We had the good fortune of connecting with Morvarid Reyes Talebzadeh and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Morvarid, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?

Every day is full of new opportunities, I decided to be open to being wrong. This single decision enabled me to stay curious and examine concepts that were different from the ones I was already convinced of. I choose curiosity when I get up and make sure I don’t miss any opportunities that “being right” will undoubtedly make me miss. When we admit what we don’t know, it increases the chance that someone who does know will offer to help.

The largest hurdle each entrepreneur encounters, in my opinion, is ignorance due to inexperience. Allowing myself to be wrong has saved me numerous times. Being a cinematographer entails a creative process with many heads of departments, from director to producer designers, during pre-pro and post-production, or when confronted with difficult challenges on set, quality consultation and acceptance of different opinions is always key to a good outcome.

Another significant decision I’ve made is to never give up. I could have given up numerous times, some as early as college when my photography career was just getting started. I worked my way up through the film industry, picking up and restarting my business in numerous countries and continents (from Thailand to Colombia) before settling in Los Angeles. I now have a fantastic hobby working as a cinematographer as a result of sticking to my goals and evolving as I go.

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 side was born out of a search for a place in the industry, I’ve always been bouncing around different countries. There’s always a challenge in how to approach and tell a story, whether it’s a narrative film, documentary, or commercial campaign; I rarely have this level of calm, and producing art has always been a wonderful method for me to de-stress. One of the characteristics that distinguish me from other artists is my ingenuity and insatiable desire to learn new strategies for telling stories. That brings me a lot of joy. My capacity to adjust and pivot, as well as my ability to learn quickly from my mistakes, is something I am most proud of.

No path is easy, my uncle used to say: “Impossible is Impossible”. Everything is possible with determination, confidence, and thick skin. As I’ve progressed in my career as an artist, I’ve learned that our creative essence deserves to be safeguarded. I needed to carve out time to properly hear my voice as an artist. I want to protect my right to concentrate on how it feels and to communicate and articulate my feelings about it. Wherever possible, I feel it is more vital to experiment with your own rules rather than following someone else’s.

It’s easy to get discouraged by looking at what others are doing, but there’s no stopping you when you focus on your mission and the things you actually desire for yourself. Remove all distractions, reconnect with yourself, and do what you do best. Unapologetically.

The film industry is built on self-mythologizing, on fabricating incredible stories about anyone being plucked from anonymity and immortalized on screen. Although visibility is improving, the structural dynamics that influence what airs on television, who is employed, and what stories are told still need to change. More people in positions of authority who don’t all look the same are needed, and I believe we still have a long way to go in terms of that kind of representation. Things need to be shaken up for they to change. My art is merely one of many ways in which I express myself.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
LA and its surrounding areas have great places for outdoor activities with lots of parks and biking trails, cool places to walk around and grab a bite from many restaurants this city offers.

On a nice day, you can also go snowboarding, surfing, or hiking. When I do go outside, It’s great to be around fun people, which can be anyone. I’ll make sure we have a good time wherever I am and with whomever I am.

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 are so many, but my family is the first that comes to mind. My parents and sisters provide me with constant support on a daily basis, and I would not be where I am today without them. They always encouraged me and have been my biggest supporters since the beginning. Never questioned my ambitions to run my early photography business and eventually become a cinematographer, and always pushed me to do my best. My sisters have always been there to give me candid advice and to encourage me. Last but not least, I have so many amazing friends, producers, directors, and others who are a huge source of support for my endeavours. Teamwork it’s an important asset, the better you collaborate, the greater your chance for a successful film.

I would definitely like to give a shout-out to all the people that stood up for me when I was just getting started. I was 16 years old, alone in a new country, and inexperienced. I would never have been able to turn my job into a hobby that I enjoy if it hadn’t been for those first few clients who believed in me.

I’d like to dedicate a special thanks to my friend Pete Antico, a director/producer in Los Angeles, who support me with absolute detachment. Thank you so much for your help during those challenging times. His help has been invaluable; I sincerely appreciate his kindness.

I’d also like to thank Mary Darling, an incredible director & producer from Canada. Her willingness to help out wherever there is a need is highly appreciated. That kind of example and dedication will help me reach my full potential. Thank you for having faith in me.

Website: www.morfilms.net

Instagram: @morfilms

Twitter: @r_morvarid

Image Credits
Photos from the film GUILLOTINE, Directed by Ray Izad-Mehr. Los Angeles 2021 Cinematographer and Camera Operator: Morvarid Reyes Talebzadeh. Photos by: Sylvia J. Les Cheveux

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