the gaffer in itself and itself. He Yeah, he did an incredible job. But it was a super small crew, I guess. Yeah, I’m trying to remember how I got the gig because my my wife, current wife, it’s weird saying wife because I’m used to just say my girlfriend, but we got married last year. I know that feeling. Yeah. But my wife, she’s a she’s a music video director as well. And she’s a creative director and stylists and a million other things. But she Yeah, she got connected with naturals, the the lead singer, and they just creatively connected really well.

And obviously like me, having worked with Sofia ton, I got recommended to you know, dp this music video. And it was, it was a lot of fun. I’m really proud of how the video looks. And it’s really abstract and interesting looking. And I love the editing, and a little bit of a bummer. There’s way more footage that we shot that I thought would end up in the video.

But I would say about 15% of what we shot ended up in the video because it’s kind of like a collage of their past videos too. But there’s a lot of scenes in there that I got to shoot it and I was like, This is cool. So that was a great, that was a great gig. The second project I was gonna bring up was the Squarespace video that I got to dp. And Sophia is also the connection here.

So I guess I have a lot of things to her. Squarespace reached out to Sophia and love you later a friend of ours, she’s an amazing artist here in town, and they were wanting to do like a like a small documentary piece on them. And obviously they’re like, Hey, who’s like a dp in town? she was like, Mika is gonna do it. And you know, this was my eyes. This is my ad this at the time this is a year and a half ago like my biggest you know, client that I’ve ever had. And they’re like, we’re wanting to shoot this music video in the space with an iPhone.

And I was like, oh, cool, but such a bummer cuz I like this is my shot guys, like, let me impress you, but they’re like, we’re just gonna shoot it on an iPhone and you’re gonna make it look good. You know? I’m like, challenging Did you know diving deep into YouTube because I’ve never had to really shoot a whole music video with an iPhone. And then we also did like a little mini dog piece on Sophia in in love you later and that was really cool too. So

Corey Allen  15:16

I think I remember that project like, didn’t you also make a YouTube video about like how to shoot a music video? Yes.

Mika Matinazad  15:23

Yes, I did. And Funny enough, it’s like one of the videos that’s gotten the most views on my channel. Because it’s, it’s more relevant to the bigger public. Yeah, because, you know, during COVID everyone’s like, how do I shoot my own music video with my iPhone. But no one gives a crap about some like, bigger insight that I have on some other YouTube video but it’s just it’s just it’s it’s kind of interesting. I want to go down the YouTube rabbit hole. here’s

Corey Allen  15:55

here’s the bigger question though. Was that YouTube video sponsored by Squarespace like every other YouTube video?

Bill Cornelius  16:07

That is true now that you say that? I have

Mika Matinazad  16:09

no idea how that how all those people get. Squarespace sponsorships? I feel like it’s just a button you click on Squarespace and you just activate or activate it. Or something.

Bill Cornelius  16:20

Yeah, my website is made through you. Yeah. If you want to throw some money.

Mika Matinazad  16:25

That’s funny. Yeah. Cuz like yesterday, I was watching a couple videos, and half of them had a Squarespace ad right in the beginning.

Corey Allen  16:33

They’re super aggressive. But that’s a strong flex for you like, Hey, I’m not sponsored by Squarespace. But I did shoot there.

Mika Matinazad  16:41

Yeah, this is their video. And I mean, quality wise, nothing close to what you see, during their, like, superbowl commercial are like, you know, some of the crazier, you know, more cinematic things that they’ve done, but just getting to say that you’ve worked with a big client, it just helps.

Bill Cornelius  16:59

It just helps 100% that client list looks great. Client List looks Yeah,

Mika Matinazad  17:05

anytime, even if I’ve had a small role. Like when when the Lakers won the championship last year, the first video that Nike put out was like a little video on LeBron James. And I had one of my film supply clips land in that video. Nice. And thanks, Mikey. Yeah, you get to say you get to say, hey, Nike, yeah, worked with Nike, in a sense, maybe not directly, but I got to I got to have one of my click clips in their video. So totally, like, cool. Nike added to the list, you know. But I don’t know, I’ve had a lot of instances like that where like, random stuff shows up on bigger brands videos, and I’m like, cool. This is this is this could be a portfolio thing.

Corey Allen  17:57

Yeah, I would say definitely. Don’t downplay that. Because not everybody has their footage in a Nike ad. Or Nike spot.

Bill Cornelius  18:05

It counts as 100%. Yeah, I agree. Yeah. So you have sort of, I guess, I don’t know if you’d call it a side hustle. But you you sell assets as well, like stock footage. And I

Mika Matinazad  18:18

do yeah, I, I do sell some assets, I sell some lots. I sell some overlays. And I’m currently working on a few other products that I’m hoping to have done by like, fall of this year. But it’s, it’s I really enjoy the process of coming up with a product and learning how to market it, how to brand it and how to launch it. It’s just totally kind of different than the filmmaking process. Because filmmaking plays a role because your promo video matters, like your editing, style matters. But I just kind of really like making assets be just because I know, you know, with like my YouTube channel, and everything that I’m just kind of trying to grow right now.

Like, people will come back eventually, and look at those assets and be like, Hey, this is a steal. Like, I should grab these from him. Just because I know when it comes to assets, obviously everyone has a lead pack, like every other video person can easily make a lead pack. But when you build a solid relationship and you build trust with your audience, like people, people come back around and like kind of help you out or if it’s a good enough product, like you know, the market will respond to that. So I love that process of figuring out just because like you know, I can’t be doing video every single minute of the day every day. Just it’s it’s exhausting.

Corey Allen  19:52

It’s a grind.

Mika Matinazad  19:53

It’s a serious grind and I don’t think it ever stops really there’s not there’s not a there’s you don’t like turn 50 and you Like, ah, yeah, I made it, you know, like, like, if Roger Deakins is still working his ass off on every single feature that he’s doing. That just means like you’re in this your entire life. But I respect that. And I love that about him.

But I don’t want to be in that place whenever I have kids or have to miss out on important parts of life, so I look at assets as a way of kind of helping fund the life style, I guess. And I also have a library of stock footage on film supply. And it’s amazing. I think it’s something every single video person needs to do it. I’ve been I’ve been doing it for over a year and a half, and it pretty much pays my mortgage every month. Wow. Yeah. Now and if you don’t believe that? I do.

