blog-002

Friendly friends, it is my tremendous pleasure to share a first-look at GRAVE CONCERNS, the 12-part comedic web series that follows two disgruntled gravediggers in the Wild West.

Each episode will straddle the line between comedy & drama (O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU meets LOUIE) exploring themes surrounding society, existentialism and, ultimately, how & why men fail to communicate with each other.
_
gcicon003

 

We are applying for funding from the Independent Production Fund, and as part of the IPF’s evaluation, we are encouraged to get as many views as possible.

THEREFORE if you enjoyed the GRAVE CONCERNS Web Series Preview, we cordially invite you to…

(1) Subscribe to our YouTube page

(2) Like our Facebook page, & most importantly… 

(3) SHARE THE FOLLOWING LINK WITH FRIENDS, FAMILY & EVEN TOTAL STRANGERS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_VJQyZTLKg

Sincerely, thank you for watching and for any support that you can offer us in our hunt to get this thing made (remember: Like, Subscribe & Share). As I wrote in last month’s GRAVE CONCERNS blog entry, I have never been this creatively excited for a project in my life.

Much love, folks. ❤️

gc-005

CAST:
Timothy – Tim Walker
Clifton – Jeff Hanson
Old Man – Robert Nasmith

CREW:
Writer / Director – Glen Matthews
Producer – Melani Wood
Director of Photography – Mark Corless
Assistant Director – Steve Cutler
Wardrobe – Holly Lloyd
Title Design – Britt Edwards
Visual Compositor – Brendan Henry
Additional Audio Recording – Matt Sutherland
Executive Producer – Adam Massey
Special Thanks – Tim Corrigan, Alexandra Cooney

THE FILMS OF TAIKA WAITITI

tw001

Hello friends,

I wanted to take a moment out of my regularly scheduled self-promotion on this here web zone to share my infatuation with the films of this fine dishevelled gentleman, Taika Waititi (pronounced joyously: Ti-kuh Why-tee-tee).

The ability to balance comedy with emotional stakes is a constant in many of my favourite films — ie. films from filmmakers like Edgar Wright, Wes Anderson, the Coen Brothers, Noah Baumbach (when paired w/ Greta Gerwig), Billy Wilder, John Hughes, Charlie Chaplin, so I’m here to say that if you enjoy those folks you need to catch up with Taika Waititi at your earliest convenience.

The first film I saw from Waititi was the best damn film-going experience I’ve ever had…

tw002

Halifax’s Outlier Film Festival, a festival dedicated to showcasing genre films, was screening WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (2014). I knew nothing about the film other than it was a vampire mockumentary from New Zealand, so I was surprised to see the Bus Stop Theatre packed to capacity (which was 60 people, for the small indy black box theatre).

The lights went dark and before long, all 60 of us were all cackling and knee-slapping in unison. 90 minutes later, the lights came back up and I was absolutely floored. I hadn’t been a part of a collective experience like that ever before, where every moment landed as intended, the highs & the lows, the emotional reality of something so silly as vampires living in a flat.

The second film was 2010’s BOY

tw003

Again, I went in blind, avoiding reviews or trailers, and again, I was floored. The ability to balance comedy with drama has always been the way straight to my film-loving heart and BOY‘s coming of age story set in the beautiful New Zealand landscape showcased some incredibly impressive tonal gymnastics, and it was at this point that I was convinced that Taika Waititi was a filmmaker to pay attention to.

The third film, which sealed my love for Waititi, was 2016’s HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE

tw004

Unlike the previous two films, I couldn’t help myself from diving in and getting an early look at this film. The trailers looked incredible and the early buzz from critics was overwhelmingly positive. I was going into this one with the often-deadly “high hopes”. I’m happy to report that the film delivered as Waititi managed to draw me in with laughs, heart, and some solid action scenes (all while providing some subtle social commentary on institutional colonialism).

Comedy is super subjective, of course, but I think the key for comedy is sincerity, and that is something that I think is sorely missing in much of comedy today. Waititi’s characters have hopes & dreams that they strive for, and that is where I fall in love with his films.

