a documentary film guy

I was a natural documentary guy, interviewing visiting artists at camp, creating pseudo-news programs on a tape recorder, even as a small child of ten.

I was always fascinated with honesty and truth, and found it complicated. Cannot remember a time when I didn't struggle with How the world is, vs. how people perceive and present it. Right down to knowing that there are more than two perspectives on everything.

Storytelling about the world has always seemed like the most intrinsic, native art, and also the highest art. What could be fundamentally more important than the ways we learn?

Had the amazing fortune to grow up in a massively large suburb (100k+ people) on the edge of a city that was pretty, with a great variety of architecture and aesthetics, but which was deeply troubled, demographically. There was no way to grow up in the Boston of the 1970s and 80s, without being acutely aware of racism, segregation, stupidity, and the complicated lies (or mythology, perhaps) that people told about themselves and their attitudes. Essentially, an incredible experiment in hypocrisy and fragile identities.

While I did have the incredible (amazing, unbelievable) fortune to take media classes at a day camp four weeks every summer,  dedicated to the arts, largely created by some hippie matrons, and to work there, as did my older brother, for many years, and the fortune to go to a public highschool which had tv and film classes, I also talked my way into an internship at a local AM radio station, on the border of Waltham. Radio was big in Boston in those days. The station helped me get an FCC Board Op cert. Gave me a weekly radio show (pre-taped, edited, a different focus for the 15-mins each week (eventually breaking out of our 6am time slot, for a decent Sunday afternoon 4pm slot). And the school enabled me to work on my first un-finished documentary. They had a pretty amazing Deaf Ed program there. I interviewed the staff and students, and a former Dean of Gallaudet, on the topic of immersion vs. isolation, ASL vs. other forms of communication, and got all the interviews in ASL as well. Note: this was many years before 'the Sound and Fury.' But I lacked the ability to see how the story elements could come together. Mind you, I was 17.

● Working at Film/Video Arts was like - (Frankly, a brief stint at a left-wing photo agency didn't hurt)



● Some of my Best Friends

● Story consulting for various projects / outreach-building....

matt@realness.com   917-512-1433