With hundreds of careers and opportunities, the Filmmaking industry can be a unique experience for a Filmmaker. Options include pitching an idea, or a commission through screenwriting, casting, shooting, editing, and screening your project. Filmtools decided to take a deeper look into the world of a Filmmaker. This week, we had the opportunity to speak to Filmmaker Morgan Cooper about his work. This is what he said:
What is your name and where are you from?
Morgan Cooper: My name is Morgan Cooper– I’m from Kansas City, MO.
What is your primary role on set?
Morgan Cooper: I am a cinematographer/coffee drinker and occasional director. Above all, I’m a storyteller!
Who is a person in the industry that is on top of his or her game in your role?
Morgan Cooper: I’ve been really blown away by Chayse Irvin’s work- He’s such a creative, unique DP- his style is so versatile yet distinct. I can’t wait to see BlacKkKlansman!
If you had to impress someone with your work, what would be the most “well-known” content that you’ve worked on?
Morgan Cooper: Something I shot fairly recently that I really enjoyed was a :60 featuring Amanda Bucci for a fitness app called Evolve Pro: I think it turned out really well!
Best craft service food?
Morgan Cooper: Coffee, cliff bars, and La Croix! I try to drink plenty of water, especially at the beginning of the day.
What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on before?
Morgan Cooper: I just wrapped my first short film, Room Tone- it has been such an amazing, fulfilling experience for so many reasons. Definitely a reminder of why I chose this career path in the first place.
What’s the first thing you do on set?
Morgan Cooper: The first thing I do when I get on set is drink water and say hello to my entire crew – I check in with my keys to make sure everything is good to go, then I start talking through the first shot w/ my director.
How did you break into the industry?
Morgan Cooper: I broke into the industry face first, bumping my head until I learned enough to make a living- then I finally got kind of good and started finding my voice. I didn’t go to film school, so I really learned by just doing and taking small steps every day, absorbing as much information as I could. PA’ing was a great opportunity to learn- shooting spec work was really important, too.
Current TV obsession?
Morgan Cooper: Black Mirror and Better Call Saul! Really great shows.
Do you binge-watch shows or pace them out?
Morgan Cooper: Binge for sure! It’s a beautiful thing on a weekend from time to time.
What piece of gear do you have your eye on?
Morgan Cooper: I need a new lightweight matte box really badly! Bright Tangerine has a few options that I’m looking at.
Camera – Should you own or rent?
Morgan Cooper: Owning cameras has been a worthy investment for me- it all depends on the type of jobs you’re doing and your trajectory/goals.
Lenses – Should you own or rent?
Morgan Cooper: For most people, I think it makes the most sense to rent, especially cine glass. I own some glass, but almost everything I’m using these days I rent from job to job.
What is your preferred camera system?
Honestly, whatever the project calls for! Everything has the capability of producing beautiful images these days- it’s all about understanding the strengths/weaknesses of the sensor.
Someone that is starting out in the industry, what advice would you give them?
Morgan Cooper: I would encourage someone starting in the industry to embrace the process. This career is a lifestyle! It takes commitment and sacrifice to grow and develop. It’s important to work hard and stay humble – be working on your craft outside of paid gigs! Let go of people that weigh you down and seek balance. I’d also recommend getting to the gym a few times a week to maintain good mobility on set.
Where can people see your work?
Morgan Cooper: vimeo.com/cooperfilmskc
Where can people follow you on social?