Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Close Up Interview with Film Editor & Photographer Matthew Poletto

"You’ve got to believe 100% that you could eventually get to that point in your life, in which that passion becomes your life. You have got to live it, breath it, feel it and love it"
                                                               - Matthew Poletto

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
My name is Matt Poletto and I am 31 years old, born and raised in a little town outside of Rochester, NY, called Fairport. After attending Penn State University and graduating as a film major, I moved out to Los Angeles to start my career. Just recently, I have been promoted to the position of Technology Producer/Operations Manager for all of our companies located in LA, NY and London. Our company is called Nomad Editing Company Inc. I started off at Nomad as the receptionist, moved my way into client services, then the tape vault for two years, and then was an assistant editor for five plus years before becoming lead senior assistant editor. I have been happily employed for close to 8 years at the same company and have loved every minute.

In Action at The Formula One 2011, Melbourne

Who (or what) inspires you to do what you love in your own creative business?
What inspires me to do what I love is the idea that I am capturing a beautiful moment in time that will be preserved forever, not only for myself to enjoy but the rest of the world.  

Where do you get your inspiration from when you are taking photograph?
When taking my photographs, I get my inspiration from seeing other photographs from other photographers and the drive to take just as good a picture as they do. That drive to achieve almost utter and complete perfection in making that photograph the best it can be gives me inspiration.

What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?
Happy, friendly, caring, trustworthy and dependable.

"Three Sister"- Blue Mountain

Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?
My very fist job was working the night shift, 8pm to 5am, as a tape dubber. It was for a reality television show that shot during the day and needed tape duplication at night, so editors the next day could start in on the edit, producers get their screening footage, etc. Great company and great people to work for but I couldn’t handle the hours. I started job searching and that lead me to be interviewed at Nomad Editing and I haven’t looked back since.
Describe a typical day in your studio space?
Currently, I do not have a studio per se but more of just a nice computer desk where I process all my photos after a shoot. If I were to be fortunate enough to have photography become my line of work, a typical day would probably consist of photo tweaking, backing up my photo library, looking for the next nice lens I want to buy or on the phone or web planning my next big photo trip.


As a photographer, what is your biggest frustration?
My biggest frustration as a photographer is when the lighting just isn’t what it needs to be to get the perfect shot. Overcast days, rain, haze, etc. just gum it all up and make for so-so photos. And when you have a limited time while out and about travelling to take photos, have a packed schedule/itinerary and can’t sit there all day, you are really at the mercy of Mother Nature.

Tell us about how you prioritise your work.
I have a way of figuring out what is the most important task at hand that needs to get done ASAP. I usually just type it down in one of those organizational software programs and my brain somehow just knows what needs to get done before other tasks. Somehow in the end everything gets done and usually without too much stress. At some points, it’s almost a little OCD with my level of organization on tasks, but it helps me focus on the bigger picture (hah, get it, bigger picture? Sorry, bad photography joke).

Working on Formula One 2011 Melbourne

Can you please tell us about how do you connect with other artists, and your customers (i.e. how do you network)?
Currently at the moment, just in my field of work in the commercial editing world, a lot of us are creative or else we wouldn’t be in this line of work. We have our day job that’s somewhat creative and then on the side, we follow our passion. A lot of us in this field have camera gear and love taking photos, so that is the only area right now that I connect with other artists. As for customers, my hope is to take my passion to another level, not as just something on the side I do when I find the time, but something I can make a living from. Connecting with customers would probably start off through Facebook, blogs and a website, and eventually to the next level of exhibitions where you see your customers face-to-face.

What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out and following their passions?
Well, for me who is also somewhat starting off down this path, all I can say is follow your passions with everything you’ve got in you. If it’s not a true passion and you don’t give it your all, it will be readily apparent from the start. It will be a waste of your time and others’. You’ve got to believe 100% that you could eventually get to that point in your life, in which that passion becomes your life. You have got to live it, breath it, feel it and love it.

Green Lizard- Maui

What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life?
As mentioned above, the dream I still want to achieve and fulfil in my life is to become a photographer, traveling the world to take photos.

What is your proudest moment so far?
While there are a lot of photos I have taken I have been really proud of, the proudest moment so far for me is meeting up with Vinh and Stuart while on my vacation to Australia and showing them my photos. While family will always love what you do, regardless most of the time how good it is, and friends will somewhat be the same way, until you get an outside eye to look at your work, you would never know if your work is good enough. And in my line of work, people in my field already expect photos or videos or anything else we work on to be at that level, so to them, your work is just that. After hearing feedback from Vinh and Stuart about my photos and the idea of actually pursuing that passion as a career, I was really taken back. I never really thought that was a possibility and now, with Vinh and Stu’s help, I hope one day my dream comes true.

Matthew & Family

Who do you most want to meet and why?
Another passion of mine is anything car related, especially Formula 1 racing. While this is also a passion, this unfortunately won’t be a path I am pursuing (don’t have that skill to drive at that level or the money to get into that high level world of racing). I have been an avid fan of Formula 1 for the last 10 plus years and would give anything to sit down with Michael Schumacher, just to talk with him about his career, cars, races, life in general, etc. He’s probably one of, if not the best race car drivers, we’ll ever see in the last 100 years.

Formula One 2011- Melbourne

What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?
The most important lesson in life that I have learned is to follow what your heart and gut are telling you. Some of the biggest choices I have made in my life have been from that gut feeling you get but just can’t explain. All of those choices have lead me down the path to where I am at right now and the eventual running into Vinh and Stuart, which has literally been a life-changer for me in regards to my passion for photography.

What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?
Right now, I am currently reading a fascinating book called “Amexica: War Along the Borderline” by Ed Vulliamy, which details in depth the horrific and terrifying world of the drug cartels in Mexico along the border of the U.S. over the last 100 years. It’s one thing to know in the back of your mind that a lot of people are killed each year in Mexico due to the drug trade but it’s another to read statistic after statistic, story after story, with people’s names attached. This is an absolutely eye-opening book that everyone should read! I highly recommend this book but only if you can stomach the gruesome facts and details of this horrible drug war.

Deers on the field

Where do we find you and your your work?
Currently, I am in the process of starting a Facebook page dedicated to all my photography. The next step is to start up a blog, my own website and start publishing some of my photos in photo books sold online at places like Blurb.com After that, who knows. Maybe one day you’ll see my photos in an exhibition.

Lake Wakitapu

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