Mikey L’Heureux, photographer, graphic artist and a budding filmmaker from Mesa, Arizona now in Los Angeles is on the clock with us today. Mikey was one of eight winning photographers selected by Ron Howard and Canon as part of “Project Imagin8ion,” the first user-generated photo contest in history to inspire a Hollywood film. Over 100,000 submissions were reviewed, with Mikey winning in the MOOD category for his “City Lights,” shot inspiring the short film that became “when you find me.” Canon will be bringing the film to Phoenix Thursday, February 2nd at The Ahwatukee 24 Theatre at 6:30 p.m.
So what inspires the Mesa-native in his artistic quest? Want to know more about the photo and the competition? Are you ready Mikey? Roll ‘em…
DLT: What do you miss about living in Arizona?
Mikey L’Heureux: I miss the comfort of being in a place that is so familiar to me. Arizona will always be my home, the people and the culture really shaped me into the person I am today. Also my mom’s cooking, there is nothing better.
What don’t you miss about living in Arizona?
I don’t miss the heat in the summer time, I think that is the one thing people living and from Arizona would say they could do without.
Where is your favorite place to shoot photography in AZ?
My favorite place to shoot in AZ would have to be around the Indian Reservation all up and down the Beeline Highway. I always seem to get so many different styles and inspiration while shooting out there.
What’s your favorite Arizona restaurant?
My favorite place to eat in Arizona would have to be Monti’s La Casa Vieja on Mill Ave. in Tempe. I have eaten there since I was born, and they have by far the best steak I have ever eaten.
What was it like working / developing Project Imagination with Ron Howard?
It was by far one of the most amazing processes I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of. Ron Howard is a huge inspiration to me, he is one of the biggest directors of all time, and the fact that I shot a picture that inspired him to make a film is beyond incredible to me. I hope to become half the man Ron Howard is in the film industry someday, and this opportunity that I have had to be able to work with him is definitely a dream come true.
What’s your favorite or can you recommend a camera for the novice photographer?
The camera I shot the winning photo with is a Canon Rebel T2i, which is a great affordable camera. The Canon 5D and 7D’s are amazing camera’s that I highly recommend. I just got a Canon 7D and I am in love with it, the quality of my photos have been better than ever.
You’re going to film school in Los Angeles, what are your plans for a film career?
I attend Columbia College Hollywood Film school in Los Angeles, California where my emphasis is Directing. My dream is to allow people to escape for 2 hours at a time and forget everything else that’s going on in their lives through my films. I have always found film to be like a form of therapy, a place where you can escape, and I feel there is nothing I would rather do in this world than to create art like that.
Where’s your favorite place to eat in Los Angeles?
My favorite place to eat in Los Angeles would have to be The Little Cafe on Ventura Blvd. They have some of the best breakfast plates I have ever tasted. Truly amazing food.
Favorite city for artistic inspiration?
I try never to limit myself with artistic inspiration, I think everywhere and everything are the most important tools to what makes images beautiful. I believe you cannot limit yourself to one style with your work or things will develop to be boring or repetitive. I find myself trying new things every location I shoot at, whether it be in Arizona, Los Angeles, or New York, I try and really capture the art, culture, and beauty of whatever is surrounding me.
City you haven’t been to but would like to?
One city I have always wanted to go to is Boston. I have heard nothing but amazing things about Boston and I think it would be a great experience.
Check out the video about Mikey’s winning shot and more about “Project Imagin8tion.”
City Lights Image by Mikey L’Heureux