There’s been a bit of a buzz about young Matt Long, born and raised in Prince George, who is becoming a movie-maker extraordinaire. He wrote, filmed, directed and edited Jaded and Curse of the Blue Dragon which got into the Toronto International Teen Movie Festival last summer, and has started a production company named Team Sprocket. Matt’s just finished his latest flick Inheriting January (35 minutes) and a short called Still Life (5 minutes) that will have their world premieres at an upcoming evening of cinema at CNC on May 3 and 4.
Like one of his director idols Paul Thomas Anderson who did Boogie Nights and Magnolia, Matt always wanted to be a film maker and watching movies was the only education he needed. The clinch came when he was watching his favorite movie The English Patient, directed by Anthony Minghella and based on the Michael Ondaatje novel. “It was so gorgeous, the cinematography was just so stunning, I knew then that I wanted to make movies for a living,” said Matt from his home studio where he has just finished editing Inheriting January. He’s tired because he was up till three putting the finishing touches on it.
On Team Sprocket’s website (www.teamsprocket.com) where he regularly posts the latest progress on his movie, there is a quote from Ondaatje’s book Light. “These are their fragments, all I remember, wanting more knowledge of them.” It is the key to understanding what lies at the heart of Inheriting January.
UNBC student Dustin Lawrence, played by Levi Lund (Curse of the Blue Dragon), is told that his grandfather has died and that he’s been left with $3,000 and a locked box. The key to the box is missing and the contents of the box are unknown, so Dustin has to return home to look for the missing key.
“People are constantly asking me what this movie is about and I always get nervous. Perhaps this is because it is a story that is so close to me, or perhaps it is because the story is a subtle one, and to explain much at all is to give away the point of the movie. The key to this story has a lot to do with atmosphere. It’s the music, the visuals, and the acting that are going to tell the story here,” said Matt.
The piano soundtrack to Inheriting January is written and played by Matt. Scenes were shot at UNBC, Huble Homestead, The Giscome Portage and on many a wintery road with a nine-foot steel tripod mounted atop the car with a monitor inside.
Matt says he works most creatively under stress. Not only does he get his idea for his next project while in the throws of another but he edited the visually-stunning Inheriting January in recent weeks during the university exam period. While filming this movie he got the idea for Still Life, a story that grew out of wanting to create a narrative from magnetic fridge poetry, which he submitted as one of his English projects. He recently submitted a portfolio of his work for Vancouver Film School and was told he’s “light years away from most submissions.” Matt is hoping to attend in the fall.
Cinema CNC presents Inheriting January directed by Matt Long and coproduced by Alyson Williams at An Evening of Short Films on May 3 and 4 in Room 1-306. Also screened will be Still Life and a short film from New Mexico.