We had the good fortune of connecting with Nick Mahar and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nick, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
There are a few lessons that i try to instill in everyone that will lead to success. First is very simple, be a good person. Check your ego at the door, treat people with respect, especially PAs. Secondly work your ass off. Nothing is going to be handed to you and even if you blow up or have some great success in one moment, doesn’t mean it will last. Everything good comes to an end so don’t burn those bridges and continue working hard. Lastly its perseverance. This is one of the most important lessons i can’t emphasize enough. If you’ve ever had a boss or seen someone in charge that clearly shouldn’t be or doesn’t know what they are doing it’s because they didn’t give up. People that are talented doubt themselves too much and a lot of successful people have too much confidence that they can’t back up but that still gets them places. So no matter who you are never give up. You will have more failures than you will success and that is normal for everyone. The flip side is conveyed best in a quote by Jim Carrey. “You can fail at something you don’t want to do so why not try at something you want to do.” I think about that every day and remind myself that i could have a much worse job.
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.
I’m a cinematographer and a lot of people I know are either technical or very creative but a lot don’t understand the full process of filmmaking. To me thats key to doing my job to the best of my ability. Having conversations with every department and understanding the pipeline from pre to post is only going to elevate the final piece. I’ve been shooting since I was 6 years old and had my dads DV camcorder. To say it was easy would be a lie. There have been a lot of ups and downs. Failures, broken relationships, everything. But it has all been worth it. The key is having a great support group of friends and family to lift you back up and having the confidence in yourself persevere. Being versatile is also a huge assets in todays fast pace world and that has only been a positive for me. Getting to work on huge commercials and music videos to small passion project with a couple of friends is all part of the journey. I want people to know that if you want something, you can work hard to go out and get it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If someone was visiting LA we would of course do the theme parks. Disneyland and Universal is a must. The LA times taco crawl is also a ball if you love food and want to explore the city. Outside of that it’s usually other local food spots i love in SoCal, the beach, and some beautiful hikes. 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 I have to shoutout my beautiful, talented, boss of a wife Gillian. She is not only a badass producer/writer, she is doing all while pregnant with our twin girls. Then i have to shout out my family who have always supported me through everything. And lastly my friends, mentors, colleagues who have supported me, introduced me, and more to help me through my career.
All photos were taken by me, Nick Mahar