Bill Cornelius  20:54

Yeah. You’ve got some. Corey, you’ve got some drone stuff out there. Yeah.

Corey Allen  20:58

Did I use? I use blackbox? Because Yeah, for me, it’s way less time consuming. Like I can upload it. I can give you know, a percentage of sales to a curator. They can edit keyword do all this stuff. Yeah, think about it again. Yeah, film supply, though, is appears far more curated, I would say the quality of content is probably leaps and bounds ahead of typical star on average, as well.

Mika Matinazad  21:25

Yeah. And I’m always confused at the quality of stuff they have from huge production companies that I have no idea how they’re getting the rights to all their footage that they’re shooting for these huge health care or like big brands. But it it’s, it’s really yeah, it’s really cool to see other filmmakers making a living passively through other resources that they have, or through other platforms that, you know, they, you know, they have started or like, even like podcasting, like what you guys are doing, like, I feel like, everyone needs to have different, you know, sources of income coming in just because stuff like last year happened.

Yeah, everyone’s screwed, you know. And I didn’t know, I didn’t know that COVID was gonna happen last year, but with film supply, like, I was okay. Most of them months, you know, and it took like, this burden off my shoulders. So that’s great.

Bill Cornelius  22:23

Well, it’s always like when I talk about freelance work to being sort of like the weather, yeah, sometimes you get a lot of it. And then sometimes you have a dry spell. And it’s really good to have a way to fill in the gaps. Yeah, exactly. like doing stock footage, which was a hustle I have not explored yet my son. Yeah. And I feel like I need to, because that, that sounds really lucrative. That’s kind of

Mika Matinazad  22:48

Yeah, that’s kind of my angle with with filmmaking, I guess in terms of secrets. Whenever, whenever I have to do a five to director, low budget music video, I have three things that I want out of it, I want BTS content that I can put on my YouTube channel, I can talk about do a little tutorial on, I want the rights to the footage, so that, you know, in a year and a half, at least I can make some money off of this video that I’m putting so many hours into.

And then also down the road, if I do end up maybe doing a course or something. I have all this footage to work into the course. So I just kind of need to have those things line up in order for the project to work out. And also the it has to look cool, like the song has to be good. Like, I don’t want to talk about a music video that the song you know.

Corey Allen  23:41

Yeah, the but I think the that approach to how you get probably I don’t know what percentage of your stock footage is that scenario versus you plan to shoot just to capture, but I think it is genius to say like, yeah, like, I’m totally cool to work on your low budget project. Yeah. In exchange for the rights to sell the footage later on down the road.

Bill Cornelius  24:03

No, that’s and you don’t hear about that enough that people are doing that. Which which, yes, that’s brilliant. I mean, that’s, that’s the way to

Mika Matinazad  24:10

Yeah, I think everyone needs to do that. For sure. Just Just because like, you know, I know, we’re running industry of serving artists and brands and clients and stuff like that, and making people’s visions come to life, but also like, you have to set yourself up for your future, you have to set yourself up, you know, like, three years from now, I need to upgrade my gear like I can’t, you know, always be living off of the paycheck to paycheck kind of scenario. And I need to have a savings to do that.

So I have to kind of think ahead and yeah, I’m a huge, huge sucker for anything passive income. Like I had a period in my like, I guess my early 20s I’m in my mid 20s right now. I don’t I don’t know why I say that. But I just got in like went into this rabbit hole. Reading a ton of books like Tim Ferriss four hour workweek and seeing people like I look up to like Ezra Cohen, who’s just literally, I don’t know if you guys have seen his stuff, his his ads have been popping up on my Instagram lately. And I even checked out some of his assets. And I’m like, you know what? Yes. Got some good stuff.

Good stuff to a point that he’s, he’s he’s making seven figures, selling selling his assets. Oh, yeah, he, and he talks about it in his course. And I think that’s amazing. Like, he’s an incredible director, he would be, he’d be doing totally fine just directing music videos. But he, he took a leap of faith, he created these assets. And now he has a company that he’s all focused in on, and he sells assets to filmmakers, and, you know, tour visual artists and things like that. I think that’s really cool, and I hope to someday kind of merge my filmmaking path with, you know, a path of like teaching and having courses and having products and having a little business that kind of helps people get into filmmaking. That’s great.

Bill Cornelius  26:15

As I know, you’d my whole thing is, you never want to limit yourself, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, right? Like, there’s a lot of people out there that they only shoot or they only edit. Yeah. And that’s, that’s great if you’re really good at it, and you can get to work doing it. But, you know, what do you do about the rainy days or the any sort of dry spell you might run into? it’s I think it’s, it’s awesome to have a number of different things going on. Yeah. And I do that anyway. And I know Yeah, to Corey, just because that’s how we think like, we have to have things, different things going on to keep us kind of creatively engaged and sharp, and all that sort of thing. So I think that’s awesome. That, that yeah.

Mika Matinazad  27:02

I agree with you, Bill. I mean, Corey, you, you have your gear, you have your gear closet, basically, now we’re just talking about, I think that’s a really cool way to make, you know, some passive income is by renting out your gear. And, you know, I’ve thought about someday having a studio and like making a set out of it.

there’s Yeah, there’s so many ways to creatively make passive income, you know, people don’t take enough time to think about that, and consider that, you know, and put a little effort into it. Because, you know, it pays back, it comes back around, you know, and you learn something about business. And, you know, that’s something that I think, as filmmakers, we don’t always think about the business side of the, you know, business side of the industry, and how to make decisions that kind of set you up for your future. So

Corey Allen  27:55

I think that’s a really important point that I think everybody should probably take some time to consider, like, to your point is whether it’s renting your gear out, there are filmmakers that own their own studios that also rent those out for set pieces pretty regularly. But like my approach to gear rental is, at least in the short term, I don’t necessarily want to supplement my income. I want to use those gear rentals to pay for that gear so that I have access to it. Right. Yeah. Right. You could say the same for like, if you want to open a studio space.

