Ep 17: Matthew Scott – How to light a scene, share your failures and work toward mastery.

Posted on Jul 29, 2016 | No Comments

Matt Scott Visuals

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Matthew Scott is an Australian cinematographer living in Tasmania. He is constantly exploring and pushing for the mastery of his craft. He also enjoys cooking, retro games, playing piano and going on adventures with his lover.

“Share shit. Be a voice.”

In this episode we dive deep. We talk about how Matt quit high school, got a job, and focused on his love of photography. How he later quit his job and decided to pursue a career as a cinematographer. We dig into his all or nothing attitude, his process for lighting a scene, working with crew members, improving his craft, his desire to share his work through his blog mattscottvisuals.com; including his successes and failures, and the pressures and pleasures of living his dream as a director of photography.

“Set ridiculous challenges for yourself.”

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5 Key Takeaways

  1. A great formula for lighting a scene: Block, Light, Rehearse, Tweak, Shoot.
  2. Play games with yourself to improve your craft. Try to guess exposures on set. Guess what shot will come next while watching a movie. Set ridiculous challenges for yourself; restrictions like sticking to one focal length or f/stop.
  3. When you’re starting out, don’t worry about being completely original. Take what you learn from others and try to make it your own.
  4. After getting a decent camera, and learning it inside out, spend your money on lighting. Start with two soft sources and two hard sources.
  5. Share shit and be a voice. Post your camera test of your cat. Share whatever you’re working on or interested in. It’s a great way to connect with others and it can lead to opportunities down the road.


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MTS Films

An great camera and lighting test directed, shot and edited by Matt Scott.

Show Notes (Ep 17)

Born in India and blessed by the Dalai Lama [01:54]

Where Matt found his love for creativity [05:09]
When did it seem like cinematography could be a viable career [11:41]
When did Matt get his first video camera and post program [14:35]

Was there a point when he decided to start making films [17:48]

Cinematography workshops and internet for inspiration vs comparison [22:00]
How long has Matt been blogging [30:47]

Tips for lighting a scene [31:30]
Tips and tricks for lighting without a meter [43:42]
How much has blogging and analyzing movies played a role in your growth [50:03]

Where should a new cinematographer invest their time and money [58:02]

How Matt creates his lighting diagrams [01:06:31]

Learning Davinci Resolve [01:09:45]

How knowing color grading can help on set [01:14:33]
Things that Matt does to improve that others do not [01:17:05]
Matt’s routine for preparing for a new shoot [01:20:17]
The biggest decision that has propelled Matt as a cinematographer [01:23:24]
How much you consume vs produce [01:29:30]
Biggest influences [01:32:30]

Up-and-coming projects [01:38:30]
MTS Colour [01:41:01]

Some favorites [01:44:29]

Final advice for photographers and cinematographers [01:49:33]


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