Rich Costales - Director/Editor

Apartment - Koreatown, Los Angeles

Rich (or Richie as his friends call him) is a candid, succinct, and levelheaded human. His apartment is distinct and minimal with 20 foot ceilings and a land-line phone; it’s clear this guy has some specific taste. His funky, family building sits on a seemingly quiet, residential street in Koreatown blocks away from BBQ joints and Ktown dive bars. He made us beautiful French Press coffee and then we drank bubbly orange wine on his balcony. Rich is striking knowledgeable, and curious - vivacious vibes all around.

What brought you to LA? 
A change of pace. I had been in New York for awhile, left and came back. I was ready for something different. Change is really great for me. So, I decided to make a really big change. It had to do a lot with family. My whole family is here. So... weather, family, people, and work.

How do you define yourself? Like, in a career way...
It depends on the context of who I’m meeting. If I’m meeting a fellow creative at a party, I would say, “I’m a filmmaker, and I’m editing trailers right now.” If it was just a quick thing, I would say, “trailer editor”. Depends on the context, but I consider myself personally a filmmaker; it’s just annoying to have to explain that.

Have you ever been called a hipster?
No. I think I’m too weird. I feel like it’s a non-thing. I wouldn’t be offended.

What does being a millennial mean to you?
Not very much. It’s just that anthropologists decide that. It’s not like you passed or failed the test.

How do you feel connected to your generation?
I believe that a hallmark of my generation is the evolution into communicating with newer and more nuanced technologies. When someone texts you “k” that means essays based on the context. That nuance is something that the whole generation definitely shares, like, the language that we speak. My mom can text and send emojis and things, but there’s much less nuance. It’s just text and phone. But, it’s the amount of virtual nuance that we have to deal with - what app to say what thing. I think about it a lot, but I try to keep it focused. I don’t have Facebook. I use Instagram, email, and text. 

What do you love about living in Ktown?
It’s intensely culturally diverse, so it feels like a big place in a very small place. In the context of LA, in the context of Ktown, in the context of my block. There’s all kind of culture, and that brings with it food -- when was that? Friday night, I got home late at 11pm. I was sitting here rolling a blunt, and I felt the ground vibrate. Then I hear Mariachi music in the distance, and I’m like, “What’s going on?”. All the sudden, two trumpets and strings come in for this ten minute song. It was the apartment downstairs having a birthday party. So for ten minutes, I just laid my ear on the ground and listened. It sounded like a six person Mariachi band and 50 people. That’s one reason I love this neighborhood. It isn't just action and bars and shows, which is every other cool, white neighborhood.

What are your favorite spots in Ktown?
It’s typical, but I love The Line Hotel. It’s got coffee in the morning, brunch, Pot and Commissary at night. The whole hotel itself is really cool. There’s this weird-ass, dumb club in the back, but it’s fun and you can dance there. The crowd is really weird, and it’s a karaoke bar. I hate that it’s a speakeasy. The Line is a good Ktown starting spot. 
There’s also crazy-awesome Mexican grocery stores and Mexican bakeries everywhere in this neighborhood. 
I don’t have a favorite Korean BBQ spot - I haven’t found it yet. But, Soot Bull Jeep is charcoal and is a really gnarly dinner experience because you come out smelling like a campfire. It’s super raw bare bones, like, it’s not the best service; it’s not the best pickle selection; it’s just really good meat.

How do you get around the city?
I usually drive. Or ride my Vespa. Or, Lyft/Uber.

Do you see yourself staying in LA?
For the foreseeable future, yes.

What does a typical Sunday look like for you?
This weekend is different, but it’s usually involving family at some point. And chores. Maybe getting brunch with my cousins. I have eight cousins, and I’m the oldest one. The youngest is nine years old. We all hang out a lot.

Tell me a little bit about your job.
I am an editor at Ignition Creative. We do a lot of trailers, but we also do a lot of production. Since I’ve been there, I’ve done everything Basically, I am a video content editor in all categories.

Is it a 9-5?
It’s a 10:05am to a 8:00pm. If I’m lucky. And midnight, if I’m not.

What have you been working on lately?
I did a really great Revenant TV spot that made it seem like an action/adventure movie. Iñárritu did not approve it, but it was a dope finish. We worked on that campaign for a long time.
I did an in-world trailer for a movie that doesn’t exist for Birdman, and I won a couple awards for that: a Clio and a Golden Trailer. I did a trailer for The Fifth Wave. I’m always working on new stuff. Right now I am working on this piece for The Dodgers with Kendrick Lamar that’s going to play before every game on the Jumbotron.
I am also a filmmaker. I have been directing kids content for Toca Boca’s new platform TocaTV. I really like directing, and I love working with kids.

What’s your favorite thing in your closet?
The giant, ranch-hand hat that my mom gave me. She gave one to everyone in the family. It’s huge. It’s too big. My grandpa does yard work in it because it covers his shoulders. I can’t see myself wearing it. Though on set, it would be perfect. It doesn’t matter if you look silly on set.

Who would you invite to dinner living or dead?
That’s a tricky one. Dinner… tough choice. If I had to decide right now, it would be Kendrick Lamar. He’s an awesome poet who has a lot to say. Somehow in his music and art, he has this gift to be instantly, shockingly engaging. He just turns on and everyone stops and listens. That’s my choice right now because he’s in my life stream.

What’s your favorite film?
Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Definitely.

What’s your favorite record?
I don't think I could choose a favorite record. Purple Rain OST though...

Where do you want to travel to?
Nowhere. I just want to sit here. Where do I have to go?

What inspires you?
Artistically - exploring and looking at the best art. And, the biggest heavy hitters. Whether it’s going to a museum or seeing old or new movies. Or, listening to an amazing new record that’s super well produced. That’s inspiring to me, and not necessarily breaking it down - just experiencing it for what it was created for.
Life-wise: my grandparents. They have been together for many years. They are both over 80. They are both inspiring to me as people. They are the classic American dream.

What’s your astrological sign? Does astrology play a part in your life?
Cancer. It doesn’t. Except that it’s a fun thing to talk about. Some signs can be generalized for sure, which is fun to speculate about. It doesn’t affect my daily life at all.

What are your favorite qualities in a human?
Confidence. Weirdness. Kindness.

What’s your Myer-Briggs Personality Type?
I'm constantly changing. Between ENFJ and INFJ.

What is your idea of happiness?
My idea of happiness? Isn’t everyone’s definition of happiness changing on a second-to-second basis?
Yesterday, I was really happy because I got a chance to be at home for a minute. I had glass of wine on my balcony and caught the sunset. As stupid and typical as it was, it was just, like, nice weather. I am #blessed to have a cool place and situation. Et cetera.

Who is your favorite artist?
In so many fields, there are so many people. I don’t have a favorite right now. If I had to pick: Rick Rubin. He keeps inspiration from drying out. And, he’s also a guru who is super chilled out. I guess he’s an artist? Yea, he’s definitely an artist.

What is your favorite color and flower?
Red. I don’t know if I have a favorite flower. Snap dragons. They are an active flower because you can play with them and make them talk. It’s an interactive flower experience.

Do you have a motto?
It is what it is. That’s my favorite motto. As much as you change and shape, you still are what you are, you know? So, it encourages you to think earlier and earlier and plan more and more. It depends on how you look at it. Also, my mom used to say, “life isn’t fair”. That helped me learn that early on.

For further Rich related discovery dive deep into Google dot com and/or follow @richcostalesofficial
Read more about things Rich didn't talk about here.

This portrait is part of our ongoing collaboration with Millennial Instinct.

Photography: Camille Cotteverte