We had the good fortune of connecting with Matteo Martignago and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Matteo, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Since I was little I have always been in love with Photography. I am pretty sure my mother, as a photographer herself, influenced me and made me passionate about it. She gave me my first analog camera when I was 7 years old and since then I have always gone around with it, trying to capture as many moments as possible. It was until high school when I started to get really passionate about filmmaking and cinematography particularly and really thought about it as a possible career path. I have always loved the power, thought cinematography, to create realities that only exist in our minds. There is no limit in creativity when it comes to filmmaking. I love the fact that in every project I do, I never know what to expect. It is always a different story, a different environment and it never gets boring.
This is what made me choose to pursue a career as cinematographer. The ability to tell an unlimited amount of stories, each one different from the other.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Being a Director of Photography is very challenging, especially at the beginning of your career. That is the moment when you need to build relationships and portfolio. I have always been of the idea that working hard during pre production with all the departments, studying lighting schemes, blocking, working with the Production Designer and wardrobe etc.. set everybody up for success during production. This might be considered the aspects that sets me apart. I have always been a big promoter of working hard in pre production to have a more efficient set during the production days. It definitely wasn’t easy and required some time. Once of the most important factor in this industry is networking, knowing people. Productions spend so much money into making a movie that is very rare they will pick a random DP nobody knows to work with. They want assurance that the person they are going to work with will delivery a great product, otherwise the chance of losing money and time is too high.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I have always loved road trips, so probably after a couple of days in Los Angeles I would plan a route to visit several other places in California. In Los Angeles I would probably visit the Getty Museum as well as the Academy museum (that will be opening soon). Then I would go to Santa Monica and then Malibu, eating at the Malibu Farm on the Pier. Then I would probably go to a drive in to see a movie and Da Michele in Hollywood for a good Italian pizza and wine.

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?
Throughout my career so far, I have met several people that I consider as mentors and came across several books as well that guided me in the first years as cinematographer. I think that one of the most important people that played a fundamental role in my growth as a Director of Photography is Suki Medencevic. We first met during my college years and I was always impressed by the way he explains things and the passion he has for the craft. I have always consulted with him for every important job I have done and he has always been available to help me out either on some technical aspects as well as general things about our profession.
For this I have always considered him a mentor and still nowadays despite the difficult times, we still get in touch to catch up about everything.

Website: https://www.matteomartignago.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/matteomartignago/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matteo-martignago/

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