We had the good fortune of connecting with Matt Richardson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Matt, why did you pursue a creative career?
I need to create. I remember growing up in an isolated environment, and the traditional all-American Texas school was not stimulating for me. Sports was somewhat of a relief, but there was something missing. I also found an outlet in FFA, raising and training animals. I was drawn to nature first, then pop culture and the arts. I’ve got a lot of energy and not just on the creative side of producing but the business side too.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My creative journey started with the strong desire to start a Latin House/Afro Cuban Dance label called Vuja De (2001) which was one of ten dance labels picked up by Lakeshore Entertainment (RunRecordings now called Lakeshore Records). I had to learn pretty quickly how to operate a label, book DJs and nights in Hollywood, West Hollywood and Santa Monica with label partner Lenny Reid.
While running the label, I began producing electronica/dance music, which led to producing music videos for myself and other artists.
The first documentary I produced was for Sebastien Lagree called “Future of Fitness: How Technology is Re-shaping the Human Body”. It was an incredible experience because it caught on so quickly with fitness innovators wanting to be a part of it. That was rewarding to be a a part of its completion from beginning to end.
I’m currently in post on a second documentary about photographer Jean-Paul Bourdier and producing a second short film with Italian writer/director Theo Francocci.
Producing is all about overcoming challenges and learning to pivot when need be. You have to be willing to learn from every project. You’ve got to leave the ego at home when collaborating with a team. It’s the only way. There’s never enough money, so you learn to be resourceful with what you have and to be practical.
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?
Well, if family or friends come to visit from out of town we’d have to do all the cool hikes starting with Griffith Park, have a coffee at The Trails and then hike up to the Observatory, check out the exhibits and probably have lunch there and hike back down.
A day at the museums is a must, and if it’s summer then we’d hit the free jazz on Friday night and have dinner at Ray’s at the LACMA.
I would check out is playing at The Greek, and head there for a concert after dinner at Figaro Bistro, have sushi at Yamashiro because it’s a pretty cool tourist-y view and then head to the Bowl.
New Filmmakers LA is a wonderful monthly film festival and I’d take them to the AT&T Theatre downtown. It’s a great event and a fun evening. Free drinks and food.
Of course we always have to head to the beach so we’d work our way from Venice Beach to Santa Monica and the pier and then Geoffrey’s Malibu for dinner.
For the last night, I’d hit downtown – either at Kendall’s Brasserie and then off to a play at the Mark Taper Forum, The Ahmanson theatre, Walt Disney Hall , the RedCat or just chill at the rooftop at the Standard Hotel downtown.
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?
First, my current collaborators – Theo Francocci, a writer/director I’ve partnered with on several projects, Sepand Samsadeh (music collaborator and E.P.) Executive Producer Craig Bernard, with whom we are developing a docu-series. I’m also developing a feature written by writer/director Clarissa Jacobson who is a never-ending source of creative energy and ideas. My wife Persephone Godwin co-founded our production company Pele Pictures LLC and we work side by side on film and music projects.
Finally – my family has always been supportive and involved. My mom, my sister Tracy Richardson – a talented artist who has worked with me on many sets, and my brother Scott Richardson who has financed several projects.
Michael J. Gonzales (Headshot) & (Logo) Copyright Pele Pictures LLC