Matjaž Mrak

founder, cinematographer

Matjaž Mrak founded Friendly Production in 2005. He is an awarded cinematographer with more than 20 years experience in the TV and film industry. Matjaž is a member of the Slovenian Cinematographers’ Association ZFS and also the International Federation of Cinematographers IMAGO.

He has worked with a lot of major European broadcasters such as BBC, ARD (HR), Arte, EuroNews, Deutsche Welle, Al Jazeera balkans, Malta-TV, HRT (Croatia), Telma TV (North-Macedonia) and with national and international production companies such as Tailored Media (UK), Fineline Media (USA-Japan), INS (Belgium), Vertigo (Slovenia) and the audiovisual departments of EU commission and EU parliament.

His work has taken him all over Europe, the Caucasus, the United States and in Africa. In addition to Slovenian, he also speaks Serbo-Croatian, English and Italian.

I wish to begin by saying a few words about Matjaž Mrak, whom I have known since he was born and with whom I have collaborated often over the past few decades. These words may be subjective, but they will allow the reader to get a good grasp of Matjaž the person and his work. Before I begin, I have to admit that such a description resists at its very core the effort to put it down in writing. Why? Simply because it is a pro et contra position. In a way, it makes for a stark contrast. By any definition, Matjaž can be described above all as a visual person who finds it easiest to communicate through the camera lens. However, this does not mean that he is not friendly with words and even less so that he would be a stranger to insightful ideas.

Having made this introduction, I can now shed some light on some of his more important achievements. Matjaž, who has created more than 30 independent films, almost 20 documentaries and just short of 10 contemporary dance films, as well as TV commercials, music videos, and over 50 non-commercial projects as video backgrounds for theatre, web art projects and gallery shows, has been a full member of the Slovene Association of Cinematographers since 2016. He has collaborated with more than 20 TV stations from across the world, worked on more than 200 live broadcasts in sports, entertainment and ceremonies, filmed more than 300 episodes of diverse programming (fieldwork, franchises, etc.), and worked on more than 400 different EFP-electronic field productions such as format shows and fiction series. A peek at his education shows Matjaž taking the path of so many other aspiring youngsters who decided to take up cinematography at a time when there was no institutional education for the profession in this country.

To give you a better perspective on the figures: Matjaž began his career in 1995 as an ENG cameraman for one of the best regional production studios of the time, VPK.  He collaborated with virtually every production studio and advertising agency in Slovenia between 1996 and 2004, which turned out to be a landmark year for Matjaž. It was then that he decided to start pursuing his own path, a path to which he has remained true to this day. At that point, Matjaž successfully graduated from screenwriting under the mentorship of Martin Thau of the Munich Film Academy and Richard Pinner from the Derby Academy, gaining the title Coach of Authors. Attending lectures by Thierry De Mey, Matjaž also expanded his knowledge of dance and movement film production, which he crowned with the short dance film Circulat as well as three versions of Angel of Death for the ballet Death in Venice by the acclaimed choreographer Valentina Turcu. Throughout this period, he worked closely with the insightful director Damjan Kozole and the prolific Dušan Moravec. In the meantime he also created the anthology documentary Selfie without Retouching with one of the most controversial Slovenian directors, Vinci Vogue Anžlovar.

In the end, all I can say about Matjaž is that I could view him simply as an artisan with a camera, but I believe it much more appropriate to see him in all of his creative complexity, closely involved in the creation of the work itself. Without a doubt he finds the biggest satisfaction in putting a bit of himself into projects, in contributing something extra, which is (more than) required in every creation. Matjaž has devoted his career to  25 frames per second, whereas he finds personal fulfilment in meditation. In my view, he is a visual person who is inspired by the silence within.

Robert Šabec,
journalist and writer

filmography (selection)

author’s work

cinematographer –
director of photography

producer

Izdelava idrijskih žlikrofov, etnološko-dokumentarni, 2019 (15′), Friendly Production za ICRA d.o.o. Idrija: scenarij, režija, direktor fotografije, montažer, producent. 

