The Wayward Storyteller
When you're from such an artistically diverse place like Seattle, it's easy to meet people along the way who are nothing but inspiring. We recently interviewed Seattle native Matt Law-Phipps to learn more about the art of filmmaking and found that his story is not only original but one of a true underdog.
Read Matt's story and find out how he came to be the storyteller that he is today.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Matt Law. Well, I'm actually Matthew Law-Phipps, with one of those weird ass hyphenated names since my parents were such liberal Berkeley hippies, but everyone always says my name wrong so I just go by "Matt Law".
I'm a filmmaker and a storyteller and have a side job in fighting crime.
Home is Seattle, Washington, rain or shine. Although, to be honest, it's a bit tough to objectively answer that question. I was born in Yakima, Washington, which boasts as being the capital for amazing produce (notably apples), and unfortunately for being the crystal meth capital of the state... as well as having the most gangs per capita within Washington. I'm glad for my rural roots, but I thank the Universe every day that I was able to be raised in Seattle, which is truly the best city on earth. Now I live in Los Angeles though, where I guess you could say I've established a new home base.
When did you become interested in film?
I'm not sure... I've always read voraciously and been a comic and video game nut, which are just different mediums to express storytelling. I always liked movies, but I guess I fell in love with filmmaking in 7th or 8th grade at Whitman Middle School when I took a class that all the kids just considered to be the "easy/cool" class. Mr. Sheehan was the teacher, and he'd basically show movies, talk about moviemaking, and you'd do dinky little interviews around the school and get credit, but it introduced me to the techniques and cinematic language that exists within film, and which I find so fascinating. I remember he showed Hitchcock's Rear Window one day and I was hooked
How did get your start?
I just started picking up information wherever I could. My friends and I would just shoot random stuff on my buddy/brother's Ryan's camera, like things we thought were funny, or us skating and snowboarding, and then we taught ourselves how to edit the pieces together. I do owe everything I know about actual filmmaking to Ballard High School's Matthew Lawrence though. Ballard was the high school I went to, and we had a gem of a film program that Mr. Lawrence spearheaded and made happen despite us being an underfunded public school. He showed that wit, story, and content outweigh any other factor.
What was your experience with moving from the Pacific Northwest to Southern California?
The experience was... lengthy, but long story short, I chose to follow my heart and go with film instead of going to play sports and take some major I had no interest in. So I had a scholarship to a school for film in Philadelphia, but couldn't stand it so I transferred out when I was a sophomore. Truth be told when I moved to California I was leaping and hoping the net would appear. I crashed on couches, slept in the car, roomed with random/hella suspect strangers and hustled until I found my way off of the wandering lonely path that is being 20 in a city where you know no one and have a dream that lies behind a gilded, ten story stone door. But the process taught me true independence, which I thought I knew before, but really had no idea. It also showed me that there is a difference between dreams and goals... And in order to go from one to another, you need to take your plan and lofty ideas and put them into action.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Everything and everywhere I can... As much as a cop out as that answer is. I guess it's like Ram Dass says: "When you know how to listen, everybody is the guru." Though I draw most of my inspiration from music, people I admire like my friends and idols, nature, and the ever infinite mysteries of the universe, since its that questioning that leads us on adventures.
Like when people just saw open ocean and said, "Hmm... I wonder what that's all about?" And then you go on an adventure to find out. That's dope, that's inspiring.
Do you think being raised in Seattle has influenced your work at all?
Absolutely, everything I do and how I operate is because of Seattle's influence on my life.
What mark do you want to leave on the world?
I don't want to just leave a mark. I want to save the world.
Check out The Matts 2015 Showreel on Youtube
or find him on: