Posted by: michellemuldoon | May 31, 2016

Filmmaker on the Rise: Matt Sconce

Matt Sconce Altar

I first met Matthew (Matt) Sconce several years ago at the Action on Film International Film Festival. He was screening his first feature film, Stricken, and everyone was talking to the young man who came out of nowhere. I say “talking to” versus “talking about” because Matt is one of the most open, amiable filmmakers you will ever meet at a film festival. Since then, I’ve gotten to know him better and I think, no I know, that this is the year that everyone will be talking about Matt Sconce even if they aren’t at a film festival.  While every journey in film is unique, there’s something special in his.

Matt’s path to feature film success starts with American Idol. Yep, you heard me, American Idol. Matt and his wife entered a national American Idol music video contest sponsored by Ford back in 2004, and guess what, they won. The prize included a car, video camera, money, a trip to the finale, being in a music video with the finalists and a host of other items. It was fifteen minutes of fame that ignited a life time passion. With that camera Matt filmed his first short project and thus began his practical education in film.

Eleven short films and a host of awards later, Matt set his sights squarely on making a feature film. That goal was achieved with Stricken, and now there’s no turning back.

Matt is currently on the festival circuit with is third feature, a found footage film called Altar, and it’s receiving great reviews and already racking up a cabinet full of awards.

Altar Cast

Altar is the story of a brother and sister’s relationship bound by the story of seven former college students dropped into the middle of a terrifying adventure. When they become lost in the woods, they stumble across something so nightmarish that they end up in a fight for their lives against dark forces.

Aware that the relationships of the characters were key to selling the story, Matt had the cast drive the four and half hours to set together in order to forge tighter relationships. They would need them on the tough shoot. They hiked into the woods beyond cell phone service and had to contend with a a freak thunder storm, a bobcat trying to get into the tent to eat a small dog on set, being stalked by a mountain lion, and even being paced and shadowed by a bear.

The experiences of the cast and crew have only added to the production. Altar has received some great reviews so far. Found Footage Files, a respected horror podcast, has called Altar “The film to beat this year and the possible best film of the year.” At this year’s Northern Virginia Film and Music Festival, the film won the Best Ensemble Cast Award.

Altar Matt Set

As if making film isn’t keeping Matt busy enough, he’s also focused on a new theatre model he created called Movie Heroes. He’s developed a membership based system to increase attendance at the theatre he now owns in Oakhurst, CA. He wants to use Movie Heroes to create a new model for filmmaking. Altar is the first film to be produced by Movie Heroes Studios, and it’s a unique business model that’s worth keeping an eye on. I think the sky’s the limit for what Matt can accomplish with this, and he’s the perfect guy to do it.

Matt Sconce is taking Independent Film in a whole different direction. He’s not only making film, but he’s working on a system to vertically integrate the screening of his films, and possibly other films down the road.  He’s doing something out of the box that is going to have a ripple effect in the industry. Keep an eye on this guy. I know I am.

If you want to learn more about Movie Heroes, please check out the link HERE.

You can watch the Altar trailer HERE.

If you see Matthew (Matt) Sconce at a festival, make sure you go and “talk to” him, then turn around and be sure to “talk about” him. He’s one of the good ones, and when one of the good guys succeeds, we all succeed.

Altar Poster

 

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