We had the good fortune of connecting with Russell Kawaguchi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Russell, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
The idea of being able to create something new with every project was appealing to me. I didn’t want to be checking off the same tasks everyday over and over. I enjoy creating unique projects with other creative people and that collaboration is something I feel like can’t be found in the same way. For some reason I guess I like forcing myself to think in different ways, trying to gain new perspectives and appeal to different audiences with each project.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
It’s been what feels like a long journey, but I hope this is still just the beginning of it. Started out of college with the opportunity of a life time to work with NFL Films. I learned more than I could ever imagine with not just the professional way of handling gear or how to setup the lights and camera, but also with set etiquette and being humble with each and every opportunity I get. From there I’ve been fortunate to work with so many different filmmakers and artists. Jeff Perreca has given me the chance to be his cinematographer on a countless number of projects. I’ve worked with Penny Lee and her Foreground Studios to shoot music videos and documentaries. Marri Caballero and I have produced photos and videos from interviews to product videos and promos. And hopefully the opportunities continue to present themselves.
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?
For me that itinerary would be very calm and relaxing and food based. Always gotta try out new food places since there are so many out here. Yuca’s in Los Feliz is good, Ave 26 tacos in Little Tokyo, Totoyama in Hollywood, and Bulgogi Hut are always solid ones to go to. And then since I’m from Orange County, there’s a whole other array of options down there. We’ll hit up the beaches around Newport. Disneyland is always a good stop. Some more great food there too. And why not end the day with a good time at Golden Road Brewery either in LA or OC.
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?
I’ve had so much support from the people in my lives. Working from project to project, you meet a lot of different people and every one of them has taught me something or brought new opportunities into my life. While I sometimes don’t get to work with those same people consecutively, it brings new perspectives and individuals into my life that I can continue to learn from. And it’s always a pleasure seeing a familiar face on set and getting a chance to work with them again.
Marri Caballero Sofia Ayerdi