We had the good fortune of connecting with Matt Ruggles and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Matt, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
My decision to work for myself was largely made almost 20 years ago. Sometimes you are pushed in one direction and that was the case when I found myself laid off after working a couple of years at a broadcast rental house. I immediately thought about working as a freelancer either in lighting or camera department. There is a lot of crossover there anyhow because you really need to know how to light in order to even be adequate with camera. So I took jobs as they came and then the following year I decided to start 7th Wave Pictures. While I still freelance for other production companies I find the majority of my work through my company.

My interests still lie most in shooting but also producing. The important decision I made early on was to start acquiring equipment. That meant a video camera, lighting, and audio and it did take a while to build up a nice package but I also got some great experience during this time.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It really is an art form because even when you are shooting interviews there are many ways to light it and shoot it. On top of creative choices is the ability to make someone feel comfortable in front of the camera. It is not a natural thing for most people and it can lead a lot of anxiety coming into it. You want the interview to be very conversational and comfortable. When I am faced with someone that is struggling to get their thoughts out in a concise manner I have to not let them feel pressure. It really isn’t as simple as just reading questions off a paper. You have to make them feel like what they are saying matters. You can’t have your head buried in your paper looking at the next question. Eye contact is key! Listening and follow up questions are also very important. What we are doing is crafting a story so you have to know how to get the best out of someone and my experience very much lends to that.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There is so much to do in and around Atlanta. It really does depend on what type of activities they want to do. One of my preferred destinations to take friends would be an Atlanta Braves game. You get to be outside amongst the fans, the breeze on your face, the food, the beer, and some nice conversation. The stadium is state of the art and offers so much inside the park or hitting some restaurants or bars at the battery. Even if you are not a sports fan it is a fun thing to do!

Other favorite spots would be hitting some of the wonderful craft breweries in Atlanta. I tend to go to some in Marietta but they are all over town and some excellent choices. Sweet Water or Monday Night Brewing in Atlanta, Red Hare in Marietta, Gate City Brewing in Roswell are just some off the top of my head. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents definitely deserve a shout out. They have always been supportive, encouraging, and proud.
I have a beautifully and awesome wife, Lauren, and we have two kids, Micah and Tali. We laugh
a lot as a family.
Tom Branch, a producer and editor, has always had my back. We’ve worked together and
supported each other for the past 20 years!

Website: www.7thwavepictures.com

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