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Meet Mario Nakasone of Intermedia Projects in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mario Nakasone.

Mario, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a kid, I was an imaginative child. I made sure to be an explorer at heart. I was the type of kid who liked to surround himself with the wonders that nature had to offer. This made me fall in love with the diverse landscapes and animals that I observed in my home country Peru. All these experiences as a kid made me want to chase my dreams and discover new things.

At the age of 13 I realized that I didn’t want to be a follower, but the leader at heart. I made sure to always go against the current and I still do. I push boundaries and give myself new obstacles to growth.

It wasn’t until I was 15 that I began being involved in church. I became an “Altar Boy”. It was a turning point in my life because it made me realize I had several responsibilities as an Altar boy. I was the assistant to the priest. I joined the church in the hope of learning more about the Catholic Church. I discovered that in the church my actions had a deeper purpose, especially as an Altar Boy.

I learned the importance of Blocking and Rehearsal. I learned that certain motions and designs can influence emotions. I learned how the lighting was utilized by the church to set the mood for moments of mass. They would spot the light onto the priest at certain points to gather the attention of the congregation.

With that being said, all these experiences and lessons I was gaining at church helped me apply them to my photography and cinematography skills that later came to be and still are an important part of my life.

Life kept on taking turns and turns. While being an Alter boy I came to study medicine. I thought to myself that if I was going to make something for myself I’d have to make a career path that would allow me to have a greater chance for opportunity and growth in my life.

Even after making my decision of leaving medical school I made sure to apply everything I learned in medical school to my passion for filmmaking now. For example, I now make sure to study in great depth whatever project it is that I am taking on. I’ve made sure to form a discipline for myself to follow a schedule. After all, I knew medicine wasn’t my calling. Something was missing.

On a trip to Europe with my family, I bought a GoPro to film some videos while I was on the trip. It was my first camera. I was excited. Finally, after looking through the footage I began to view the world differently. On this trip, my brother was a huge influence on me because he was always inspired by art. I saw how his eyes would light up viewing the paintings and agriculture that Europe had to offer. I saw things through his eyes. Shapes, contrast, and even depth of field would suddenly bring images to life. I decided to make a reel with the videos I took of my family and I fell in love with the process. My passion for videos grew, so I invested in a drone and the videos I filmed with it, furthered my love for cinematography. I ended up creating a company with two friends of mine back home called DroneBros.

The images I would capture made me appreciate my country. I realized that I could do anything for my country. I realized Peru had so much to offer with its beauty, but the government and the corruption that my country suffers from kept our culture from expanding to the rest of the world.

The time finally came. I took a trip with my friends one day to Hollywood. Here it was where I fell in love with the city and the culture. While traveling through the city I came across the Los Angeles Film School, At that moment I realized that this was where I belonged.

I ended up flying back to Peru and made the best decision of my life. I made a drastic decision.

I quit medical school and moved out to Los Angeles to study film. This broke my mother’s heart, but she understood that I found my calling. I made sure that before I left Peru, I wasn’t gonna come back home until I had a big accomplishment to share with my beautiful country Peru to share our amazing Peruvian culture.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I had trouble deciding whether to leave Peru or not. I was really scared of telling my mom that I wanted to stop studying medicine. I felt like I had knots in my stomach, and I could not breathe. I thought I was going to pass out from the nervous. When I got here, I didn’t know what to expect. I had homesickness and I was feeling depressed. I was so used to a routine of getting up early studying until I could not study any more and then a quick meal and back to Bed. I had to get into a new routine here in the U.S. I was able to rent a room for cheap, but it was pretty far from School. I had no way of getting around until I met a friend, who started to give me rides and, that was a great help for me. Every time I started to feel homesick I would go and visit my friend Diego who is also from Peru. He shares a love for music and is a talented artist. That made me feel more comfortable to be so far from home.

Please tell us about your work.
I am happy to say that as a Cinematographer I am proud of my work. I make sure to set myself apart in a way with my history, culture, and my knowledge in the Catholic religion. I love experimenting with lowkey lighting and gothic architecture.

While other Cinematographers are going digital, I feel like I’m headed in the opposite direction. I enjoy experimenting with film. It tends to add a certain texture that digital simply can not capture. With that being said I am a tech enthusiast and always look forward to seeing the advancements of cameras.

I feel that one of my most appealing qualities for my success is my inability to leave the work half done. Once I’ve decided to take an interest in something, I like to see it all the way through. Also, my endless hours I’ve spent reading books, studying medicine. I’ve developed a very useful knack to keep everything organized.

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