Bill Cornelius  28:30

Yeah. Or fund the personal project. Yeah,

Corey Allen  28:33

whatever that is, and right. Totally to your point. So many times creators, just think about how do I how do I continue to elevate my creativity, or writing to get that next big dp job? Yeah, but that’s like one job one paycheck,

Mika Matinazad  28:48

totally. And you only have so many hours a month to sell, you know, with freelancing, like you’re basically selling your time and you got to figure out how to sell your time while you’re asleep. Because third of your life is sleeping. Really,

Corey Allen  29:04

yeah, maximize. It’s

Mika Matinazad  29:05

like really meta to think about that. But you got to figure something out. You got to come up with a solution is it kind of starts messing with your mind. You’re like, wait, I should stay up longer, instead of sleeping in everyday but anyways,

Corey Allen  29:19

I literally

Bill Cornelius  29:20

make money on myself.

Corey Allen  29:21

I think your strategy of selling assets selling stock footage is a great way to monetize your sleep hours.

Mika Matinazad  29:30

Yes, exactly. Yeah, exactly. And I guess the other thing is like this, I mean, this isn’t like film related, but just getting into investing in real estate and and things like that. Like I saved up my money during college with freelancing and everything. And I bought a house when I was 22. And it was like, it was a huge move for me and it was it was like everyone was like, What are you doing like what are you buying house, but I just know that down the road like again, like 10 years from 10 years from now.

I would love to have assets and you know, things that kind of help with the lifestyle to kind of help fund the things I want to do if, you know one day I want to wake up and be like, Hey, I’m just gonna take this month and only work on this short film or this documentary piece that I’m doing. And it’s not paying me a single cent, but I’m gonna do it just because I love it. Like, I want to have that option. Yeah, in the future and not have to be tied down to having to figure out freelancing and hustling and doing all that stuff.

Bill Cornelius  30:29

Yeah, that’s really smart. I again, I don’t I don’t think there’s enough people that are thinking that way. In our industry. Yeah. Yeah. And, and I’ve seen a lot of struggle from my peers. And yeah, for myself, quite honestly, when I was younger, like, I definitely didn’t have the foresight that you seem to have. Yeah. And when I was in my 20s, and it was just like, yeah, yeah, I’m impressed. You’re crushing it,

Mika Matinazad  30:52

thank you. I, I just, I take a little bit, little bit of a pride, like, just some pride in, I came here as an immigrant. And I’m, you know, I’m just thinking this is, this is my shot, like, this is this is it, like, you know, we’re so blessed to live in the country where we can do all these things freely, and be able to create our own businesses pursue our own dreams, and, you know, and do things like this, like, you know, you can’t just become a freelancer in, you know, in like, in Middle East country, or like, somewhere in Asia and be like, successful, like, in a matter of few years, like, it takes way more work over there and takes way more connections.

And there’s more, you know, obstacles to overcome. But over here, it’s like, it’s literally handed to you like you, you know, you can go intern, you can go work at a production that you like, there’s so many ways to get into it. And I just feel like we need to be kind of a little bit self aware of all the good things we have. Yeah, know how easily we have it here.

Corey Allen  32:00

So I’m here for it. I’m, I’m excited to see you grow. Just remember to remember me the next time you need to read rental.

Mika Matinazad  32:06

Yeah. I’ll write you down. Corey, I’ll put you on my list. Yeah. You know, whenever you reach out to someone, and they’re like, yeah, I’ll put you on my list. Yeah, that that doesn’t mean anything. Like, give me 30 people on your list. But let’s anamorphic Oh, yes. anamorphic for sure. Honestly, like the the car. I don’t know if you still have your car rigs. Oh, yeah. But that was one of the most impressive things I’ve seen you do is just putting piecing that thing, that thing together. And I’m still waiting for the right gig to kind of use your whole setup on Oh, yeah, it will happen. Let me know. We’ll make it happen. Let’s make it happen.

Corey Allen  32:44

We did a motorcycle kind of little, just a little promo spot where we put them come out on that thing. No way. And that’s amazing. tractor, motorcycle, just

Bill Cornelius  32:56

wild, wild stuff. It was wild. Yeah.

Corey Allen  33:01

Are we talked a lot about cool things, great things you’re doing. I would love to maybe shift gears a little bit and talk about maybe a recent project that, you know, maybe it pushed you to the limits creatively, maybe you know, it’s something where maybe you felt like you were even on the verge of failure. If we can be a little safe for a second, like, you know, it any recent work that you feel like is really kind of pushed you to the edge.

Mika Matinazad  33:26

Yes. One project that comes to mind is a recent commercial shoot that I did about two weeks ago, and I signed, I signed an NDA on it, but I won’t, I won’t name specific things, but I will tell you that it was a pizza commercial with a country band. So go figure. But what’s cool about it is that it’s it’s this will be my first TV spot that I’ve dp and it’s it’s exciting. And it’s gonna come out maybe later this year. I don’t know how soon will come out. But so it’s pizza commercial, and we’re shooting it at a house. And you know, we have a tech scout and all that stuff going on before.

And I think what really creatively pushed me in that process was having a tech Scout, like having a tech scout day where you’re just trying to figure out lighting and everything and like, you know, you as as you’re growing as a dp or a filmmaker, you’re always watching things you always have BTS of stuff that you’re looking at, and you’re like, oh, when I get you know, when I get my opportunity, I’m gonna do it this way because this looks amazing. But then a lot of times when you show up on set, I don’t know if this is true for you guys, but for me, I’m like, I don’t know what I’m doing. And like I literally forget all my lighting principles and all my like composition, you know, techniques.

Like, all that kind of stuff, so I, I made a, I made a lighting plan for this commercial shoe. And when we showed up on set a few days later, I was like, fuck it like I’m gonna, I get like this isn’t this doesn’t make sense, I need to flip the room, because what we’re doing is we’re trying to shoot in the living room, and you have windows on the side, back wall and then windows on the other side. I was trying to shoot it to where the windows were behind the talent.

I was like, that doesn’t make sense, because the lighting is going to change throughout the day. And it’s going to be overexposed, we can’t put gels on the windows or anything like that. So let’s flip the room, let’s put the talent in front of the wall and then light them through the window. And I made that decision when I showed up on set.

Luckily the director was very sweet and kind and they trusted me with that decision. it just ended up working out, it really creatively pushed me because I was forced to make a decision in a short amount of time. I just was really intimidated by the whole TV set up because I had a whole group crew I had, I have my gaffer have my first AC second AC camera PA, I had, you know, maybe like eight or nine people that I was kind of in charge of and as like a 25 year old when you’re working with people that are in their 50s 60s years, like very intimidated because you’re like these guys, these are these are the dudes I’ve been here they’ve been

Corey Allen  36:40

doing this longer than

Mika Matinazad  36:41

Yeah, they’ve, they’re they’re on on the film sets here. They’re on the TV sets here. Like they know what they’re doing. And I would just hate to do something that doesn’t make any sense. And they’re like this kid who gave this get a chance. It was really interesting trying to figure out like lighting plans with the gaffer and everything. And I it just forced me to learn, learn a lot of like decision making skills on onset at the time, just because I had to not only be, you know, thinking about what we’re shooting right in that moment, but thinking about the next two setups that are coming directly right after that.

