We had the good fortune of connecting with Hovig Kazandjian and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hovig, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Two of the most vivid memories I have from my childhood are playing with legos and listening to stories my grandmother would tell me about my grandfathers journey through the Beirut civil war. Two things that are very different from one another, but both involved some sort of storytelling. I spent hours of my day building lego worlds, creating characters and playing out my own stories. On the other hand, hearing stories about my grandfather and seeing old photos made my brain work in other ways. I’d always wonder what he was like, how his voice sounded, what his cologne smelled like. I’d hear these crazy stories of his experiences and I’d spend so much time creating this visual in my head and playing out those stories. I never met him in person, but I have met a version of him through the scenes I envisioned in my head. These two things kind of always reassured me that I really wanted to be some sort of visual storyteller when I grew up. I loved stories and I wanted to tell them too!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I love people, I love life and I love people’s individual journeys. I think that’s why I slowly moved into the documentary space. Watching a human story come together visually is the most exciting thing and I think my passion to create that connection between the subject and the audience is what makes me enjoy what I do. One thing I learned as I grew older was that as a creative, you need to just keep creating until you develop your own voice and style. When I was a kid, I always wanted to be some big director like Steven Spielberg. The further I got in my career and the more I got older, I realized that I’d never be Steven Spielberg, but at the same time, Steven Spielberg would never be me. I’m still a long ways from where I’d like to be, but I think I’ve come this far by honestly just getting lucky. Having said this, I also believe you need to be able to recognize when that luck comes and be prepared to take advantage of that luck. I never went to film school but I read a lot of film theory books, watched a lot of movies and played with a lot of camera’s. I said yes to jobs I had to still learn how to do and then I learned how to do them. Getting lucky is the easy part but it’s preparing for when that luck comes that get’s tricky.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
What I love about living in Los Angeles is that it’s a melting pot of so many different cultures and experiences. A week of exploring LA would consist of a plethora of different food. Anywhere from my favorite hole in the wall empanada shack to my favorite Lebanese restaurant. You also can’t forget the endless LA tacos. Then there’s the beautiful museums. My favorite is the Gene Autry museum. It’s the one I’d always go to with my mom when I was a kid. Lastly, something I learned to appreciate from friends who aren’t from LA is that fact that you can see the mountains and the beach from the same spot. I love camping and there’s a lot of beautiful camping in LA. You can camp on the beach, in the dessert and in the mountains so that’s definitely on the itinerary.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There’s a lot of special people in my life who’ve encouraged and supported me on my journey to wherever it is I’m headed but the two people who have had the strongest impact on my career and life are my mom and my older sister. My appreciation for art really came from my mom. Growing up, she was the one to always expose me to new music, take me to movies, show me art, food, different cultures, etc… I’d say this always kept me feeling inspired as I grew up. My older sister, on the other hand, has been a mentor, a best friend and my backbone as I’ve navigated the creative world professionally. She was the first creative professional in our family and I’ve learned so much watching her journey.
Other: MIASEEN Inc. www.instagram.com/miaseen_inc
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