TAEM Interview with Producer Matt Giudice

matt-giudiceTAEM- The Arts and Entertainment Magazine has been fascinated with the new filmmaking process involving web series productions. This aspect of the moviemaking field has been growing in popularity for some time. It allows young filmmakers the opportunity to create films without dealing with the large film studios and affords them with seeing their work come to fruition much sooner.

One such filmmaker is Matt Giudice. Matt, what first inspired you to create a web series ?

MG- Well I’ve always wanted to do some sort of a series. I’ve always liked the idea of a story that took place over the course of multiple episodes and having the characters evolve, learn lessons, and develop over time. This is the kind of entertainment I always prefer to watch whether it is on TV or on the Internet. I think the Internet gives everyone the freedom to do whatever you want and it’s a great medium to make it open to the world. There’s also a lot more freedom with producing a series on the internet, whether it’s because you don’t have to listen to anyone or simply it’s about certain words you can say online but not on TV. I had made a lot of content for my university and I wanted a larger scale I suppose.

TAEM- What did you need to learn for creating a web production and how did you gain this information ?

Hofstra University logoMG- Well for the production side, I have been studying Film and TV at Hofstra University for about three years now. Through the Film TV program I have learned the in’s and out’s of producing a project. This includes planning the schedules, casting process, and other pre production work that really came in handy producing Out of State. I also learned script writing, directing, shooting, and editing through my classes at Hofstra. Without the education I received at Hofstra I certainly don’t think my show would have been anything like how it is.

Meanwhile, I have had a youtube channel for almost five years now and have been putting content on it almost once a week since. Over the years through my youtube channel, stonebreakers10, I have learned what to do and what not to do when uploading and exposing your videos on the site. I know things like when’s the best time to upload, what catches a viewer’s eye, etc.. So once I was able to complete the episodes with my school knowledge, I was able to release the content using my “online street knowledge.”

TAEM- Tell us about your series, Out of State, and the setting that it takes place in.

MG- Out of State is a comedy web series. It takes place at a university and follows the adventures of roommates Josh and Matt. Josh is a hopeless romantic who wants to find a girl and have a normal time at school. Matt is the cynical perverted roommate who means good but has his own problems that sometimes get in the way. Together they go through the motions of their supposed “Best years of their lives.”

TAEM- What genre does the production work in and what is the theme behind it ?

MG- Out of State is a comedy. I had it take place at college with a theme of the good ol’ college experience because it’s different than most of the content I have seen. When you think about it, college really is a giant comedy movie. You go through all these wacky adventures because you have all this freedom and barely any responsibility. College is an unused untapped resource for a setting. A lot of stories seem to either focus on the coming of age in high school or the responsibilities of older twenty somethings, recently graduated and out in NYC or whatever. I think college is a great resource for entertainment because these students who have been under the wings of their parents all their lives are suddenly thrown into this place with no rules to some extent. It causes a lot of fun adventures that are easy to write about. Things like parties, on campus jobs, and tough classes can make for interesting stories because they relate to a demographic that seems to have been ignored for a while.

out-of-state-1TAEM- Tell us about the main protagonists in the story and the actors that portray them.

MG- Well the main character is Josh. He is played by my friend Josh Lovell. The Josh character is very down to earth. He thinks logically however it might be too logical. He is very paranoid about every choice he makes. This is shown through the inner monologues Josh has throughout the series that the viewer gets to experience. Things like talking to a girl and ordering food go through this process in his head that takes so much time. His main flaw is that he lacks real confidence in himself. He is never entirely sure of any of his decisions and which becomes the only thing that’s stopping him from having everything he’s ever wanted.

The Matt character, played by me, is almost Josh’s exact opposite. Matt is too confident which causes most of his problems. Matt eats, sleeps, and dreams, girls. While Josh follows this quest to find the girl of his dreams, Matt is just looking to get another one night stand. Matt’s character really comes out through his relationship with Josh. Matt cares about Josh even though he doesn’t show it all the time. Matt believes in Josh and knows that the only thing stopping him from having fun is himself. As cartoonish as the Matt character is, he does have some flaws. With such a perverted humor, Matt often wonders if this is how he will always be, some sort of hopeless pervert.

out-of-state-2TAEM- Please tell our readership about the steps you needed to take to create the process for the production and the planning that was involved for it.