And when you have when you have about 20 people standing around set waiting on you to kind of make that call, you know, you just kind of you just kind of learn to trust your gut and make decisions. So I don’t know if that was like, specific enough on how it like pushed me create it like what do you guys think? Do you need to know the name of the pizza company? And you will know as soon as it comes out? Yeah.

Bill Cornelius  37:48

I know, I get that. It’s it’s almost like you’re stepping out on a stage in front of an audience. Sometimes when Yes. When when you’re on a set like that. Yeah,

Corey Allen  37:58

position like that. I think especially like in that example, you’re, you probably feel as much as in the spotlight as the talent does at that point. Right. Right. At least internally.

Mika Matinazad  38:08

Yes. Correct. Because the producers looking at you the first ad is looking at you, the director is looking at you and they’re like, so what are we doing next? And I’m like, I’m just I’m like literally here just looking at the shot deck me like I think this is neck.

Bill Cornelius  38:21

And you mentioned like the age and experience thing. Yeah, the other crew like I’ve exactly many times. Yeah. It’s, it’s it’ll create, it’ll creep you out even though like, technically speaking, you’re at a higher position than they are on. It comes to the hierarchy. Yeah, it’s still like, you see these guys, and you’re like, this dude’s been doing it. Like, I know you.

Corey Allen  38:44

Like and you.

Bill Cornelius  38:47

And, you know, you find out as long as you well, I found as long as you exude confidence in what you’re doing. Right? Or go roll with you.

Mika Matinazad  38:56

Yeah. And I think just being honest, and being humble with yourself. And I mean, right off. Like, as soon as I met them, I said, like, Hey, you guys have like 30 years on me, or like, collectively, probably, like 200 years of experience. And like, I don’t like I don’t need you guys to hold my hand going through this process. But I’ll have questions. And I’ll have certain decisions that I make, if based on your experience, if you think they don’t make sense, like ask me because I’ll I can try to like define it or like just be more specific about it.

If it doesn’t make sense, and you say something that makes more sense and is a little bit more convenient, then yes, I trust you, you know, and that’s kind of the relationship I try to have with my crew anytime I work is like if I say something, or try to do a certain lighting setup, and it doesn’t make any sense, like please call me out on it because I don’t want to make things more difficult than they already are. You know, yeah, that that humility is great. Okay. And I love that in your example you shared like part What pushed you? Was that just the whole tech scout process? Yeah,

Corey Allen  40:03

I think about the one of the recent music videos had the chance to dp it was by far the biggest production I’ve ever been a part of. Awesome. Oddly, it wasn’t the biggest budget. Like I look at that as a Scott Stevens. At the bowling alley. Yes, yes. Yeah. But like we we did a tech scout on that with the gaffer Barrett Dennison, who’s like super legit gaffer from LA. Yeah, can be very intimidating. Yeah. And it like it was so nice to be able to spend the time through that tech scout for us to walk the bowling alley. Let’s talk about, like every idea I could possibly come up with on the day. And allow us to talk through that in the moment he he actually introduced me to an app that has become probably the coolest app I’ll ever use called Artemis, bro.

Are you know is that just like lighting? It was not even a wider Mac. It’s just like a composition app. Oh, you’re gonna go you’re gonna go to a scout. You can choose your camera and your lens and all your setups and it will emulate that look like perfectly? Yeah, can you take a picture give you like coordinates all the crazy stuff. Amazing. Like going in with the mindset of like, I just I’m gonna learn everything I can from Barrett through the process. Now he’s become like, one of the coolest guys. I know. He’s moving to Nashville looking forward. Yeah. But like, yes, that very similarly. Like for me in that project in that process was right. was kind of really pushed me to the to the edge for sure.

Bill Cornelius  41:33

Yeah, what what you bring up to is being open for feedback from people on set. Yeah, a lot of people that I’ve worked with, and I’ve been that guy is just like that are a little bit close to feedback, either. It’s ego rights. They’re trying to flex a confidence that they don’t quite Yeah. Yeah. And it’s like just being open to feedback. Right. Easy going about suggestions? Yeah. Because there are people on set that might have a suggestion that’s really beneficial to whatever it is you’re doing. Yeah, if you’re open and you’re humble to receiving those things, I think the shoot goes so much smoother,

Mika Matinazad  42:12

right? And it only makes you look better. You know, if you’re closed off and people like when you’re on set, and you’re with an experienced crew, people know when you’re doing something wrong. And like, if you’re not honest about that, and say that out loud to your crew, then, you know, you just kind of making yourself look bad, because you’re just kind of hiding, you’re insecure. But yeah, I think I think Yeah, being open to ideas and everything like that. definitely like to, to a certain extent, you know, like, I don’t need everyone’s opinion on set right on telling me what I need to do. But the people that I trust, and also the people that are the ultimate decision makers, I’ll need their, you know, kind of exotic opinions. Sure.

Bill Cornelius  42:56

So and you really talked about this quite a bit already. But what sort of business advice would you give, or piece of advice you would give to people that are looking to get into the business?

Mika Matinazad  43:08

Mm hmm. piece of advice, man, there’s, there’s, there’s too many, there’s too many, like pieces of advice out there. You know, filmmaking is a really fun job. You know, it’s, it’s, you, you’re literally on set, just having fun, and everyone’s smiling and cracking jokes. And, you know, it’s not it’s not always like that. But it’s, it’s really great that we get to do this for a living and we don’t have to be behind a desk in the corporate office and having to file papers and stuff like that, like we get to like be on set and hold the camera and put up a light and talk with cool artists and cool brands and things like that.

So the piece of advice that comes to mind is if you’re wanting to get into filmmaking, you need to have agency for sure. Taught I don’t know how to properly say this grammatically, you guys can correct me but you need to have a little bit of agency when it comes to pursuing filmmaking.