Angel of Death – Sytze, kratki baletni, 2018 (4:00), Friendly Production za SNG MB, kratki plesni video znotraj baletne predstave Smrt v Benetkah koreografinje Valentine Turcu.

Čas pomladi, kratki baletni film, 2018 (4:35), Friendly Production za MK RS (državna proslava ob prazniku osamosvojitve); režija, dop, montaža. Koreografija Valentina Turcu. 

Angel of Death – Takuja, kratki baletni video, 2018 (4:00), Friendly Production za HNK HR, kratki plesni video znotraj baletne predstave Smrt v Benetkah koreografinje Valentine Turcu.

Angel of Death – Guilherme, kratki baletni video, 2018 (4:00), Friendly Production za HNK HR, kratki plesni video znotraj baletne predstave Smrt v Benetkah koreografinje Valentine Turcu.

Osem portretov, dokumentarni, 2018 (21:35), Friendly Production za MK RS  (portreti nagrajencev Prešernovega sklada ter Prešernova nagrajenca 2018); so-scenarist, ko-režiser, dop, montažer. (v soavtorstvu z Robijem Šabcem). 

Circulatkratki plesno-gibalni film, 2016 (22’30”), Friendly Production (sofinanciran s sredstvi SFC); ideja, scenarij, režija, dop, montaža in producent. 

Selfie brez retuše2015 (52:30), Friendly Production za Rtv Slo, r: Vinci Vogue Anžlovar. 

Mansfort AUF!, etnološko-dokumentarni, 2015 (56′), Friendly production in Mestni muzej Idrija; scenarij, režija, dop, montaža, producent. 

Melhiorca in njena tihotapska malha, muzejska pravljica, 2015 (20′), Friendly Production in Mesti muzej Idrija; režiser, dop, montaža in producent.

Z nitjo povezane, etnološki, 2014 (31′), Friendly Production in Mestni muzej Idrija; scenarij, režija, dop, montaža in producent. 

Kuzle2010 (36′), glasbeni dokumentarec, Friendly Production; režija, dop, montaža in producent. →

Hudeje 26, 2009/2010 (30′), dokumentarni, Friendly Production; scenarij, režija, dop, montaža in producent. 

Idrijska Čipka, 2007 (25′), dokumentrani, Friendly Production in ICRA; scenarij, režija, dop, producent. 

Kustosova soba. Igor Zabel: Kako narediti umetnost vidno?, dokumentarni, 2018 (64′) produkcija Vertigo, koprodukcija RTV Slo in Društvo Igor Zabel za kulturo in teorijo (r: Damjan Kozole). 

Tisoč ur bridkosti za eno uro veselja – Ivan Cankardokumentarni film, 2018 (79′), Friendly Production v koprodukciji z RTV Slo, Vertigo, Škuc (r: Dušan Moravec). 

SVA-XX, arhitekturni dokumntarni film, 2017 (55′), Vertigo (r: Damjan Kozole), DOP. 

Več po oglasihtv serija (18 delov po 25′), 2016/2017, VPK in RTVSlo (r: V.V. Anžlovar) DOP. 

Selfie brez retuše2015 (52:30), Friendly Production za Rtv Slo, r: Vinci Vogue Anžlovar. 

Meje / Borders2015 (10′), Vertigo, r: Damjan Kozole. 

Projekt Rak: Ulayev dnevnik od novembra do novembra, 2013 (91′), Vertigo, r: Damjan Kozole. 

Pravi človek za kapitalizem, 2013 (54′), Škuc, Friendly Production, Vertigo, r: Dušan Moravec. 

Državljan Diareja ali kdo je Tomaž Lavrič, 2012 (56′), Škuc, Friendly P., r: D. Moravec.

Moje ime je Janez Janša, 2012 (67′), Aksioma, r: Janez Janša. 

Klanec do doma, 2011 (56′), Škuc, Friendly P., r: Dušan Moravec

Hiša D, 2011 (6′), Vertigo Emotionfilm, r: Damjan Kozole. 

zGodba iz Idrije, 2008 (55′), TVS, r: D. Moravec,  tudi soscenarist, asistent režije. 

Na prvi pogled, 2007 (58′), ŠKUC, Friendly P., r: D. Moravec.

