Matt Trainor

Matt Trainor is a Director based out of Los Angeles.


What do you enjoy most about your process of telling stories through motion pictures? 

For me, the best part is the collaboration with people that bring their expertise and their own flavor, which, in turn, will make the project a million times better than if it were just me. It is definitely an ongoing process, and I am still learning. I used to hate getting notes back on an edit. It always felt so painful to have my work criticized. It has taken a long time, but I have gotten to the point where I love getting feedback, and I look forward to hearing other opinions on how a project can be better. The more I have learned to surrender (at the right times), the more fun I have, and the better the project turns out.

How does being a filmmaker influence how you go about your life?

It has completely changed my perception of money and time. Being a freelancer has forced me to learn how to be smart with money. It has also made me somewhat of a businessman because if I don't have work, it’s ultimately up to me to find it. As stressful as that can be, it develops skills that are beneficial in all aspects of life. Any freelancer knows the anxiety that can come with a dry spell, and I think learning how to enjoy the downtime and use it to recharge has been something that I am still learning but getting better at.

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Where is one place that your lens has taken you that you otherwise might not have gone without a camera in your hand?

About two years ago, I was filming a music video in a helicopter. We were flying from LA to San Francisco, but we only made it about halfway. We were flying through a canyon and reached a dead end. The pilot tried to turn around, but it was really narrow, and we didn't have enough time to pull up and over the mountain. In a split-second decision, he crash landed the helicopter.

It was terrifying, but he managed to land it on the side of a hill. We rolled for about 100 feet; luckily, the propellers didn't hit the gourd, or the situation would have ended much differently. We didn’t have cell service, so we just started hiking. I wasn’t going to leave the camera behind, so I carried it for miles until we got cell service. It took about 5 hours, but a rescue truck finally found us. Long story short, filmmaking has taken me on some wild rides, and I wouldn't have it any other way.