by Gabriel Zanoff
Matthew Middendorf is a director studying Communications Media and Business.
GZ: What made you interested in film?
MM: When I was younger, my siblings and I would make short movies with our parents’ camera. Also, during my junior year I had a friend that passed away in an accident, which greatly affected everyone close to him. He had always encouraged me with my filmmaking and had planned for a career in the arts for himself. So, the event of his death helped me realize the importance and beauty of art.
GZ: Was there anything you thought you wanted to do before film?
MM: In high school I had planned on becoming a physician. My mom was a nurse and many people in my family pursued medical careers. Later on in high school I realized that I could make a good living with film, and I started to shift towards that.
GZ: Why directing over other aspects of the film industry?
MM: The beauty of directing for me is the fact that I’m able to work directly with the actors. This allows me to craft an emotional and visceral experience for the audience. I really just enjoy the process and creative control that comes with it as well.
GZ: What’s your ideal movie to direct?
MM: I’d prefer to direct dramas, but movie musicals are also interesting to me. I really appreciate the amount of precision and skill it takes to pull together something of that scale.
GZ: Who are your biggest inspirations?
MM: A lot of times they’re not necessarily film related. I’m inspired by my friends and mentors. One mentor, C. Flannigan from the Augustine institute comes to mind. He’s helped me understand that my aspirations for my films are attainable and how I just need to work hard in order to achieve them.
GZ: Who’s the number one actor you’d like to direct?
MM: Leonardo DiCaprio without a doubt. He just brings a certain energy to the screen. The Revenant, the Aviator, and Inception are some of my favorite films with him. I feel like there’s a lot I could learn from him in regards to filmmaking.
GZ: What do you think the worst movie of all time is?
MM: Not a fan of Anne of Green Gables. No real reason. I just don’t really enjoy it.
GZ: What is your end goal when it comes to film?
MM: Well an Oscar at some point would be a nice milestone. What it really comes down to for me is to be able to create a film that truly means something and that people can connect to the story.
GZ: Any current projects, or anything we should keep our eyes out for?
MM: I’m currently working on a feature film called Arctic Willow. It deals with how far someone would go to achieve their goals. This quarter I’m working on the pre-production along with some screen tests. So, it’s still in the early stages.