Zadnja kino predstava, 2007 (55′), Info Film in TVS, r: Milan Ljubič.

Prijatelji od daleč, 2006 (45′), Škuc, Pogon, ZANK, Friendly in TV Slo, r: Zemira Alajbegović Pečovnik.

Petrovaradin Tribe, 2005 (65′), KUD Pozitiv, Terra Film Novi Sad, NFC Novi Sad, Akademija umetnosti Novi Sad, Friendly P., r: Ž. Žilnik

Kje so tiste stezice, 2003 (5′), TV Slo, r: K. Nikolov.

Kora, 2003 (10′), TV Slo, r: K. Nikolov.

Slovenski izseljenci, 2001 (25′), Zavod za šolstvo RS, r: N. Dragan.

Dr. France Prešeren, 2000 (25′), Infomedia3filming, r: M. Ljubič.

Podoba vojaka, 2000 (25′), Infomedia3filming, r: M. Ljubič.

Z – Film, 1999 (20′), DiC in VPK, r: K. Nikolov – nagrada za kamero, IV. FNF (Lj-okt-1999). 

Med štirimi stenami, 1999 (45′), Zank, VPK, TV Slo, r: Z. Alajbegovič Pečovnik.

Izdelava idrijskih žlikrofov, etnološko-dokumentarni, 2019 (15′), Friendly Production za ICRA d.o.o. Idrija: scenarij, režija, direktor fotografije, montažer, producent. 

Angel of Death – Sytze, kratki baletni, 2018 (4:00), Friendly Production za SNG MB, kratki plesni video znotraj baletne predstave Smrt v Benetkah koreografinje Valentine Turcu.

Čas pomladi, kratki baletni film, 2018 (4:35), Friendly Production za MK RS (državna proslava ob prazniku osamosvojitve); režija, dop, montaža. Koreografija Valentina Turcu. 

Angel of Death – Takuja, kratki baletni video, 2018 (4:00), Friendly Production za HNK HR, kratki plesni video znotraj baletne predstave Smrt v Benetkah koreografinje Valentine Turcu.

Angel of Death – Guilherme, kratki baletni video, 2018 (4:00), Friendly Production za HNK HR, kratki plesni video znotraj baletne predstave Smrt v Benetkah koreografinje Valentine Turcu.

Osem portretov, dokumentarni, 2018 (21:35), Friendly Production za MK RS  (portreti nagrajencev Prešernovega sklada ter Prešernova nagrajenca 2018); so-scenarist, ko-režiser, dop, montažer. (v soavtorstvu z Robijem Šabcem). 

Circulatkratki plesno-gibalni film, 2016 (22’30”), Friendly Production (sofinanciran s sredstvi SFC); ideja, scenarij, režija, dop, montaža in producent. 

Mansfort AUF!, etnološko-dokumentarni, 2015 (56′), Friendly production in Mestni muzej Idrija; scenarij, režija, dop, montaža, producent. 

Melhiorca in njena tihotapska malha, muzejska pravljica, 2015 (20′), Friendly Production in Mesti muzej Idrija; režiser, dop, montaža in producent.

Z nitjo povezane, etnološki, 2014 (31′), Friendly Production in Mestni muzej Idrija; scenarij, režija, dop, montaža in producent. 

Kuzle2010 (36′), glasbeni dokumentarec, Friendly Production; režija, dop, montaža in producent. →

Hudeje 26, 2009/2010 (30′), dokumentarni, Friendly Production; scenarij, režija, dop, montaža in producent. 

Idrijska Čipka, 2007 (25′), dokumentrani, Friendly Production in ICRA; scenarij, režija, dop, producent. 

Contact us:

FRIENDLY Group
Friendly production Matjaž Mrak s.p.

Matjaž Mrak s.p.
Ulica 1. maja 7
SI-5280 Idrija

ID za DDV / VAT no.: SI76381005

E-mail: info@friendly-group.eu / friendly@friendly.si
Phone: +386 41 684 467 (Matjaž), +49 162 282 5763 (Veit-DE), +386 41 387 306 (Veit-SI)