MG- After about two years of studying filming techniques I finally decided that I wanted to produce a web series with this knowledge. During these two years studying at college I had gone through a few personal adventures on campus that I thought could make interesting episodes. So during the summer I wrote all these episodes for the first season. Josh Lovell had always been a close friend of mine and I couldn’t think of anyone else I’d wanted to play the lead. At first it was just simply me and him. I’d set up the camera, press record, and then run into the scene with him and we’d do the whole scene. As I made more and more episodes with him my friends in the TV department expressed interest in helping with it. By the time we finished Season 1 I had established a few of my friends to be camera op’s, extras, and even color correct the show. The production process was never planned to get as big for me as it did. I assumed no one would really want to help me with my quirky college comedy series idea.

Planning each episode was always the most important step for me. As a director/producer I believe organization is key. If you plan everything out you can get a lot done faster. Josh, myself, and the crew would film about one episode per weekend.  All the actors would tell me what times they were free to film during the weekends and I would organize a schedule of what scenes to shoot, when. It was like a fun little puzzle. Josh is free Saturday mornings, Deanna is free in the afternoon and night, ok so we shoot Josh’s scenes with me in the morning then we move on to the Josh/Deanna scenes, then Josh leaves, and we do Deanna/Me scenes. With an organized schedule the actors were never sitting around. When the actor’s feel that we don’t know what were doing, it really affects the final product.  I made sure to not waste anyone’s time and they respect that.

IMG_4956TAEM- What equipment and crew did you need for the creation of it, and who was the screenwriter that you worked with.

MG- I was the main writer of all the episodes. I wrote about all these college experiences that happened to my friends and me. Writing about what you went through or what you know always brings the best out of you. You write more relatable and it’s a bit more truthful. A lot of times Josh or Dan (who plays Hugh Donson) would start to improvise a scene. As a director I never commit to what the script says. I believe that with the energy of the actors, and the chemistry can easily create jokes and content that is twice as good as anything I can write.

One thing that I think makes Out of State so cute and charming is how little of a budget we had. Everyone who worked on it, in front of the camera and behind it, helped because they WANTED to. I got all these friends in the TV department who have spent all these years learning how to make a show who were eager to put their knowledge to use. I took anyone I could that was willing to help. My biggest help was my friend Sam Wharton. Sam is very talented with a camera. I brought him in about halfway through Season 1. He became my Director of Photography because I trusted his eye more than my own. Sam and Me became the real brains of the crew. All the other crewmembers kind of came and went during the two seasons. All the equipment we used was my own. I’ve had a Canon EOS 60D camera for two years that I have been using for most of my content on stonebreakers10 as well as schoolwork. Sam has the same camera so he had no trouble using it. That was about it. We were just a few friends who were eager to get out there and produce something together.

TAEM- We understand that this is the second season for Out of State. What feedback have you received so far on this project ?

MG- Everyone has said that Season 2 is much better than Season 1. I agree with that because Season 1 was such a guinea pig season. I had never done anything like Out of State before so with every episode I was learning more and more. Season 2 was me taking everything I learned from the first season and amplifying across a whole new set of six episodes. Season 2 has gotten mostly positive feedback: The jokes are funnier and the characters are better. I’m so glad to hear this because I really put my blood, sweat, and tears into the show so it’s always great to have someone tell you it’s working. It makes it all worth it.

IMG_4820TAEM- Tell us about the production company that you formed for your work and where our readership can see the series.

MG- Out of State can be found on my Youtube channel entitled Stonebreakers10. This is a channel I have been working with for 5 years and it has multiple forms of content. Whether it’s stop motion, sketch comedy, or even a few musical parodies, I’m sure everyone can find something they think is humorous. All this work is produced under MJudge LLC. I founded the company back in 2011 as a way to really make my work more professional and respected. It’s still in a basic form right now but I am very excited to have it blossom into something bigger in the next few months when I graduate.

TAEM- Matt, I want to thank you for your time with our publication’s interview with you. With so many college student readers in our fan base I am sure that your work, and your web series, will draw much interest with them. I wish you much luck in all your future endeavors.

MG – Thanks so much, and Thanks again for having me!