Finding a balance between paid work and passion projects is always a challenge. Two people who are striving to maintain this balance are Matt White and Dustin Lutt. We had a chance to talk with Matt about how he approaches his work and how he uses Kessler gear to help tell his stories.
Kessler University (KU): Tell me a little about yourself.
Matt White (MW): I started Rockhouse Motion two years ago after falling in love with making images either still or in motion. I did not attend film school or any creative arts education. I simply loved it so much that I would spend hours on the internet watching and then going out and doing. There is a massive wealth of knowledge on the internet for anyone who wants to go out and get it. People like Philip Bloom who willingly give their time and knowledge to others are changing the lives of people like me.
KU: Would love to know a little about the reel you put together. Some really great work in there!
MW: Our work is half outdoor industry work and half corporate identity films. That is the paid work anyways. We are huge fans of the “personal project” as we have done many and we find that is what people enjoy the most. Art created for no other purpose than creating. A great deal of the footage from our REEL is from projects like this. Projects where we have an idea and go out with no budget and create imagery together as a team that meets our expectations.
KU: What are your goals with your company? What market are you targeting?
The main goal we take into any project personal or client is to create imagery that makes people feel. To tell stories that change the way people see something and alter the course of their day even if only a little. Our hope is to spend half the year working for clients and the other half creating films of our own for film festivals. The focus for our personal work is adventure, travel, and the outdoors. We ourselves love being outside and the physical effort it takes to create awesome imagery in the outdoors is welcomed with open arms.
KU: What motivates you to do personal projects?
MW: Our motivation for personal projects is the fulfillment of a creative need that is not pointed at selling someones products. Paid work is great and a necessity but it is not why we love filmmaking. We see paid work as a way to fund and justify our personal works which are the works that we will hang our hat on in the end. I highly doubt the moment before dying a filmmaker thinks “Man I wish I would have made one more corporate identity film”.
KU: How do you balance personal work with paid gigs?
MW: Balance is for sure tough especially when you are amped on a personal project and you know it will be weeks or possibly months before you can free up the time to work on them. The one good thing is so many concepts and ideas evolve over the course of waiting for the free time that the projects are stronger when we get to them.
KU: How do you use Kessler gear to help tell your stories? Why Kessler?
MW: We do not go to a shoot without at least one piece of Kessler gear and that is our Cineslider or Stealth slider. In fact we spent 10 days in the rivers of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana and not a single day went by without the Stealth making it into the water alongside us. The ability to do precise three axis movements using the Revolution Head and Cineslider together is amazingly powerful. Not only using it fast but super slow moves that the human operator just can’t perform. We regularly shoot with a 100mm macro on our epic doing moves so slow you can hardly see the camera moving and the imagery is butter smooth and gorgeous. Then we can record and repeat the move exactly. While the RED Epic appears small it is a solid piece of gear and is not light. The Kessler gear handles it no problem.
KU: What can we expect next from you and your team?
MW: We currently have a great deal of client work in some phase of production but the most exciting project is a film project we are creating for the IF4. The film title is “A Deliberate Life”. It takes place in the rivers of the American west where we follow five people and hear how they merged their vocation and avocation. You will also see plenty of absolutely beautiful flyfishing imagery. The film was shot on RED Epic and Canon 5D III. It has already been accepted as a feature selection of the festival and will screen January in Denver. The trailer will be released the end of this week. We are very excited to share it with everyone!
Matt White & Dustin Lutt – ROCKHOUSE MOTION
If you would like to see more, make sure to check out their website.