My Son, Matt, Is a Filmmaker: Watch ‘No Monsters in Berlin’ Online

About 17 years ago, the summer before he was about to start his freshman year at the School of Foreign Service in Georgetown, my son confided in me that he thought he wanted to go to film school instead. He is not an impulsive person so I knew he had given serious thought to what he said. I was sympathetic but I explained to him that it was too late to apply for film school for the fall semester. I advised him to go to the SFS and see how he felt during the year. If he still felt strongly about film school by midyear, he could then apply to film school.

As it turned out, one or two of his professors at the SFS discussed the issue with him and advised him not to leave Georgetown. One professor said that he would be getting a world class education at the SFS, and that graduates of film school were a “dime a dozen.” What you’ll gain by staying here, he told my son, is that you’ll have really good ideas for films you’ll want to make. Gradually he did become more invested in his studies at Georgetown and decided he would stay. He spent one summer during his college years at NYU film school, where he took his first official class in filmmaking since there weren’t any filmmaking classes at Georgetown.

Fast forward…during his senior year at Georgetown, he made a short film instead of writing a senior thesis.


His film, which he wrote, directed and filmed himself, won second place in the Georgetown Film Festival that year. It was his way of saying he still desired a career in filmmaking.

For the next decade he went from one job to another, developing skills that he felt would put him in a position to work on a film one day. First he did some freelance house painting. Then became an assistant to a carpenter. Next he spent a summer learning fine woodworking from a master of the craft. He eventually got a job with a NYC artist/entrepreneur who got him hired to help install some major art projects throughout NYC sponsored by a group called Creative Time. The venues included Governor’s Island, and the site of the soon-to-be High Line where he helped gut and prepare a former meat-packing plant, destined for demolition, for an art exhibition inside the plant.

He then moved from working on events, to installing equipment for a company that provides audio and visual programming for large-scale events in NYC such as the Museum of Natural History, and the Javits Center. During that time, he was continually developing his skills toward his goal of working on a film set.

He began to create his own short films, learning camera operator techniques on the job. A pivotal point in his development happened when he took a camera-operating class with a renowned Director of Photography.

There he began making contacts with people in the film business who gave him opportunities to work on films. Throughout this decade to support himself he was working all hours of the day and/or night, at venues throughout the five boroughs of NYC. He often had just a few hours notice to appear on a film set or a freelance job somewhere in NYC.

About a year and a half ago we took a family trip to Berlin. During that trip, he and his girlfriend cooked up a plan to make a short film about Syrian refugees who were seeking asylum in Berlin. They returned to Berlin six months later, and shot the film in a week! This short film, No Monsters in Berlin, was completed about six months ago and ever since then they have been working hard to get it accepted at various film festivals in the U.S. and Europe.

They succeeded in being accepted by the prestigious Newport Beach Film Festival in California, and the Manchester (England) Online Film Festival. He just emailed me to say that if enough people view his film online and vote for it, they have a chance of having the film shown live in NYC or Tokyo.

If you think you might be interested in supporting my son’s creative efforts in partnership with his girlfriend, who wrote the screenplay for the film, I urge you to visit the website below for the Manchester Online Festival, watch their 15-minute film and cast your vote. It will cost you $10 (sorry!), but obviously I think it’s worth it! And you will have done a very good deed since the film is about Syrian refugees finding their way in their new home, Berlin. Several of the actors and film crew are actual refugees.

The Manchester Festival URL is:

The website for the film itself is worth visiting:

http://www.nomonstersinberlin.com/

As you can tell, I’m a proud Mom, and of course I’d like to see his decade of hard work and discipline be affirmed by his peers, the community of filmmakers and critics. Thank you, Slicers, for your support!

(A photo of me with my son and daughter in our backyard.)

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “My Son, Matt, Is a Filmmaker: Watch ‘No Monsters in Berlin’ Online”

    1. Yes, it has been quite a journey for all of us. Watching him grow and work so hard toward his goal has been amazing. He is just now beginning to reap some of the small rewards for his dedication. I am sure there’s more to come.

      Like

    1. It’s definitely challenging…so many young people are competing for the same jobs, prizes, etc. It seems to be a career path that requires a lot of passion to overcome the odds. Good luck to him.

      Like

  1. What a great slice, and one that hits home with me – a dad with two of my three boys interested in filmmaking. I loved how you explained his path (I might share this post with my oldest, in his first year of college. He’s more interested in digital media and writing, but I think your son’s story and path has resonation).
    Sincerely,
    Kevin

    Like

    1. Your son will be facing a lot of competition since so many young people are now in that field. He’ll need a lot of persistence and focus, but being able to write well should give him an advantage over those who cannot. I’m glad you found the post inspiring! Three sons…wow!

      Like

    1. Thank you so much. I’ve been trying to follow your blog, but for some reason when it appears on my screen the top half of the blog is never there…it just kinda’ vanishes. Has anyone else been having this trouble? I have an ipad with an IOS6system, so I am wondering whether I’d need a more current IOS to fully receive your blog. I don’t have this problem with any of the other bloggers on TWT.

      Like

      1. I sent your question to my “tech man”.. you are the first to write about it. Are you going to the individual post directly or to the main blog at http://www.alicenine.net/blog/ ? The top of that page is a video of a coffee cup with steam… maybe your IOS doesn’t load that ?? Can you read the blog posts okay? Thanks so much for the feedback!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am going to the individual post on TWT SOL; then your logo and the top of the page appears and your blog starts to appear, but then somehow the top part of you blog becomes masked by your coffee cup video. It may be that because it’s a video (I wasn’t aware of that) my IOS system is not updated enough to process it. I cannot read your complete blog, and I think I’ve had trouble commenting on it as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s wonderful! Thank you so much. The $10 fee entitles you to watch about 30 short films over a three-day period. Maybe now that the March Challenge is over, you’ll actually have the time to do that. Please let me know what you think.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s