Because it it takes hard work and it takes intentional work to really grow in this business. And I think how I’ve gone to grow as a filmmaker or just a freelancer or you know a dp or anything is just every day you wake up you’re you have to go at it. You know whether if it’s your you needing to learn something new whether if it’s you needing to contact 15 producers in town, whether if it’s you need to hit up 10 different brands in the US that you want to work with or if you want to work with a nonprofit, you just have to be very active and just adamant about pursuing the type of work You want to do because no one, no one knocks and tries to hand you work.

That’s something I’ve learned. And if you’re wanting to, you know, kind of reach this level of, you know, quality and standard that you want to set for yourself, like, you have to go and look for those projects and get them done.

So, you know, with filmmaking, I don’t know, you know, in terms of advice, like specific, like, specific advice for different roles that you’re wanting to play, but I guess just from like, a dp director kind of standpoint, like, you have to put stuff out, like, you have to use social media to promote yourself, you have to have a website, you have to have, you know, I don’t know, you have to have content, like you have to post stuff like, I The reason, like the people that I end up working with on a lot of music videos are the people that I last, that I’ve most recently thought of, or met.

So if, you know, if I’m working with a first AC, it’s probably the first AC that I just met last week, just because those are the people that kind of stay on your mind. And it’s the same with social media, it’s like whoever’s work you’ve seen most recently is the person you’re going to think of. So that totally applies with video, or any other creative field is like when you if you’re wanting to grow, you just have to be like, pretty active, and just kind of, you know, be you know, be pursuing it every single day.

Like you have to be passionate about it. And a lot of people are passionate, but they’re just not willing to work hard or put in the time. And I’m sorry, you’re not gonna last. Sorry, it’s just gonna be a part time gig for you. You know. And I take a lot of pride in being able to do this full time and like, I don’t, I don’t want to ever go to another job. Like, I want to do this for the rest of my life. So I’m going to try to keep it you know, and with freelancing, you never know what’s coming next. And that’s why you have to be active, because you never know what’s gonna show up.

Corey Allen  47:05

You have the passion, be prepared to grind. Yes. I think that,

Bill Cornelius  47:11

as we mentioned earlier, it is a it’s a grind, grind. And if you’re not willing to put in to that grind again, totally, you won’t last forever. Yeah,

Mika Matinazad  47:20

I mean, another another way of saying it is, I would say is like, if you have the talent, but you don’t have drive, then, you know, sorry about it. It’s not it’s not gonna work. There’s a lot of people with talent. I mean, even when you think about music, I, I know of a lot of artists that have beautiful music that totally have the potential but because they’re not willing to promote himself or put more music out, like put more content out, like, it’s like, it’s just kind of the world we live in right now. And you have to play the game. So yeah,

Corey Allen  47:53

yeah. Like, just be willing to put anything and everything out into the world. Yeah, exactly.

Bill Cornelius  48:00

And there’s that there’s a fear component to that with people and I’ve known artists, like you mentioned, where it’s like, there is a little bit of a fear component. It’s like they they almost don’t realize how talented they are. Yeah, exactly. I don’t want people to think I suck or comment negatively. Yeah, they’ll hold their stuff back, which ultimately is holding them back from totally moving forward.

Mika Matinazad  48:23

Yeah. And like, it’s just you just never know what’s gonna happen. Like, if you’re on set, just take a little clip of like your setup or like what you’re shooting and people like, love that kind of stuff.

Bill Cornelius  48:33

Oh, yeah.

Corey Allen  48:34

But my, my most liked and shared and bookmarked. social media posts are like the worst behind the scenes like, yeah. Yeah, it’s not, it’s not about the actual content, or the people care about that. But for some reason, like they care more about my camera rig for

Bill Cornelius  48:53

that, like cell phone video. Yeah, on a shoot, or I’m like, going back and forth on the scanner has been my most popular post and like two years for us. Yeah.

Mika Matinazad  49:03

Because people don’t get to see that. Like, if you think about it, people that are looking at that content, you know, not necessarily. I’m not saying that people don’t care about the screenshot from the most recent music video you did, but seeing how it’s made, I would say for a lot of creative things. Like I feel like that’s a little bit more interesting to people then your final product because you when you see the process, you get to appreciate what these people do for a living, you know,

Corey Allen  49:30

yeah, so that’s a great point. Um, are there any I know you talked about the pizza project? I hope it’s, I hope it’s Little Caesars because that’s my favorite. But I’m not gonna say no to that. Either. Any other projects you have coming down the pipeline that you’re excited about? You feel like we should be on the lookout for that you want to share.

Mika Matinazad  49:59

I’m gonna be honest I don’t have any specific projects that I have lined up that I am super stoked on. But I do, I do have two music videos, passion projects that I’m currently working with my wife right now on there in the planning stage, and we’re investing our own money into it, we’re working with two artists that we really believe in and know that their music is gonna take off and know that it has a lot of potential.

And we want to visually be behind them, you know, like, create the visuals they need and get them to the place they need to be. So we’re kind of in the, I guess, in the planning stage right now, and hopefully in the next month or two, like we’ll be shooting those music videos, and I will be sure to hit you guys up and let you know was this things are done.

Corey Allen  50:53

I feel like we need to get Sophie on the podcast here.

Bill Cornelius  50:56

Yeah, sounds like

Mika Matinazad  50:57

I think she would love that. She would really love that she she is a way chatty er person. And really, you will have to like dial the volume down because she she gets so passionate. she yells and it’s it’s amazing. She’s She’s truly wonderful. That’s awesome.

Corey Allen  51:14

Okay, any any, like short narrative work? And almost everything we’ve talked about today? Yeah. Music videos, ad spots? Is that anything that like piques your interest at all? Or anything that you’d like to do at some point? Yeah,

Mika Matinazad  51:28

I would say yes. And no, I, I mean, the reason I got into filmmaking is because of, you know, certain movies that I saw in certain pieces that I like got inspired by from music, like not music video, but directors that I didn’t know about. I’ve definitely shot a few short films or deep eat a few short films with like, Lipscomb students and some other friends, but I just have yet to do something that I’ve, that I think is a full representation of my style and my work.

And I think right now I like really want to nail just music videos and commercials and just nail that process. Because I know, I don’t want to be like 50 in doing music video, you know, like, I definitely want to eventually work my way into documentaries and feature films and like Netflix series, and like that will be the dream. But I think right now, I just want to focus on what’s in front of me with music, videos, and commercials.

