In the Director's Chair: Matías Moltrasio on storytelling, creativity and creating a cinematic feel

In the Director's Chair: Matías Moltrasio on storytelling, creativity and creating a cinematic feel

The latest director to face The Drum’s questions in our Director’s Chair series is Landia director, Matías Moltrasio, who talks to the Drum about storytelling and making sure everyone is working in the same direction.

Previously in the series, The Drum has quizzed Jamie Jay Johnson, Emmanuel Adjei, Henry Busby, Andrew Lang, Camille Marotte, Mea Dols de Jong, Klaus Obermeyer, Eli Roth, Mate Steinforth, Pamela Romanowsky, Traktor and Doug Liman.

Who or what inspired you to be a Director? (or who are your creative heroes and why?)

I feel about being a director as Alvy Singer feels about life in the intro of Annie Hall: “...full of loneliness and misery and suffering and unhappiness, and it’s all over much too quickly”.

I wasn’t born a filmmaker, I became one. I learned to be one without even knowing... watching creative heroes like David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher to name a few.

Outside of work, what are you into?

Music was always a huge part of my life. I wanted to be a rock star, I took guitar and singing lessons for a long time when I was a teenager. But to love something doesn’t make you great at it, and I had to be great or do something else. So music is what I love to do when I’m not shooting. I have a cover band in Los Angeles called The Seattle Times, we do covers from the ’90s, mostly grunge, and I really enjoy every single rehearsal and live show.

How would you describe your style of commercial/film making? What are you known for?

I love storytelling, great cinematography and working with actors. I’ve always wanted to do feature films; I’m a very cinematic director. Commercials, in the beginning, were the best way in Argentina to start working in the industry, and then I fell in love with it. I’ve been directing commercials for ten years now, but since I moved to Los Angeles six years ago, I became more of a cinematic director looking for specific commercials that gave me the chance to tell a story, to shoot a small scene from a movie. And I finally got the chance to shoot my first movie this year.

Have you got an idea about what sort of projects you’d like to work on or are you quite open-minded about what work comes your way?

I learn something from every job. I love being on set, looking through the viewfinder and telling people what to do. That is why I enjoy every piece of work that comes my way.

When you’re looking at scripts and projects that come in, is there anything in particular that you’re looking for?

I need three things to really fall in love with an idea: Creativity, Storytelling and the chance to create a cinematic atmosphere.

What's your funniest moment on set?

I have a very dark sense of humor, so I’d rather not tell the story that comes to mind at this moment, it involves a male dog, a female dog in heat and the face of an actor...

What's your best piece of work?

I think I haven’t done it yet... But I’m really proud of my first feature film to be released in 2019, I’m working on the post-production of it as I answer these questions.

In the ad world I personally love a TNT campaign I did for TNT Latino America and the Dodge short films I did with the great Danny Trejo.

Dodge Charger Danny Trejo. from Carlos Ritter on Vimeo.

I also enjoyed very much working on the Teasers for the 7th Season of American Horror Story for FOX.

Which ad do you wish you'd made?

So many. The one I can think right now is the last John Lewis commercial with Elton John. Beautiful storytelling and craft, just brilliant.

How well does the information flow between client, agency and production company on a job?

It depends on so many factors. The only way to do something well is with everybody going in the same direction and loving the idea. You have to own the project for it to become great.

What's been the biggest change in the industry during your career?

Everything changed! The world changed. I’m part of the generation that got to live during one of the biggest changes in the communication world, that is the internet and social media. The industry changes every day now, the way people watch a commercial, a movie, a TV series, is in constant change. I embrace that change because at the end of the day there is one thing that will never change: All you need is a good idea.

Have you worked on any client direct commercials (no agency involved)? What's been the difference?

I have not but I'm looking forward to my first one.

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