Matter Man (August 2011)

Story: Matter Man is a “unique” superhero. He has plenty of charisma but not enough power to back it up. All he can really do is create strange objects or even downright useless items to help him fight crime. But after becoming renowned and saving the day several times, a mysterious villain who goes by Entity Enemy challenges Matter Man. What does this mysterious villain have in store for the man of matter? Find out!

Background: Matter Man was my first attempt at making a short film after learning how to actually make movies. For a long time I used to be that kind of guy who would just run around with a camcorder taking everything in 1 take, thinking shots had to be in order, and using Windows Movie Maker. I took a film class over the Summer which taught me how to plan, make, and edit movies and this is the product that came out of my first year there.

Creation: I had a hard time coming up with an idea for my first short film. I had wanted to do a drama because of my love for “The Social Network” at the time but those ideas were not very good or even made sense. I decided to do something I had always been a fan of my whole life, superheroes. I wanted to do something original, which was hard since almost any power you can think of has been done. I went for a comedic hero whose powers were useless and from there I came up with Matter Man, a guy who could create useless items.

Pre-Production: The script went through many drafts, although what you see is just a shortened and slightly revised version of the original scripts. Casting went smoothly and even making the props and costumes wasn’t very challenging to an artistic standpoint and creation standpoint. Finding the right materials was a little harder. I had drawn, decent storyboards, although they were only colored stick figures.

Production: Filming was anything but smooth. I had made the schedule only a day ahead of time and since I decided to SKIP breakfast, there were a lot of breaks for my aching stomach. I had not even come up with an order of shooting shots and a prop broke and we scrambled for a new one. We barely finished filming but at the end of the day, it was done.

Post-Production: For editing we were taught to use Final Cut Express, an editing software I am no longer too crazy about. I cut together the good takes, added sound effects, and used music that I got made from Mr. Gregory Safko. My audio while filming was for the most part completely useless do to background noise so I had to do ADR. I replaced the audio by syncing the actor’s voice with a recording by the same person. Editing had become my favorite part, there’s plenty of time and for some reason I enjoy putting together the movie. There’s something great about that feeling of putting together an assembly cut and definitely a final cut.


Ryan Bank (Matter Man), voicing over his lines for ADR

Premiere: Matter Man was shown at the Mainstage Film Premiere 2011 at Camden County College. It didn’t win any of the awards besides best actress but this first film really gave me the experience I needed to improve. It’s definitely one of my weakest films but one I had to make in order to get used to the art.


The 2011 Mainstage Film Premiere

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