And once I feel like I’ve kind of reached my max on that in terms of like, what I can offer, then I will definitely be getting into narrative and short films and things like that. And like not saying that I won’t, I won’t do any a narrative right now. Like if someone comes to me, and they’re like, Hey, I think you would be great for this project. I’ll definitely hop on it and help out as best as I can. But I don’t know, music videos, and commercials kind of suck enough life out of you. I don’t know how people take on a five month or six month feature film. Yeah, that is just

Bill Cornelius  53:17

you won’t talk about a 16 hour

Mika Matinazad  53:19

days. Just constant problem solving I have that’s another level of energy that I don’t think I have right now. I don’t know about you guys. I know you guys. Like are in the short narrative of space and kind of trying to get your own stuff made. And I admire that and I marry that you take the time to do that. Because it’s it’s very scary. It’s very intimidating.

Bill Cornelius  53:45

Well, there’s a bit of being a glutton for punishment when you get into. I say that all the time. I’m like, I’ll finish a film and I’ll be like, you know, I’m gonna take like a three year break. Yeah, like a month a month goes by and I’m like, yeah, I’m ready to get back.

Corey Allen  54:01

This next screenplay. Yeah. Well, I told you I was I was gonna be selfish today. The whole reason? Yes. was starting to build my dream team for the next 48 hour film fests. Oh, yes. That, would you would you be directing? It depends on the crew. I think like, yeah, if we got bill on, Bill, my direct, I don’t know. Well, that’s,

Mika Matinazad  54:26

yeah, I have done. I think I’ve done 248 hour film fests, and they’re crazy. It’s crazy what you can do in 48 hours. Like I think that’s kind of the the conclusion on every 48 hour festival. Yeah, that’s the last line. It’s crazy. What you can do in 48 hours and a big

Bill Cornelius  54:46

recommendation to anybody doing the 48 Do not be a what was the term you used predator? predator? Yeah. What are you produce? Do not be that on a 48. Yeah, that was me on at least to LA And you’re literally the only person in the crew that doesn’t get to sleep. Yeah.

Mika Matinazad  55:06

Yeah, you do. Yeah, man. Well, hey, Cory. That’s a yes for me. Whatever you need me to do.

Corey Allen  55:12

Yes. I mean, I guess that’s a yes. For me to start the roster, Bill you’re in. I wasn’t sure. I didn’t know. Well, I

Bill Cornelius  55:18

don’t It depends, I guess. Right. I guess. It’s like a film. It’s like, I, after I did it, the last time I was like, I’m not gonna do this again. I’m too much. It’s too much. And then, and then I hear about it. And I’m like, you know what?

Corey Allen  55:35

You feel like you’re missing out? Yeah. Yeah. You’re in. I know you’re in. Awesome. All right. Well, we don’t really only have one more thing for you. And yes, a handful of things. It’s our lightning round. Let’s do it. And we still don’t have like a

Bill Cornelius  55:51

lightning round like, yeah, we need to get john Bailey the epic voice guy.

Corey Allen  55:58

Yeah. Anybody? If anybody’s listening? Yeah, you want to produce us a lightning round.

Mika Matinazad  56:03

Or you can go on Fiverr and pay someone in India $10. And they’ll give you a handful of assets, audio assets to use will get the right whatever. Yeah, whatever it takes. All right,

Corey Allen  56:17

here we go. Are you ready? Let’s do it. All right, all time favorite movie.

Mika Matinazad  56:22

Oh, man. This is this is not based on cinematography, or directing or anything. But Hot Rod has always been one of my all time favorite movies. And Nacho Libre like I can watch both of those Nacho Libre. I think Jared Hess is probably one of my favorite film directors.

Bill Cornelius  56:42

I love Napoleon Dynamite

Mika Matinazad  56:44

Napoleon Dynamite. And I don’t know if you guys have seen Don Verdean I think but you should definitely check it out. It’s, it’s it’s a really funny movie. And I would do a really bad job at giving the synopsis for it. But I would recommend everyone watch it.

Corey Allen  57:01

I will link that in the show notes. So you don’t have so

Mika Matinazad  57:03

hot rod and Nacho Libre definitely.

Corey Allen  57:06

Alright, the last movie that you watched

Mika Matinazad  57:08

last movie, I have a really hard time watching an entire movie. as of recently, I tried to stick with series and stuff. But the last full movie I watched was a couple of nights ago and it was actually at and

Bill Cornelius  57:24

that’s my favorite is your favorite dude. So you’re about to

Mika Matinazad  57:28

acting I it’s been a couple years since I watched at in Drew Barrymore is the is the cyst is a little sister. And we Sophia and I just worked on a music video. We tried working, not with kid actors, but we hired people’s kids to be in the movie and not a movie in the music video. And it was a complete nightmare. To get these kids to follow instructions like working

Bill Cornelius  57:54

with animals.

Mika Matinazad  57:56

almost worse, because they would run away like animals, at least you can tie him down and like true, like, okay, stay in here and just give him a treat.

Bill Cornelius  58:05

But you don’t want to tie someone’s kid down. Yeah,

Mika Matinazad  58:07

yeah, I think we’ll be breaking some kind of law with that. But um, yeah, at a huge appreciation, the cinematography is insane. There’s a lot of camera moves in there that I’m like, Damn, this is this is next level stuff. And I just I don’t know why I didn’t recognize that the first time. But that’s it. That’s the most recent movie I saw.

Corey Allen  58:30

That’s great. That’s awesome. extraterrestrial, favorite director,

Mika Matinazad  58:35

favorite director. This is a, this is the person that I kind of got into filmmaking. Because of and because of their work. And that is that director is Solomon. I think his last name is light home or left home. He is a commercial and music video director that’s based out of New York. And he’s like, originally from South Africa. And then he’s live. He lived in London. And he’s just, he just has like this international experience. But he shoots a lot of his stuff on 16 and 35 millimeter film. And it’s just beautiful work. It’s one of some of the most like, beautiful imagery I’ve seen, I think across all and also conceptual. Concept wise, he tackles really interesting, unique concepts that I don’t see many people do so yeah, that is my favorite director.

Corey Allen  59:27

I feel like the fact that he shoots on 16 millimeter film fits your aesthetic. So well.