SINCERITY > FLIPPANCY 👌

Up next, Waititi is directing THOR: RAGNAROK, which combines my fav Avengers, Thor & Hulk, and also apparently features a John Cena cameo, so I’m glad to hear that Marvel has been receiving my letters.

tw005

That’s all for now. Check out some Waititi flicks and let me know what you think, yo. ❤

SPACE MONKEY

spacemonkey_49

Good news, everyone! My longstanding love-affair with the wonderful world of professional wrestling is alive & well! I recently shot SPACE MONKEY, a short film / promotional video for the oh-so talented independent wrestler, Space Monkey.

“Hold on a minute, Glen! You made another wrestling movie?!”

This isn’t just another wrestling film — (but thank you for the chance to mention my previous wrestling film, SAVING FACE) — this film is an absurdist origin story for the character Space Monkey through the eyes of a grief-stricken Canadian Space Agency scientist.

If all things go well, I’m hoping to share this weirdo with the world in March. Until then, have a look at some photos (by Britt Edwards), whydontchya?

spacemonkey_19

Dan Sanderson plays The Scientist.

spacemonkey_56

NAME REDACTED plays Space Monkey (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

spacemonkey_24

DOP Mark Corless (who also shot GRAVE CONCERNS) helped me make this damn thing.

spacemonkey_39

Here’s Mark and Steve Cutler, setting up the Steadycam and flipping off the Stills Photographer for no good reason at all. What a jerk.

spacemonkey_68

Sound guy extraordinaire, Adam Burke, doing sound things.

That’s all for now. Can’t wait to share more, folks.

Until then, shoot for the stars!

GRAVE CONCERNS

gc-003
Hey you, yes you, reader of these words.

sup?

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here, mostly because this has primarily been a place for keeping track of my acting endeavours (which have been put on the backburner for the foreseeable future). How are you doing?

As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve taken my filmmaking talents to the wonderful world of advertising, joining up with the ad house Clark Stanley (ClarkStanley.com). Aside from employing me, the fine folks at Clark Stanley have also produced the pilot for a web series that I’ve written and directed (very nice of them, I know).

What’s the web series? Oh, I’m glad you asked…

gc-002
( Title design(s) by the oh-so talented Alexandra Cooney. )

GRAVE CONCERNS tells the story of two men, Timothy Sellmeyer & Clifton B. Pluck, toiling away in the Wild West, working in the booming business of grave-digging.”

Aside from being two very handsome & talented actors, Tim Walker & Jeff Hanson are also good friends who I met shortly after moving to Toronto last October. I had wanted to come up with an idea to shoot with them for a long time, and it wasn’t until July that the idea for two gravediggers in the Wild West came to me.

gc-004

The image of two men toiling away in the [traditionally romanticized] Old West & working at a shit job — simply enough: it made me laugh. I assure you, there’s more to the story than their occupation, but that’ll come later.

We shot in September, and I finished editing the pilot this past Thursday.

I say this with all the sincerity I can muster via blog post:

I have never been this creatively excited for a project in my life — I cannot wait to share GRAVE CONCERNS with you. The day for the pilot’s release is still a ways away as we hunt for series funding to get the full season made, but please stay tuned.

gc-001

gc-005

On the advertising side of things, I’m keeping busy, but there’s nothing I can report on until it’s done. Hold tight. Oh, I’m also workin’ on a new website.

Fun things ahead! Hope you’re well, friend-o’s!

“SAVING FACE” ONLINE!

sf-wordpress
H’oh boy, the time has come! I am so damn happy to be releasing my latest directorial effort, SAVING FACE!

This film has an incredibly personal story to it for me, which I’ve shared further down the page, so for those of you who might be into that kind of thing, keep scrolling when you’re done watching.

SYNOPSIS: With the world watching, a mild-mannered pro-wrestler transforms into what he’s always fought against: the bad guy.

Ring the bell!

https://vimeo.com/107735653

CREW:
Writer / Director / Editor: Glen Matthews ( GlenMatthews.ca ), Producer: Andrew Hicks ( fairfield-creative.com/ ), Director of Photography: Liam Higgins ( jellyphresh.com/ ), Assistant Director: Ian Burns ( ianburns.sqsp.com/ ), Wardrobe / Costume Design: Bonnie Archibald-Awalt, Sound Design & Mix: Dave Johnson, Data Management: David Fulde.

