Exploring the Filmmaking Journey of Toronto’s Patrick Tomasso

Meet Patrick Tomasso, a Toronto-based freelance cinematographer, photographer, and film writer.

Filmmaker Patrick Tomasso

Toronto-based filmmaker Patrick Tomasso has created engaging content for brands like Audi, Harry Rosen, and others. Keep reading to learn more about what keeps him creatively motivated, his favorite projects to date, and why he uses Musicbed to find the right music for his films.

Musicbed: What sparked your passion for filmmaking/storytelling?

Patrick Tomasso: Watching movies and TV as a kid. I was an only child until I was 14 and to occupy my time at home with two busy working parents, I just consumed movies like crazy. I was also lucky in that my parents would take me to the movies almost every weekend. We had a home video camcorder and I would make little documentaries and short films on VHS tapes growing up. I just loved movies and cameras. In high school, I got more into music production, but to promote my band we had to make videos and take pictures so I started getting more into video editing, and eventually, I started to realize that I preferred using a camera to an instrument. 

What keeps you motivated and creatively inspired?

Motivation is always tricky. I like to have hobbies that seemingly have nothing to do with filmmaking. I collect watches and I’m really into old tech and cars. Cooking is a big passion for me, and creatively I find that if I focus on a task that has nothing to do with picking up a camera, I’m much more inspired and “free” when I start a film project. I really try not to watch stuff in my own niche. Of course, I also still watch at least two movies a day. I’m just constantly consuming movies and TV. 

What makes a story visually appealing? What role does music play in storytelling?

Ultimately I think having a distinct and pure voice is what makes anything appealing. We live in a world that is mostly a content remix factory. I don’t think there’s ever been a more derivative time for visuals. Every other IG reel or TikTok is nearly identical to the one before it, so to stand you just need to be yourself as much as possible. Music plays a big part in that, again because of short-form content and “trending audio”—a real sure shot way to get through the noise is to just use unique music. 

What elements do you think are essential for crafting a compelling story?

I think there’s really only one essential thing, is what you’re trying to say coming from a real place? What’s the actual truth you’re trying to tell with your story? I’m drawn to films and books that portray behaviors in humans in a way that feels real—even in sci-fi or fantasy stories, you need to be able to relate to or question the actions of characters and events in a way that makes sense, and I think that only comes from being honest. 

How important is music in your work?

I consider it the most important part of my work. I’d argue that every single one of my ideas comes from hearing a song. It shapes the way I shoot and of course, the way I edit. Sometimes I even come up with stories simply from hearing a song. I come from a musical background so everything I do visually mostly stems from hearing music in the flow of what I create. 

Patrick Tomasso in car

What advice would you give other filmmakers/creators who are just starting their careers?

I try to remind people that there’s no template for success as a creator. You might not figure it out until you’re 60. There’s so much life I’ve had to live to do what I do. So many mistakes. So many other careers. My best advice? Get off social media as much as you possibly can. I’ve been creating online for probably 15 years now and my best ideas come from the real world. If anything I get held back and stuck when I start to consume too much “content.” Even if you intend to make content and get your ideas and inspiration from books, movies, TV, music, poetry… anything but Instagram and YouTube. 

How do you balance pushing boundaries creatively and delivering what your client wants or audience wants to see?

I know this isn’t really the norm, but I really compartmentalize client work from personal work. If you hire me to do a job, it’s just that—a job. I’m going to give it my best but I’ll never let ego get in the way of driving whatever objective a client has. If you want to sell a car, I’m not going to try and make a short film that satisfies my artistic desires. My job is to make sure that client sells cars. So, in this regard, I focus my creative objectives on my own projects. 

What is the most challenging aspect of being a filmmaker/creative?

Not copying everything you see. It’s so easy to mimic these days. I actually think making stuff look good is the easiest part of filmmaking now, but having a true honest voice has never been more difficult. These platforms all reward repetition and trends. It’s so easy to get sucked into the cycle of remixing because you’re instantly hit with dopamine for the ego, but I consider it all disposable. You’re replaceable if you can do what someone else does. You’re everlasting if you do something that’s entirely your perspective on the world. I think a lot about my digital footprint, or what I leave behind with what I make. Do I want to be the one-millionth person to use this song and this template? Or do I have something more to say? 

What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?

I’m really proud of the video essays about filmmaking I’ve been doing on my main channel. It was always a goal in the back of my mind to work with folks that make the movies and shows that I love, I always wanted to learn from them. So to have a platform now that creators want to be a part of is just a dream come true. It’s not what I want to do forever, but I know it’s part of my path. I want to make movies, it’s not a matter of if… it’s when. 

How do you search for music on Musicbed? What are some tips that you’d give other filmmakers to search on Musicbed?

I use Musicbed like it’s Spotify. I just listen to tracks when I’m not making projects. I make lists and download songs to put in folders for projects that don’t even exist yet. That way the music inspires what I want to make, and if something comes up I have an organized library of songs I love ready to go. I haven’t spent more than 5-10 min looking for music in a very, very long time.

Why do you utilize Musicbed in your work?

It’s just simply the best-sounding music service for filmmakers. I’ve been doing this for almost 15 years, working in advertising and corporate. I have a VERY low tolerance for bad “stock music” now, and nothing has ever come close to how natural and authentically great Musicbed’s songs are. Just give Makeup And Vanity Set a listen. You won’t find anything like that anywhere else.

Explore an exclusive playlist of Patrick’s favorite songs to use in his work—available to license only on Musicbed.