Today we’d like to introduce you to Matt Guzman.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Around Summer 2014 my best friend Steven Lay introduced me to a GoPro camera and wanted to film me doing some skateboarding around the neighborhood. He ended up knocking out a complete video edit in a couple of hours and the idea of inner city kids creating unique online video content blew my mind. This was the time when the popularity of social media on a mobile platform started to spark and Instagram allowed its users to upload 15 seconds of video. A couple of weeks later I saved enough money and bought my first camera, a GoPro Hero 3 White Edition the only one I could afford at the time. To edit video clips, I downloaded a free mobile video-editing app on to my iPhone 5c and would upload video edits to Instagram from there. Every week we would venture out with our Go Pros and tried to capture as much footage as we can whether it would be cliff jumping at Hermit Falls, beach bumming at Venice Beach, hiking trails at Griffith Park, and even sneaking Go Pros onto rollercoasters at Six Flags. We were just a couple of college students who embraced visual creativity and being outside. The feedback we would get from our friends and followers motivated us to keep shooting and push ourselves to the next limit creatively and physically. That same summer we attended our first EDM music festival (HARD Summer) and after watching the after movie I was hooked. It inspired me to save more money to buy an SLR camera and a computer to edit on because I knew I was more than capable of creating quality video content of that standard. It took me a year of balancing school and work to save and fully commit but I finally did it, in December 2015 I bought my first SLR camera and desktop online, a used Canon T5i and Mac Mini.
I continued on making more Instagram video edits with my Canon mostly of my trips to Oahu, Hawaii where my family is and I tried to top myself with every video upload. I spent hours watching YouTube tutorials, digging through Reddit forums and studying other people’s content figuring out their techniques and listening to their tips and applying them to my own workflow. In early Spring of 2016 I finally grew enough confidence to apply for a videographer position at a local dance nightclub (Mayhem Hollywood) and in late March I got my first shot. I remember that moment vividly, the headliner was Dodge and Fuski a dubstep artist which was perfect because dubstep is my favorite EDM genre. I finished the after movie in less than a week and sent it to my boss Marvin Street Jr. and he loved it, from that moment my relationship with Mayhem Hollywood began. At this time, I dropped out of school, started working a regular 9 to 5 in the daytime and shooting with Mayhem Hollywood in the evening trying to save as much money as I can to upgrade to a new camera body. In early July 2016 I was able to upgrade to the camera I currently have now, a used Panasonic G7 bought online. That same month of July I brought my camera to a local riddim dubstep show called Hostile (now called Hostile Bass Music) and connected with the boss Garrett Calderon. I sent him an after movie of his event and our close relationship started from there. In addition to creating after movies for Hostile Bass Music, I started uploading raw clip montages of DJs showcasing their skills on my personal Facebook and noticed it started drawing a huge international online audience.
Late December 2016 I finally created an artist page (SHOTYA) on Facebook to showcase the after movies I produced for music events and the raw clip montages of DJs for the riddim dubstep fans. In March of 2017 Jason White of Get Heavy approached me to do dubstep after movies for a weekly collaboration with Heavy Dub and because of the quick weekly turnaround of after movies and raw clip DJ montages the SHOTYA page started receiving a lot of online buzz with a couple of the raw clip montages going viral, one of them reaching 1.2 million+ views. My work was gaining popularity and Danny DeFusco of Disciple Records introduced me to Rossy Burr who granted me the opportunity to shoot my first EDM music festival, EDC Las Vegas 2017. All my hard work started to pay off, my dream was becoming a reality but I realized this was just the beginning. After my work at EDC Las Vegas 2017 I started receiving more music festival and out of state tour bookings from other artists and managers allowing me to currently turn this into a full-time career.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Pursuing something like this has always challenged me on the road of self-doubt. When you create something, you give everything you have into it. You give your energy, your time, your heart, your emotion and you let the world decide whether you are worthy or not. It is honestly the scariest thing ever but I love it. This is one of the few ways I manage to fully express myself and it is worth it every time because I am more me than I have ever been.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about SHOTYA – what should we know?
I am a Los Angeles based music event, travel and lifestyle videographer for DJs.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
What role has luck (good luck or bad luck) played in your life and business?
In life and in business you create and determine your “luck” based on your preparation for any given moment, situation or circumstance. Be prepared and you’ll have all the “luck” in the world.