During his studies at UCSC, Mockoski became interested in local film history. Born and raised in Santa Cruz, he researched the role his community played in the development of film production during the silent era. After completing a Master’s degree in Film Archiving at the University of East Anglia, Mockoski worked at the UCLA Film and Television Archive in the Collections and Preservation Department. There he assisted in developing a method for recreating the tinting effects in silent films. Since 2002 he has been the Film Archivist at Francis Ford Coppola’s company, American Zoetrope, where he has been responsible for overseeing the construction of Zoetrope’s first temperature and humidity-controlled film vault. He also obtained a large collection of magic lanterns for the archive, now on display at Coppola’s Rubicon Winery. The lantern collection has been called, “The most significant collection on display in the United States,” by the academy of motion pictures arts and sciences.