Guest: Matthew Harrison (Writer/ Director/ Producer/ Editor)
Projects: “Rhythm Thief” A jury prize winning film at the Sundance Film Festival.
“Kicked In The Head” Executive produced by Martin Scorsese
starring: Kevin Corrigan, Linda Fiorentino, Michael Rapaport,
James Woods, Lily Taylor and Burt Young
Production Company: Film Crash
The first words that come to mind when I think of my guest tonight is this guy is a character, a true filmmaker. Matt Harrison made his filmmaking debut at the age of 10 when he made a crime drama that got more laughs then he thought. But what do you expect from a film that ends with your brother taking a whiz in the corner? But, in his lead up to making Rhythm Thief, Harrison never stopped making films and developing his craft, both practically, by making film after film, and through to the Kuper Union School of Art.
In fact, in part, he financed “Rhythm Thief” with money he won from a short festival. He caught Martin Scorsese’s eye with Rhythm and you have to watch the show and hear him tell the story of the phone call he received from Mr. Scorsese, which lead to the making of “Kicked In The head”
He worked with the same cinematographer on both films Howard Krupa, who did an amazing job. We talked about their relationship and how they worked together. On Rhythm they were working with a $30,000 budget and on Kicked, a 4 million, so there was a bit of contrast.
In particular I really appreciated how Harrison and Krupa shot Rhythm. As you might imagine with a budget so low they shot a lot of scenes in masters. We talk about that and what I think is the very creative and artistic way in which they did so. This also leads into great comments about editing 16mm film.
A side note for future filmmakers thinking about shooting scenes in masters, is if you have a few extra seconds to spare, shoot a “cutaway” shot. A car driving by, the exterior of a building, the clock on the wall, something relevant to the scene. You do this in case there is something wrong with an otherwise great master shot and you just need to cutaway for a second or so. More on this on the show.
The combination of pace, style, shooting, music, acting and editing are blended together with finesse by Harrison making Rhythm a good watch for filmmakers and film fans alike.
“Kicked In The Head” is perfectly cast as if the roles were written for the actors. Some of the humor in this film hits you over the head, and at other times very subtle. And lets not forget Linda Fiorentino! I’ve had a crush on her since the movie “Gotcha”.
It’s interesting to see the writing and film style of Harrison go from no budget black and write to a real budget (mind you still low by Hollywood standards) color.
Harrison has several projects in development through his company Film Crash (website above)
Thanks for tuning in! Let me know what you think!