CAST:
Red – Glen Matthews, Blue – Bob Mann, The Wife – Becca Babcock, Red Jr. – Ethan Beck, Boss – Kevin Gerrior, The Ref – Chris Fitzgerald, Manager – Ralph Walton-Bone Urquhart, Flatbed – Troy Merrick AKA Sexton Phoenix, Big Rig – Jason Collier AKA Lumber Jack Johnson, Kontra – Chris Cooke AKA The Big Picture, Slambo – Ryan Mader AKA Lincoln Steen.

…Things got pretty weird there, eh?

Those of you who know me are well aware that I have a long-standing obsession with professional wrestling. It started when I was a child, continued through my teens, then, after high school, I sold my car and moved to Moncton, New Brunswick to pursue training in the squared circle.

After a week of my grappler-education, I called home from a terribly depressing pay phone at a Moncton strip mall, telling my parents I was quitting wrestling. Why? Long story short: my body sucks (bad knees, bad back) and I knew I didn’t stand a chance if my body was crapping-out on me already. The dream was over before it even began.

After a bit of career-experimentation (ie. working at Bluenotes for a year), I eventually found my way to acting, which I really enjoyed, and people told me I was good at. Acting eventually lead to filmmaking, and eventually, thanks to SAVING FACE, filmmaking brought me back, full-circle, to professional wrestling…

Our shoot consisted of seven days of straight shooting. It was a gruelling process for all involved (I owe many people on that crew many beers). Our final three days of shooting were in the Halifax Forum, where we would be shooting all of the wrestling scenes.

We spent hours setting up the ring, exhausted, but knowing it had to get done before the next day, and when it was, I started running the ropes, and all of a sudden I just started laughing my ass off. It hit me like a ton of bricks: this was the very definition of a dream come true.

The next couple of days, we had four professional wrestlers come in, all of whom I sincerely respect (and have long admired); they worked with us, we worked with them, and I was in absolute heaven getting tossed around.

Honestly, I could go on for hours about how much making this film meant to me, but I just want to say thank you to everyone who had a hand in helping me get to whatever point in my career that I needed to be at to say, “Hey, I don’t know if anyone’s gonna dig this, but I’m gonna go make this weird wrestling film anyway.”

There’s a lot of you who’ve contributed to my career, either directing me in a short, handing me a water bottle between takes, or just saying something nice (don’t forget you wonderful people who donated to the Saving Face IndieGogo), thank you for playing a part in allowing me to live this dream.

On to the next one.

img_0413

SCREEN NS NOMINATION

lureatsns
The Screen Nova Scotia Awards were this past Saturday. LURE (directed by Jesse Harley) was nominated for four awards: Best Picture, Best Lead Performance by an Actress (Andrea Lee Norwood), Best Performance by a Supporting Actor (Richard Donat), and Best Actor in a Lead Performance, which I was nominated for.

Congratulations to Mike McLeod, for picking up the Best Lead Actor Award for his work on Thom Fitzgerald’s FORGIVE ME. I totally don’t hate you. I swear.

In all honesty, it was an incredible honour to be recognized for our work in light of the past few weeks spent battling the NS Liberals, trying to save our homegrown industry. Thank you to Screen Nova Scotia and everyone who had a hand in the evening. It was an excellent celebration of everyone’s hard work.

Update – June 15/15: Who needs Screen Nova Scotia’s stupid awards when you can get one from from the Eastern North Carolina Film Festival? That’s right, I picked up Best Actor honours from the folks down south! Thanks, kindly.

WHAT WORKED FOR ME

whatworkedwebsite
I’ve decided to do something fun: I’ll be hosting an acting workshop next month (Sunday March 15th & 22nd). I’ve called it WHAT WORKED FOR ME because it just that, a collection of things, big and small, that have worked for me in the acting profession.

This workshop will focus on self-promotion and auditioning technique. It is built to give actors at all levels the skills to (1) promote your work efficiently, by converting self-promotion into opportunities, and to then (2) capitalize on those opportunities with strong auditioning habits.

If you’re in Halifax next month and want to take part, send an email to glenmatthewsworkshop@gmail.com to reserve a spot (spaces are limited).

For more info, head over to the Facebook event page @ https://www.facebook.com/events/1540750282866249/

Thanks guys, should be fun.