Matt Morris: Documentary Filmmaker and Photographer Interview

Matt Morris is an award-winning filmmaker, his short films have been Emmy® nominated and have been selected for dozens of international film Festivals. We caught up with Matt regarding his latest endeavor, take a look after the jump for more.

We first wrote about Matt when we found his video about Mr. Happy online. The feelgood vibe as well as the great scenes and photographic direction in the short film really garnered our attention. Now Matt is back with his latest short, American Tintype, being released today! We caught up with Matt and asked him a couple of questions about his work. Check out the video and his answers below.

Please tell the community a little bit about yourself

I got interested in filmmaking when I was 17 and saw the movie Annie Hall. I’d never given much thought to filmmaking before, but while watching that movie, I instantly realized what a director did and that I wanted to be one. I stumbled into documentary filmmaking after college, when I found out about a barbershop in rural North Carolina where the barbers had been cutting hair for six decades and bluegrass musicians jammed in the back room. It sounded really interesting, so despite the fact that I had never made a documentary before, I went up to the barbershop and made a film about them. I had a great experience and I continue to happen upon new subjects, through articles or recommendations from friends, and love the fact that these people have spent their whole lives essentially writing a script. I get to come in and do my best to capture it.

How did you get started with photography and documentary film making?

For the longest time I envied those who still took film photos, but every photographer I would ask discouraged me from doing anything but digital. Too difficult, too expensive, not as much control. I rummaged around my parents house and found a Nikkormat FTN from the 70’s. I put a roll through it and fell in love. A cinematographer friend of mine had an old Mamiya C3 TLR that he gave to me when he saw me shooting on film, and I’ve been using that for quite some time, though it recently broke. I think film photography is great for creativity and makes you a better digital photographer. Locking yourself into constraints (such as a fixed lens, or black and white film) can force creative decisions that you never would have come to if you had all the possibilities and control of digital post-processing. It also makes me a more deliberate photographer, when you know you have only so many shots on a roll, and each shot is costing you money.

Photos by Matt Morris

How do you select the subjects of your documentaries?

I found out about Harry Taylor when putting my first short Pickin’ & Trimmin’ online. Harry lives in my hometown of Wilmington, NC, and I had just gotten engaged, so my fiancée and I decided to have Harry take our engagement photos. In an age of instagram feeds and thousands upon thousands of images on your computer that almost never get printed off, I loved the idea of each photo being a one-of-a-kind, physical object. You can scan it, sure, but it doesn’t have the same feel or patina. These are truly heirlooms to be passed down generations.

Engagement photos by Harry Taylor
Photo of Harry and Matt made after the interview

How long does a project like this take to complete from idea to final cut?

The process of filming was rather quick. I shot it in an afternoon with two cameras, the first film I’ve shot entirely on my own. A buddy of mine came in and ran audio for the interview. I had a cut of a film within a week. What took longer was post-production, which lasted a few months mostly because I was able to work with amazing folks like Skywalker Sound, EFilm, and Method Design, but to do so meant I had to work around their schedules. The film is infinitely better as a result, so it was worth the wait.

What’s on the horizon for you?
Right now I’m trying to focus on writing a feature film, but in the meantime I still want to be active in fun little short projects like American Tintype.

Check out more of Matt’s work on his website

written by gabysalas on 2012-11-13 in #lifestyle #matt-morris

More Interesting Articles

  • Carlos Somonte and his Affair with the Diana

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2014-05-18 in #people #lifestyle
    Carlos Somonte and his Affair with the Diana

    Carlos Somonte is an award-winning and prolific photographer whose experience spans over three decades of personal and professional work. Aside from photos that have been used in various advertising campaigns by some of the world’s most recognized advertising firms, he has done work for publications, and even film and theater. Mr. Somonte has worked with the likes of directors Alfonso and Jonas Cuaron, and producer Cameron Mackintosh. He has photographed the stills from their productions and his photos have appeared on numerous publicity posters.

  • LomoAmigos Yougofirst Shoot With The LomoKino In Their New Snowboard Movie

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-10-09 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigos Yougofirst Shoot With The LomoKino In Their New Snowboard Movie

    Are you ready for an adrenaline rush? A little while ago, we teamed up with the snowboard and film-making collective Yougofirst and gave them a LomoKino and some film rolls to play with. After a season of crazy riding, jumps and tricks, they have finished their latest movie HETEROTOPIA which features footage shot with our 35mm movie-maker. We had the chance to catch up with Vid and Matic from the collective about the new movie and their experiences shooting analogue on the slopes. It's also our pleasure to showcase the movie here!

