ASC member Matthew Libatique (Black Swan, Iron Man, Straight Out of Compton) recently visited the Philippines, where he spoke to young filmmakers about his career and path to becoming a professional director of photography.
From the Manila Bulletin story by Rica Arevalo with photos by Wijo Fernandez:
“Without people watching films, I do not exist,” reflects Filipino-American cinematographer Matthew Libatique who was in town to visit his roots and share his passion to the local film community.
Nicknamed Matty, he is an immigrant’s son. “I grew up in New York. My parents are raised and born here in the Philippines. They migrated to New York in 1966,” says the California State University graduate.
He has worked with directors Darren Aronofsky, Joel Schumacher, Spike Lee and Jon Favreau, among others.
“I didn’t know I wanted to be a filmmaker until I was in college. I always wanted to be a baseball player or a musician.” When he joined the film club, he was inspired by a Spike Lee film. “At that moment, I was blown away by Do the Right Thing (1989). That film changed my life,” says the 49-year-old. “It was the first time I saw a minority has a career in filmmaking. I was inspired to be a filmmaker.”
At the American Film Institute, he earned his MFA in cinematography. “Lucky for me, I was sitting in the first row,” he recalls. “And the guy next to me is Darren Aronofsky — Day 1 of film school. He was lucky, too!”
You can read the complete story here.