Mario Mattei, director & cinematographer, is a visionary, people-person based in Austin, Texas creating videos for expressive brands, documentaries for impact, & original films for entertainment & artistic expression.
Clients typically work with Mario to help them express their story or message in a way that engages & inspires action. He brings 15+ years of image-making & storytelling experience. Mario thrives on the quest to marry visual style with content, theme, story, & subject matter.
As a filmmaker, Mario has directed award-winning SHORT FILM, created festival-running FEATURE DOCUMENTARIES, MUSIC VIDEOS, WEBISODE series, & a theatrically released FEATURE FILM. Additionally, Mario has filmed TELEVISION shows for Esquire Network & TLC, as well as created BRANDED CONTENT for clients like Xbox, Playstation, RedBull & Sprint.
“He’s as comfortable filming atop a camel in the Wadi Rum desert as he is crafting videos inside a studio equipped with an espresso machine.“
Mario’s forte is to anchor both his directorial vision & cinematic style on one thing: Essence. Each story or message is distinct. Perceiving the essence of what is to be communicated enables Mario to be versatile & clear-sighted when making creative choices. Mario says, “Once I know the Essence, I can then act decisively & confidently on intuition, instinct, & taste. Less isn’t More if you don’t understand what the Less is. The Less is the Essence. Stay anchored.”
Mario’s globe-trotting documentary work has taken him to Turkey, Kashmir, Malawi, Kazakstan, Jordan, Indonesia, Mexico, Bahrain, & more. Mario’s LA-premiered feature documentary, Dance the Past into the Future, explores the dying traditions of northeast Turkey while focusing on the cultural elements inspiring future generations. Currently in post-production is The Gentleman Driver documentary which covers the parallel lives of extraordinary entrepreneurs who moonlight as race car drivers in the World Endurance Class. Mario directed the award-winning crime/drama short film, Being Thomas, & is currently in pre-production for a sci-fi/drama short film.
Mario has also written a novel, published poetry, & studied creative writing at Arizona State University & digital media at The Art Institute of Phoenix. His commercial background in digital branding, motion graphics, copywriting, & design for clients such as Ford, RichDad, Mazda, & various ad agencies, also contribute to a colorful pallet of experience.
Mario is passionate about contributing to the common good & adding value in the marketplace. This led Mario, in 2008, to pursue launching a global movement around “visual peacemaking”, the art of using media to break down stereotypes & reduce social distance.
In 2009, Mario moved to Turkey where he founded The International Guild of Visual Peacemakers & produced photographic works & micro documentaries. He also founded the non-profit, Visual Peace Media.
Today, Mario enjoys being an Austinite, the outdoors & many of the finer things in life, including friends & family, his wife & three children. Whether creating original content or serving a brand message, Mario aims to spark thought, stir emotion, & inspire action. He is friendly on and off the set, relentlessly optimistic, & eager to collaborate with both his clients & other imaginative, skilled creators.
Mario is working with us on a documentary project, set in an ever-evolving environment. He is agile and creative with story and visual challenges. One thing that continues to impress us is Mario’s perceptiveness to what’s happening around him. He finds subtle nuances that can transform a good story into something extraordinary. We value, appreciate and very much enjoy working with Mario.
—Cile Elley, Electro-Fish
Mario is creative & adaptive. He brings a vision to the day while maintaining a collaborative spirit. Mario can cater to a wide range of client needs and has the work ethic to get it done.
—Taylor Rudd, Megalomedia
Mario was our 1st AD on a feature film production, Durant’s Never Closes. He helped me (Director/Producer) run a very type ship and work through a variety of issues to get quality and finish the film on time. He is a good, patient communicator and very energetic/passionate in his job.
—Travis Mills, Running Wild Films
We have done a number of jobs with Mario from editing to filming to the giant process of doing a documentary! Mario’s visionary insight, adaptability, and gracious communication has played a key role in seeing our projects successfully completed.
—Sam Ommen, Mennonite Baptist Mission
I love working with Mario every chance I get. He’s a great creative mind and also a fantastic problem solver. We had a shoot that he had 24 hours notice on in Mexico City and he pulled it off flawlessly. Great attitude and extremely hard-working on every project we’ve been apart of together.
—Lee Rothenflue, Cut To Black
This guy is fearless in getting the most creative shot in any situation. However, his creativity does not prevent him from getting the “meat and potatoes” work done either. It is hard to imagine finding a more humble and easy going artist to work with. I HIGHLY recommend Mattei Visuals for taking your project to the highest levels!
—Dennis Holden, Producer