  • Catching Waves with Lomo Cameras and Bastien Bonnarme

    written by lomographyfrance on 2014-07-21 in #people #lomoamigos
    Catching Waves with Lomo Cameras and Bastien Bonnarme

    Only 30 years old, French photographer Bastien Bonnarme has already documented international surf events such as the Roxy ASP Women’s Longboard Competition,the Belharra Wave, and the Nixon Surf Challenge. And as if that wasn't interesting enough, Bastien is also a lomographer! We lent Bastien some of our cameras for his trip to Kamtchatka with the Nixon Surf Challenge Team, and we're thrilled to finally showcase what he brought back from the great cold. Check out the photos and the exclusive interview after the jump.

  • Shop News

    Petzval Buddies

    Petzval Buddies

    Petzval lens are designed for a Canon or Nikon SLR mounts and a selection of brass or black for each camera brand is available in our stores. And start shooting with images full of sharpness, crispness and bokeh effects!

  • Lomography x The Staves Competition: Winners Announcement!

    written by annoushka on 2015-04-01 in #world #competitions
    Lomography x The Staves Competition: Winners Announcement!

    The competition Lomography x The Staves ended on March 23, 2015, and there had been so many participants for the theme, "brothers and sisters." It's now time to celebrate the winners picked by Lomography and The Staves!

  • Waggrad00 is our LomoHome of the Day!

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-04-01 in #world #news
    Waggrad00 is our LomoHome of the Day!

    From everyone here in Lomography, congratulations to waggrad00 for winning Home of the Day!

    2
  • Capturing the Beauty of Life – A Talk with Esben Bøg Jensen

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-04-01 in #people #lifestyle
    Capturing the Beauty of Life – A Talk with Esben Bøg Jensen

    Warm tones, subtle grains, beautiful moments of everyday life – the photos by Esben Bøg Jensen, a young and talented photographer from Denmark, let us escape into our memories and dream about a never-ending spring. We talked to the photographer himself and couldn’t help feeling a pleasant wave of joy overcoming us. Read on and get inspired to search for the moments that make us feel alive.

    2
  • Shop News

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    At 25% off you can take dreamy 35mm images with this little black beauty. Beam coloured light into your shots with its accompanying Diana Flash Back accessory and be the analogue king of the night.

  • Photo of the Day by nicholxmak

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-04-01 in #world #news
    Photo of the Day by nicholxmak

    Red is the color of the day, eh?

    1
  • Photo London 2015 Tickets On Sale Now

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-04-01 in #world #news #events
    Photo London 2015 Tickets On Sale Now

    Collectors and photography enthusiasts may now buy tickets for Photo London to be held from May 21 to 25, 2015.

  • Petzval Amigo: Davie Tidd

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-04-01 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval Amigo: Davie Tidd

    We lent David Tidd a Petzval Art Lens to test its full potential. He gave us some tips on how to get the most out of this beautiful portrait lens. Read on for the full interview.

  • Shop News

    Show Off your Pics with Style!

    Show Off your Pics with Style!

    Build vivid hanging LomoCurtains, robust free-standing LomoCastles, and dazzling mounted LomoMosaics! Just click them together with the Lomography Photoclips!

  • This Is What An LC-A Instant Looks Like

    written by shhquiet on 2015-04-01 in #gear #news
    This Is What An LC-A Instant Looks Like

    Anything can happen in an instant, right? This is also true with instant snapshots taken with the Lomo LC-A+ camera and LC-A Instant Back+ accessory. Here's a quick look at the bizarre, unpredictable world of LC-A+ Instants!

  • Lomography X Das Salz der Erde Competition

    written by petit_loir on 2015-04-01 in #world #competitions
    Lomography X Das Salz der Erde Competition

    On the occasion of the German DVD release of Wim Wenders' latest documentary "Das Salz der Erde" on April 9, we're giving away DVD and Blu-ray copies of it. Learn more about the award-winning documentary film and take part in our new competition. Show us your best black and white photographs!

  • Lomography NYC Workshop and Events for April 2015

    written by mindofmyra on 2015-04-01 in #people #news #events
    Lomography NYC Workshop and Events for April 2015

    As the weather warms up and the sun begins to shine, it's time to take your cameras off the shelf and into action. April is a special month because of Film Photography Day, marking a special date for us film photographers. We need you to help celebrate the wonders of film photography and keep the magic alive. #filmphotographyday2015