Mika Matinazad  59:36

Yeah, yeah. No, I love film. I have yet to shoot on 16 or 35. But I will. I will make it it is terrifying. But I think enough people do it. And I’ve seen it on enough films and commercials. And if you just have the right person on set, hopefully Nothing will go wrong. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that’s true.

Corey Allen  59:57

All right, this one this one’s always an interesting question because It leads to a lot of conversation about the lack of appreciation for the the skill or the art but most underrated or slept on cinematographer.

Mika Matinazad  1:00:11

Okay, I so for this question, I don’t have a specific cinematographer in mind. But I do have a photographer, okay. His cinematography is photography, if you’ve ever thought about that. And that photographer is Vivian Meyer, and I don’t know if you guys have seen her work in the past, she is a, she’s a street photographer. That kind of lived in the 40s 50s 60s era. And a lot of her work is in black and white. she did a lot of street photography in New York and Chicago, her imagery is probably some of the most beautiful, like portraits and images that I’ve ever seen in my life.

Her story is also very unique because she, she took photos for over 40 years and did not show a single person. Her like photos like she was she didn’t call her she was a nanny for 40 years. So she whenever she would be taking care of her, you know, her kids, she would be roaming the streets and taking really beautiful images with her little camera. And her work wasn’t really discovered till recently. So I think with her story, and also the quality of work that she has, I think it makes her one of my favorite cinematographers I would say just because like the lighting and the composition of that plays into a lot of the cinematography that like I you know,

Corey Allen  1:01:44

do you have to check her out? Yeah, that makes total sense to you.

Mika Matinazad  1:01:48

But I mean cinematographers men it’s it’s really tough. I mean, give me your favorite cinematographers I guess, when you

Bill Cornelius  1:01:57

got a few. Well, you mentioned et in the center. Yeah, that was Alan dabio. And I love his work with Spielberg in the A Yeah, yeah. Dean Conde who also worked with Spielberg in the 90s on like Jurassic Park. Yes. And hook I think he shot too and stuff like that. There’s there’s like, there’s an aesthetic. Yeah, that’s, that’s similar across. Yes, DPS work. Like the lighting and just kind of the home.

Corey Allen  1:02:28

Yeah, I just I just love asking the question because and we had this dialogue a few episodes ago where you ask him, Are you talking about filmmakers? And people always immediately go to the director. And don’t and don’t always think about the DPS No, or no, yeah, no, no, who the DPS are? Yeah, I know. It’s great.

Bill Cornelius  1:02:50

Like Roger Deakins is like the one he’s like the the Spielberg of DPS. Yes. He’s becoming a household name as the years go on. Totally. But then there’s people like Wally Pfister who did who works with Nolan on everything he shot The Dark Knight was my guy. Yep. Yeah,

Mika Matinazad  1:03:08

he’s amazing. And I was gonna say lubezki who shot The Revenant for Vito. Yeah, and I think that movie, that movie blew my mind was all natural light, all natural light in, I think on on F 12 or 14 millimeter lens, or even wider. You know, where, you know, you’ve seen the BTS and the cameras literally in front of, you know, Leonardo’s face, handheld. And I think that’s like, gorgeous. That’s like eautiful cinematography, because it’s not necessarily traditional. But just you feel

Bill Cornelius  1:03:51

that film though. It’s in your face. Yeah. In the landscape and everything. Men. Gorgeous. Yeah. And speaking of natural light, and we’re calling attention more DPS. Don’t get enough attention. Yeah. Earlier this week, I watched Barry Lyndon which is an old Stanley Kubrick movie from 75. And I only watched it because I heard the cinematography was legendary because that entire film is shot with practical light. Wow, on 35 Wow. takes place in the 1700s Kubrick was like, Look, I don’t want any artificial light in this film. It didn’t exist in the 1700s we’re gonna find a way to shoot by candlelight. Wow. 70s on 35 Oh my goodness. They had to like invent a camera to shoot this film. JOHN Alcott it was the DP. It is beautiful. Beautiful. Like, it lives up to its legendary cinematographer. Wow status. I’m

Corey Allen  1:04:51

gonna have to check that out. Yeah, that is on my list. I’ll be watching that very soon. Nice. All right now for a much lighter topic. topic. Yes, coffee or tea?

Mika Matinazad  1:05:02

Man, coffee, for sure. I love coffee. But I also drink plenty of tea because I feel like coffee kind of destroys your body over time. No, there’s there’s got to be friended now. But I also drink tea every day. But I love coffee like anytime I’m out I need coffee. So coffee and tea both all day, every favorite kind of tea. I would go with jasmine tea. Okay, so floral and tasty. And like I had a iced Jasmine boba tea recently. And it blew my mind. It was it was delicious. I would have to try that. I love some boba was great. I’m also team shy.

Corey Allen  1:05:47

I’m a shy guy.

Mika Matinazad  1:05:48

You’re a chai guy. Oh, I love I love a good good Chai. Or like an indian indian Chai where there’s like milk in it. You know? It’s a good good treat.

Bill Cornelius  1:05:58

I apologize for going down the DP rabbit hole. Going down the tea coffee. Yeah. Okay. All right. Yeah. That’s okay. it’s acceptable. Yeah.

Corey Allen  1:06:09

All right. What about pineapple on pizza?

Mika Matinazad  1:06:12

You know? Ah, man. I think a lot of people think that’s a little psychotic to do that. But I would say I don’t I wouldn’t order pineapple on pizza. But if I’m hungry enough, I’ll eat pineapple on pizza. I don’t I don’t I don’t give a hoot it’s not that big of a deal.

Bill Cornelius  1:06:32

I was I was Yeah, like indifference.

Mika Matinazad  1:06:34

Yeah, if it’s if someone shows up with pineapple on the pizza, like I’m not gonna give them shit like just

Corey Allen  1:06:40

Are you gonna Are you gonna question their decision making skills though?

Mika Matinazad  1:06:43

I yeah, obviously I don’t trust that person. Because they’ve clearly proved proven something that did I didn’t know was there but you know, you know you just have to sometimes accept people for who they are. And not what you want them to be Corey so open minded. Yeah, be open minded and eat the pizza with pineapple is here

Bill Cornelius  1:07:02

today for those listening for his eyes got very large.

Mika Matinazad  1:07:07

Man, have you? I mean, have you is has that always been true for you with the pineapple? Yeah, I’m

Corey Allen  1:07:12

not it’s just I don’t know. That doesn’t see my end.

