By Adriana Avila
The heartache of romance and the pains of job hunting and interviews makes way for dark humor in a student film based on true events. Lane Luper, producer and cinematographer for “WelcomeMatt” and owner of the production company Signal One Three Media, said the short film looks at a whirlwind of dreadful and awkward situations.
“It’s a comedy about the similarities between looking for a job and going to job interviews and dating and how they can be one of the same. It follows a character as he loses his job and loses his girlfriend and he kind of goes into a little bit of a craziness where most of the dark comedy aspect goes from. It’s a really hilarious script and it’s got a casting crew the story is really great and really funny,” Luper said.
The unexpected project grew out of the conversations with the executive producer who wrote down some of his own unfortunate stories along with some he heard, he said.
“Our executive producer Tony Gene Colla came to us totally out of the blue with a script, we were talking about making films, I’m personally writing one right now for a feature, and he came to me with this short and I thought I it was absolutely hilarious. I kind of just told him I want to shoot this and make it into a short,” Luper said.
Jonathan Cottrell, former Liberal Arts major and one of the producers of “WelcomeMatt” and chief lighting designer and co-writer for the film, said the film is scheduled to begin shooting in the last two weeks of August and will continue into September.
It is expected to be finished around March 2014 and pre-production of the film has been underway and near its completed stage, he said.
“We have the story boarded, we’ve got locations locked down. For the production itself we’re ready to go all we need to do is buy insurance for the production and make sure we can pay our skilled actors, we’re ready to roll,” he said.
After much debate and time among the producers and the director, the title of the film was chosen to reflect the main character and the struggles of his daily life, he said.
“After a little while one of them said ‘Matt’ and I said, ‘We can go for Matt, it fits the character and doesn’t immediately evoke some kind of emotion that we don’t want to already,’[ and there’s a line in the film where the main character says that he wants to scrub this welcome sign off of his forehead and we were like ‘WelcomeMatt.’ ‘WelcomeMatt’ is not only a pun but also what we feel to be the strongest image in the film,” he said.
Once completed, Cottrell and company hope to submit ‘WelcomeMatt’ to either the Sundance or Cannes Film Festival and to run a film circuit throughout the film community, he said.
The film is mostly financed out-of-pocket and the producers have set up a Kickstarter account in hopes of raising enough money to move forward with production, Cottrell said.
“We have managed to put together a lot of the cast and crew and the equipment that we need for film so mostly the producers have shelled out money out of their own pockets to try to go ahead and get the film off the ground. Once we hit the wall of we really don’t have any more money that we can actually pour into ourselves so that’s when we went ahead and started a Kickstarter,” he said.
Kickstarter is an online funding avenue where individuals can fund creative projects using pledges from the users.
“We’re pushing about a thousand dollars. Our goal on Kickstarter was $3500. The primary thing was that we wanted to be conservative; we only wanted to ask for as much money that we actually needed because there are a lot of deals that we worked out with our crew and actors’ to pay to do this project, a really cool project. A lot of people are doing this just for the love of it and that’s why I’m doing it and anyone of us because we signed up for it,” he said.
The film’s Kickstarter account expires in about a month and the proceeds will pay for some of the major expenses like production insurance and actor and key crew pay, he said.
“We’re all having a really good time doing this thing. A lot of us are working really hard and taking on multiple roles. We’re really doing this out of love and that’s a big thing, we have a lot of support out there and everybody’s turning their heads to see how we’re going to go ahead and do this thing,” Cottrell said.
For more information about the film visit the “WelcomeMatt” Kickstarter page, contact Cottrell at firstname.lastname@example.org and Luper at email@example.com, or visit the Signal One Three Media Facebook page.