We had the good fortune of connecting with Myles Matsuno and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Myles, is there something you believe many others might not?
That you don’t always need to have a plan in place and set milestones/goals to hit along the way in both business and artistic endeavors.
It’s always great to have a vision. That’s needed. But you need to also be flexible.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work is heavily focused on meaningful stories that carry out strong messages through visual aesthetics and storytelling. Most things I work on come down to moments and inspiration. I love human connection, those who came before us, and emotions and you can see that in my work. I’m proud of the company I built and the team that has surrounded me through the years from feature film making to commercial work. Three projects that come to mind are “Ella”, a short film I made in 2011, “Christmas in July”, a feature that was released theatrically this year in select cities and now available on digital, and my family documentary titled “First to Go: Story of the Kataoka Family”, which focuses on my families story being interned in the Japanese Internment Camps during WWII. All three have taught me different lessons in life that I will never forget. Making art, not only teaches you how to do the work, but also teaches you patience and persistence. It’s never easy making films, but when you finish up the work and you see an audience member really connect (or even yourself after years of making it) that’s something truly special. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in making films and content is why wait? I spent many years waiting for someone to tell me it’s ok to do something. Waiting for someone to tell me that the story I want to tell matters and give me the green light. No one can give you a green light faster than yourself. Yes, money plays a role, but write something that doesn’t cost much. Take initiative and take the steps to try to make it happen. Sure, it will be scary. You might fail. You might not. You most likely won’t hit a home run on your first step up to bat. But you might get to first base. And that’s still a hit. And that’s how my story and brand started. I had a vision and just went for it. I made it to first.
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?
Oh gosh… Growing up in Eagle Rock (East LA) there’s so many things I never did because LA was my home. I recently saw a book that said, “Top things to do in Los Angeles” and I went through it and I think I only did maybe 4 of them. I would give 3 days for the usual touristy stuff. Hollywood. Universal. Malibu. Santa Monica. A trip to Disneyland. Things like that. I would tell them to experience the culture. Pop into the mom and pop stores and food places. Chase down those bacon wrapped hot dogs with too much mayo when you walk outside an event or down the street one late night (They’re delicious if you like that sort of thing). Go get some amazing Chinese and Thai food. Go to the Huntington Library Museum and sip on some wine, while browsing art. Go to the Hotel Cafe and see some amazing artists. Sing Karaoke in Koreatown and get some late night tacos after. If it’s winter, go snowboarding during the day in Big Bear or Arrowhead and drive down to the beach and have a bon fire after. There’s so much to do and so much to see. Embrace yourself in the culture. The diversity in Los Angeles is a rare gem. It’s one of the things that make it extremely special.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My wife, son, father, mother, sisters, brothers, and some of my best friends who stood by me through the years. My community at Mercy Town. And lastly, every person who has influenced or impacted me with your stories, laughter, tears, and courage. Thank you 🙂
Mark Mitchell, Jonathan Smith, Myles Matsuno