Bill Cornelius  1:07:15

You gave the quickest know when we did your lightning round. You know? Yeah, yeah. No, I’m just out in the trash is what you said

Corey Allen  1:07:22

that it doesn’t. That doesn’t appeal to me.

Mika Matinazad  1:07:24

The thing is that when you have the ham, it kind of helps offset that. You know, I agree with pineapple. But I mean, with enough hot sauce. You can make any pizza tastes good. Right? So yes, you just kind of opt out for that. Yeah. Hot sauce and pineapple hot.

Bill Cornelius  1:07:42

That’s quite a common a lot of Yeah, a lot of acid there. Yeah.

Corey Allen  1:07:49

Alright, Mika favorite camera.

Mika Matinazad  1:07:51

Favorite camera. I would definitely say right now the mini lF is my favorite camera. But I mean, a good solid Eri cam, lt or air reflex? 435. Both of those are 35 millimeter cameras. And I think they’re the most beautiful cameras and anything that I’ve seen have been shot on those cameras. I’ve just like you can’t shoot anything bad on those cameras, basically. But from a digital standpoint, a mini lf I think right now is kind of the standard. I don’t know. What do I you guys?

Corey Allen  1:08:30

I mean, I’m obviously a big red fanboy. Yeah, you’re in the ecosystem. I yeah, so you bought into the ecosystem easy for me to want to continue to that?

Bill Cornelius  1:08:40

Yeah, I’ve joined Team Red as well. Yeah. What do you have for years? I I use Corey is gear like I have found that. Yeah. Buying cameras is a depreciating thing. Especially if you’re not renting. And yeah, I have not bought my own camera in like five or six years now because because every time I show up to set on a gig using somebody else’s Yeah, that’s that’s already there. You know, so that’s that’s what I roll with now. So now get that invest in like, stuff to help me shoot on someone else’s camera. Yeah, yeah, that’s kind of cam No,

Mika Matinazad  1:09:16

I hear you, don’t get me wrong, I love me a red camera, I have nothing against red. Definitely different looks between airy and red. And I appreciate both of them equally, and they’re great for different types of shoots.

Corey Allen  1:09:29

Yeah, absolutely. I agree. Alright, three films everyone should see before they die.

Mika Matinazad  1:09:35

Okay, three films. I I have six films, but three films from, I would say in two categories in terms of healthy work life balance, and just being a good human being. I would say inside out is a great movie if you’re trying to be self aware of your emotions and your mental health and soul which is another great movie that one Dad loves this animated film this year. And so I would say those those are great if you’re trying to have a good mental health check because I think especially for males in this industry, we don’t really check our feelings or emotions and our mental health because it’s a really stressful job. But the other three I would say pretty much any movie that Al Pacino isn’t so the the Godfather movies, the series. Donnie Brasco, Scarface.

Bill Cornelius  1:10:37

I watched the Irishman recently.

Mika Matinazad  1:10:40

Yeah. I just every time I see anything with him, I’m just amazed at how incredible of an actor he is. And also just the cinematography is just beautiful in all those movies. Yeah, so the Godfather movies, but also a thing like movies like this is really, like sad and depressing. But movies like Schindler’s List and the pianist are just shot really well and really beautifully and really intentionally in the storytelling. combination with the lighting, and the medium of like film also just kind of really makes those movies coming.

Corey Allen  1:11:19

You know, movies like that Do a good job of telling the story they intend to tell through right through all of that combined.

Bill Cornelius  1:11:25

Now the DP shout out for Schindler’s List. Janusz Kaminski, yeah. Who Spielberg exclusively works well. Yeah, there’s less, I think, yeah, it’s beautiful.

Mika Matinazad  1:11:35

Yeah, there’s just a series, like, there’s images from that movie that just never leave my head that just kind of stick in your head for the rest of your life. And I think that’s really cool. If you get to do that, because there’s millions of movies out there, you know. So, yeah, those are kind of my movies that I think, come to mind. I mean, I probably have a list somewhere in my notes with like, 30 favorite movies, but those kind of come to mind. Quickly.

Corey Allen  1:12:00

That’s great. Those are all good ones.

Bill Cornelius  1:12:02

Yeah. Thanks. Oh, yeah,

Corey Allen  1:12:03

I loved so.

Bill Cornelius  1:12:05

That’s the only one I haven’t seen of your list. Yeah. I mean, you gotta watch it. Yeah,

Corey Allen  1:12:09

you have to watch it. It’s so good. It was surprisingly really good.

Mika Matinazad  1:12:13

And yeah, it all it’s, it also takes you to another level of just what do you call it? Just like another dimension, I guess of our existence? That definitely other animated movie? Yeah. It really makes you rethink your life.

Bill Cornelius  1:12:35

Yeah, that’s and that’s how I felt about it. Yeah. This was written by an adult who’s gone through therapy. Yeah. For adults that need therapy. Exactly. It’s not

Mika Matinazad  1:12:44

like a kids. It’s an adult. Yeah, surely. Yeah. So whoever’s listening, if you haven’t seen this,

Corey Allen  1:12:51

check them out. You need to check them out. Awesome. Well, Mika, thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to catch up guys. Share, I will leave links to all of your things in the show notes, please do assets,

Mika Matinazad  1:13:06

Instagram, whatever and whoever’s listening to this, whatever you guys need help with if you have questions, if I said something that made no sense. Like, literally send me an email, or DM me on Instagram or whatever, you can add him. And yeah, add me and add in podcast, and in in between podcasts in. We’ll get something figured out.

Corey Allen  1:13:30

Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Well, thank you again. And for our listeners, we know you have a lot of podcast options, and we appreciate you choosing us. Check us out on Instagram at @infocuspod

Mika Matinazad  1:13:40

infocus I said in between screw me

Corey Allen  1:13:43

No you’re good at infocuspodcast.com. To learn more about today’s sponsor gnome studios. You can find them online at gnomestudios.co or on Instagram at @gnomestudios. gnome studios is located in a centuries old warehouse just outside of downtown Nashville and is an amazing full service recording studio. Check them out for your next project. And if you liked what you heard today, go ahead and subscribe. And if you’re on Apple podcast, please leave us a rating that would help us out a ton.

Bill Cornelius  1:14:12


Corey Allen  1:14:13

and until next time,

Bill Cornelius  1:14:14

feed your crew.

Mika Matinazad  1:14:16

Feed them Hawaiian pizza.