Cinematographer and photographer Matteo Martignago is not only an amazing artist but an exceptional human being that uses his craft to educate and inspire others. His ambition and drive are truly encouraging as many can see from his life experience. Enjoy!

Warlock Asylum: Thanks for taking the time to share some of your insights about your work with our readers today. Please introduce yourself. Who is Matteo Martignago?

Matteo Martignago: First of all, thank you for contacting me for this interview. I am a Director of Photography born and raised in Rome, Italy now based in Los Angeles, California.

I started my career as DP back in Italy where I used to work mostly on commercials, music videos, and short films. I transitioned and focused more on movies a little bit later on in my career right before moving to Los Angeles. Since I moved to California, I shifted my focus to narrative films, TV shows, and commercials for the most part. Right now, I am working on different projects, prepping a Tv pilot, and getting everything ready for this year’s event of Ruthless Film Awards which was founded by one of my dearest friends and colleague, Emanuele Daga, and myself.

Warlock Asylum: What was your environment like during your childhood years and how did it shape your perspective of the world as an adult?

Matteo Martignago: Since I was little, I have always been fascinated by photography, maybe because my mother, as a photographer herself, transmitted this passion to me, or maybe I was just fascinated by being able to capture any moment at any time. I consider myself really lucky because since I was young, up until now, I have always had constructive support from my parents and I know how rare that is especially when deciding to pursue a career in such an industry.

Warlock Asylum: What inspired you to get involved in film and the visual arts?

Matteo Martignago: This is a tricky question because my inspirations evolved as I grew up. In the beginning, it was definitely my mother since she guided and introduced me to photography. As I discovered filmmaking in High School, I started to learn more about Directors of Photography and since then I started to study some of my favorite movies at the time. One of my all-time favorite movies is definitely “Fargo” by Cohen Brothers and photographed by Roger Deakins. This process of analyzing and studying cinematography in these movies, made me fall in love with this art more every day.

Warlock Asylum: In what ways do you find the worlds of film and photography to be both different and similar?

Matteo Martignago: As a Director of Photography, I think that having a basic understanding of photography and in particular framing, has a deep impact on a DP work. In photography, you have one frame to tell a story, and the way you structure that frame and its composition are two of the most important tools in a photographer’s bag to convey the right emotions. This is why I really believe that to be a great DP you should understand photography as well and practice it as much as you can.

Warlock Asylum: What were some of the obstacles that you had to overcome in order to make your career in film and photography possible?

Matteo Martignago: I have always been a really introverted person and I can say that it was the biggest obstacle I had to overcome in order to succeed in this industry. Connections and relationships are key in the film industry and, in the beginning, I had to force myself to start discussions, talk to people and introduce myself to as many people as possible. Over time it became more natural for me to do that and nowadays if you ask around, I am known as the one that talks a lot!

Warlock Asylum: Over the past two years, you’ve done quite a bit of work with narrative films, commercials, and even some music videos like Goes Down by Zach Wolf? What facet of work do you enjoy the most?

Matteo Martignago: Yes, in these past years I have been working on several projects, ranging from narrative films and documentaries to music videos and commercials. But the type of project that I enjoy the most and that I am focusing on more at the moment is definitely Narrative films and Commercials. I have the most fun working on them because I get to experiment with lights and camera moments in a different way for every project.

Warlock Asylum: What are some of the life lessons that you have learned through film and photography?

Matteo Martignago: Being on set and working as Director of Photography made me understand the importance of politics. I would have never thought that being a Director of Photography would have required such skill. I found myself often in the position of managing people of different departments and the relationship between them in order to avoid misunderstandings or start unnecessary conflicts. I found out that as Director of Photography is important to manage and overlook everything because if something goes wrong and the schedule is not respected the DP is always the person everyone blames. So, in order to minimize this risk, it is always a good habit to overlook everything and be ahead of schedule as much as possible.

Warlock Asylum: What can we expect from Matteo Martignago in the near future? How can our readers find the latest updates about your current work and future endeavors?

Matteo Martignago: In the near future we will open the submissions for the Ruthless Film Awards that is going to take place at the AFI Theatre in Los Angeles on December 1st. To be up to date on my work I would suggest following my social media and website.






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