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Behind the scenes: Film industry veteran paints sets, runs photography business

Lucas Mathew Stein is a filmmaker and photographer based in Albuquerque. (Courtesy of Lucas Mathew Stein)

Lucas Mathew Stein’s journey into the filmmaking world has been long.

It’s been full of ups and downs.

Yet he persists.

Stein works in the film industry, as well as his job as a photographer. He’s held a number of positions in the film industry and currently paints sets.

When Netflix picked up “Longmire” in 2014 for its fourth season, Stein was a personal driver to Netflix executives, directors and producers for the television show.

“I had the job every driver in the state of New Mexico wanted, a job every wannabe filmmaker dreamt of getting, yet I wished to be doing something else,” Stein says. “You don’t always get what you want, but sometimes, the world gives you what you need. ‘Longmire’ was mostly produced on the road from my van. I saw it as an opportunity to take pictures of all the splendor of New Mexico that we were seeing daily. I bought a digital camera, a Sony NEX, and began picking the brains of the ‘Longmire’ guest directors and the directors of photography to learn more about using my camera.”

Today, in addition to the film work he does, Stein can be found photographing headshots or doing high-concept shoots for food or fashion.

Every experience has led him to where he is today, and his photography work can be viewed at

Here are five things to know about Stein:

1 My background was as a body-mind therapist. I am trained in neurolinguistic programming, Jungian hypnosis, neuromuscular bodywork and Chinese medicine. I served as the soigneur/massage therapist to the Celestial Seasonings U.S. professional bicycling team out of Boulder, Colorado, (later continuing my education, earning my EMT-B license) and traveled the world with them.

2 I’ve been referred to as Lucas the Driver, and it drives me crazy. I was also a talented assistant director and production coordinator. All I ever wanted to be was a director and producer.

3 By the end of season three of “Longmire,” I was tired of being called Lucas the Driver and retired from the local Teamsters 492. I enrolled in school at the Santa Fe Community College and studied graphic design. I had learned how to use digital cameras and thought that it was time to study art to perfect my new craft.

4 Moving to Florida to help my brother after an accident, I co-founded an acting and production school for kids in Boca Raton with a location manager friend of mine, the YouCreate Academy.

5 New Mexico called my soul home. I moved back two years ago, and began painting sets for and with Randy Ortega Sr. That is still my day job. With the money I earn from painting sets, I have been producing and directing independent films here in Albuquerque. I mostly use my photography gear and UNM film studies college graduates as labor and crew. I have developed, produced and directed three TV pilots this year while building my commercial photography business, Collaboration Imagery, out my studio in Nob Hill.

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