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Interview Advent Day 24 : Matt Komo

12/24/2017Jake Ryan

Matt Komo is a successful filmmaker and photographer who is currently working as head of social content for GoPro. Matt has worked with huge names on music videos and created an exceptional personal profile in both video and photo. Anyone who uses social media has probably come across some of Matt's work as he often partners with his friends to create exceptional content. For example I recently caught Matt on Facebook as he and friend Rory Kramer went around with MVMT Watches surprising shoppers with Christmas gifts (before being removed by security, ho, ho,ho)

Matt inspires thousands of people around the world, myself included and I recently spoke with Matt about his life and his work. 

Hey Matt, tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Matt Komo and I’m a filmmaker and creative director, currently the head of social content at GoPro. In addition to that, I work in the music industry and run my own personal brand of videos and imagery. I got my start in the film and photography world by earning a BA in film production at Chapman University, with an emphasis in cinematography and a minor in advertising.

Anyone who finds their way onto your Instagram account will probably find themselves inspired by your travels and your photography. When did you develop a love and passion for creating photos/videos?
I just turned 24, but I started making videos and shooting photos when I was about 13 years old. An injury during a track meet my sophomore year of high school was the catalyst that inspired me to pick up a camera and film my teammates as way to stay involved in the sport. I found that I naturally gravitated towards things that visually stimulated me such as color arrangements and photo composition.  Film became something that always kept my interest and creativity flowing.

Do you have a favourite piece of work you have created? 
I have a couple favourites. One of the most exciting pieces of work I have been involved with is the Chainsmokers ‘Closer’ music video. It has over 2 billion views on YouTube. My other favourite piece of work on my personal page is a film I made from New York last year. 

As a filmmaker/photographer, what would be your dream project?
I’m living and creating my dream projects right now. For me it’s all about who I’m collaborating with. My dream projects are being able to execute on a vision with my closest friends. It’s the most rewarding form of success.  

What advice do you have for creative people who aren’t quite achieving what they want to just yet?
My number one tip is patience, because I was like that for the longest time. Right now, everything people are seeing on Instagram, YouTube, wherever they ingest my content, they’re seeing a cumulative effort of 11 years of work. Long-term patience, but short-term, focused effort is the name of the game.  

I use to always want everything right away and I had to understand that it doesn’t work like that. So my best advice for young people trying to come up is to do the best work you possibly can. The only way you’ll improve is through putting out a massive volume of work. By doing that you will inevitably find your style and a way to carve out your own niche within your industry.

More important than the work, is the person you are behind the scenes. I believe it’s more important to be a good person, with good character, than anything else. Being honest, loyal, humble, and being someone people can rely on. I value a person’s integrity more than their creative ability.

It always appears like you’re on a new adventure, just how often are you actually travelling?
This varies quite a bit. The start of this year was absolutely insane. I felt like I was in a new country every week. I cut that back towards the summertime. I am still traveling quite a bit, but what you see on my social media is probably only an eighth of the actual traveling that I’m doing. I don’t post everything I have going on. Recently I was in 3 cities in 2 days, before that I was in Europe for 3 weeks. I’m normally not home for more than 5 days at a time.

You’ve been to some amazing places, what has been your favourite memory from your travels so far?
One of my favourite memories was for a YouTube video I’m finishing right now from Hawaii. It’s special to me because I was shooting an MTV show for a good friend of mine, Rory.  We went on the craziest adventures all throughout Maui with Steve Aoki.  It was a really unique experience for me being able to cliff jump and hike with my best friends and a musician I used to listen to growing up. 

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done while travelling?
Well that depends how you’d define ‘crazy.’ I’ve cliff-jumped from 60-feet. I’ve also been heli-snowboarding in Whistler. I’ve done a ton of things like that, where people would consider it ‘crazy’, but it just feels normal to me.

As someone who is an inspiration to many, where do you find inspiration yourself?
I generally find inspiration to be very fleeting. It comes and goes on a whim. I sometimes find inspiration from people who support my work.  It gives me a sense of excitement; that I’m on the right track and making a profound influence. That inspiration keeps me going.

My biggest role model in film is Christopher Nolan. I think he’s an amazing director and Inception is one of my favourite movies of all time.

When you’re achieving so much, is it hard to stay motivated and not just sit back and relax or does the work keep you focused?
This is a difficult balance, but what I am learning most recently is that that balance is a necessity. Taking time for myself to mentally and creatively decompress. If you’re going 100%, all the time, you’re not going to be doing your best work. You need time to sit back and relax and look at what you’re doing and analyse if that’s the best thing to be doing. I’ve never had a hard time with motivation for work. I’m so unbelievably grateful and thankful for the position that I’m in that it keeps me driven. I’ve worked relentlessly for where I’m at now, and I inherently believe in striking while the iron is hot. Always have to keep the train moving forward.

What makes you happy?
Two things make me happy; succeeding with my friends and giving back is the ultimate form of happiness for me.  I love everything about the creative process. Building something from nothing to the final execution of it. It drives me. Giving back to the community of filmmakers, whether that be my time, energy, or experience, really fulfils me.

And finally, what are your future plans?
A lot at the moment. I’m so excited for the next chapter of my life. I can’t say much yet, but the best is yet to come. I plan on paving the way for the next generation of filmmakers.    

Thanks Matt for taking the time 
to speak to TravelFoodFilm

Make sure you follow Matt across all social channels. 


All photos in this post belong to Matt.

Did you miss Day 23? Catch up here - Branden Harvey.

Merry Christmas

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  1. killer . love this dude on insta.

  2. Matt Komo is a great person and a great souerce of inspiration... a legend

  3. Nice guide about traveling discounts! Thanks a lot for sharing it...


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