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Illya Friedman

Illya Friedman is Preasident and Lead Product Designer of Hot Rod Cameras. Illya is also the inventor of the Hot Rod PL, the world's first professional PL mount adapter for an HDSLR camera. Illya spent more than a decade working on-set in the camera crafts and has been involved with dozens of industry firsts; including the first network TV series to shoot in 24p, the first TV series to shoot on XDCam, the first 4K feature film, 4K music video, and the first feature film shot entirely on an HDSLR camera. A lifelong tinkerer, Illya has been voiding warranties in order to improve the design and function of products since long before anyone paid him to do so.



Lisa Sotolongo

Lisa Sotolongo is the General Manager at Hot Rod Cameras. Lisa is a member of the Producer’s Guild of America with over 15 years of Line Producing and Production Management experience in both film and television. Some of her recent projects include: 2016 Shamrock/Gracie/Kimbo/Dada and the 2015 The Road to Dynamite 1 TV Specials for Spike,2016 Canelo Khan Countdown Show and PPV Commercials for HBO as well as the feature film, Keep the Faith. With an extensive background in camera equipment rentals and crewing, Lisa has a broad understanding of the needs of different size productions and the tools they use. This diverse experience allows Lisa to understand how to best support Hot Rod’s customers.



Sam Krump-Johnson

It was a cold night when Sam KJ came into the world. Deep in the north, in the mythical city of Minneapolis, MN, a June blizzard was raging. Outside, wolves howled and scratched at the door. Alone, his mother screamed in pain as her contractions got stronger, and closer together. It was clear to her that she was going to need to birth this child on her own.

Suddenly, there was a crash at the door. Boom! In it swung, and there stood Paul Bunyon, the legendary lumberjack. Bunyon rushed to Sam's mother, and with gentle firmness, baby Sam was delivered, and placed into his mother's arms. 
As Sam's mother looked into his eyes, she was met with a surprise. The infant Sam began explaining the differences between 4:2:0, 4:2:2, and 4:4:4! And he didn't stop there! The infant child was gifted with a natural knowledge of all things digital cameras-- a technology yet to be invented!
Paul Bunyon knew just what to do. He reached in his magic coonskin hat, and pulled out a Sony A7SII. He gave it to infant Sam, who was already walking around the room and practicing karate.
"Go now, boy. You have a special gift, and you must share it with the world."
And with that, Sam set out on a journey across America, planting apple trees in her fertile soil and knowledge of digital cameras and their proper uses in the minds of her people. 
Eventually, he made his way to Los Angeles, and found a home at Hot Rod Cameras, where he has thrived ever since.


Jordan Louis Smith

A native-born Hoosier, Jordan grew up in the farm country of rural Lebanon, Indiana. He completed his undergraduate studies at Columbia College Chicago, in Cinematography. Jordan moved to Los Angeles to pursue his passion of cinematography, where he then landed a job at Hot Rod Cameras. Along with being a working DP, Jordan works at Hot Rod to keep up with the knowledge of new technology and innovation.

 As Technical Sales Associate, Jordan oversees the web content, product entry and maintenance of new products. He also works closely with the sales floor and marketing to ensure optimum customer satisfaction and exploration into future product lines. Most importantly, Jordan has a passion for technical knowledge [Note from Hot Rod Cameras to Jordan: it's called "being a nerd," Jordan]. He oversees the majority of the Back-Bones modifications and VR Lens servicing to the GoPro 360 rigs.

 He is also probably to first to crack a joke and keep the store's personality in check.

 Jordan will work with the rest of the team to find a solution for all of your needs.



Dain Fuentes

It takes a photon more than 100,000 years to make its journey from the core of our sun, where it's created, to the sun's surface. It takes only another 8 and a half minutes to travel to the earth, bounce off of our subject, travel through our lens's elements, and land on our camera's imaging sensor, creating an image.

Lens enthusiast / cinematographer Dain Fuentes is always eager to work with new filmmaking and photographic equipment, with a particular affinity for lenses of all shapes and sizes. His favorite moments at Hot Rod Cameras have been geeking out with Alex Funke, ASC, about Raoul Coutard's camera movements and informing Zeiss about the folklore behind a certain 28mm f/2 lens of theirs. They have yet to confirm or deny the mythology in question.

Dain works on special projects and sales for Hot Rod Cameras. He has crewed on projects including live news broadcasts, indie features, infomercials, and more. He completed his M.F.A. at Chapman University, with a cinematography emphasis. His camera rental experience includes servicing Oscar-winning cinematographers and directors, as well as blockbuster features and highly-rated sporting events.