This is: Nathanael Matanick
Nathanael talks about filmaking, being passionate and using ERA plug-ins
This is Nathanael Matanick, videographer and film director. With a multicultural background and diverse international experience, Nathanael Matanick infuses his art with his understanding of our shared humanity and rich diversity. We had an interview and talked about Nathanael’s journey this far, the ups and downs of working in this field, and his opinion on our audio repair suite, the ERA Bundle.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Nathanael Matanick, and I am fortunate enough to get call myself a filmmaker. That's what I do, as my full-time job, doing short films or commercials and I actually get to a lot of passion projects which I'm really excited about. My wife and I work together and we fund them through Kickstarter campaigns. We always have to get creative with it but we love making stuff that we care about, stuff that's on our hearts. In particular, we love to tell stories that highlight the resiliency of youth who have gone through traumatic situations.
Q: How did you first get into filmmaking?
Wedding videos? Well, ever since I was a little kid I was always doing the family home videos, and that turned into having my family redo what they're doing so I can get a better shot which turned into scripting it which turned into me and a Velociraptor puppet, chasing my sisters around to eat them. Then I saw Jurassic Park and I was like, "Whoa, this is what I have to do with my life." And then, just kind of making videos for school and then wedding videos. And I'm trying to figure out how I can get paid to do them so that I could make more money so that I could buy more gear so that I could get paid to pay for that gear and that's how the cycle goes.
Q: What do you love and what do you hate the most about your job?
What I love most about my job is the imagination part of it - I first think of the concept for a video whether it's a client giving me a script, and asking me to send them a script, and asking me to send them a treatment or a pitch for it. I love doing that part - conceptualizing the final product. I think what I hate about it is actually implementing that. The pre-production is, like, the death of me. Actual shooting is really fun, and I love and hate editing at the same time, and then, I really love looking at the final piece, and being like, "Wow, we did it," but definitely, the best part is before you do anything and you're just imagining what it could be.
Q: For which piece of work are you particularly proud of and why?
I think the work that I'm most proud of is a short film that we just finished, which actually isn't out yet but it is part three in a series of short films that we've been working on called Removed, and they follow the story of a kid going through foster care. My wife and I are foster and adoptive parents so that's something that's been really close and dear to our hearts. I think the Removed short film series have been fun because my wife and I have worked together on them and they've been fun just because we've been able to involve the whole community around us and being a part of them. But, yeah, the one I'm most proud of is “Removed: Part Three”. It's called “Love Is Never Wasted” and the whole idea is that even if you pour love into someone and they don't reciprocate it and it seems like it was such a waste, it wasn't wasted. There's benefits beyond even what you can see.
Q: What are the most common challenges when recording sound for film?
The most common challenge that I run into with recording audio is simply that I just can't control everything that's going on in the environment. So then, in the edit, I just end up having to figure out how to work around the audio and I'm not really able to take full advantage of good audio which is really frustrating as a filmmaker and an editor because the audio is just such a huge part of what you're experiencing visually. And then, I'm not an audio engineer. I do it when I have to, out of necessity. Honestly, so much of the tools that go into crafting good audio I just don't know how to use. It's hard to find really good tools that are also super simple and understandable for someone like me, who, I know what I want. I just don't know how to get it, and sometimes, I don't always have the opportunity to just send it out, or hire it out to someone who is really, really good at it.
Q: What are you looking for in the tools you use when it comes to audio repair?
When I'm looking for tools that I can use, when I have to do it myself, I'm looking for something that is actually going to be good. I've had experience working with bad plug-ins that come with the editing software, and it just sounds disgusting. Even though I'm not an audio engineer, I have an ear for it. What I have been super excited about the ERA bundle, is just that it's been like really, really good quality sound I'm getting out of it. But it's super simple stupid to use for someone like me. There's been so many - I mean, I can't tell you how many - times I have wished that I could find really really good audio reduction tools that I, a non-audio engineer but editor, can figure out how to make sense of, and they actually sound good. I've had so many experiences where I'm just working with the built-in plug-ins, and it just sounds so ugly.
Q: How did you find out about the ERA Bundle?
I remember googling and googling, thinking, "There's gotta be something like that!", and I don't remember how, but I stumbled across the ERA plug-ins, and I was just, "Is this really it?” It really was exactly what I had been feeling like I need, as a filmmaker, and as an editor, and as someone who is not always working on projects, where I have the budget, just to send out the audio for a proper mix, and sometimes, need to do that myself. It's been exactly what I've needed, to actually create a really good quality mix, but to be able to do it in such a way that I actually understand how to do it.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers?
I don't personally feel like I have that much great advice to offer. I feel like I'm just trying to figure it out as I go. Which is, I think, probably how everyone's doing it. So, I think, the best thing that I've been able to do is trying my best to surround myself with people who are way better at filmmaking than I am, and then, just try to glean from them as much as possible.