Profile of Filmmaker Matt Arnold by Cole Spivak
Matt Arnold, a green tea addict from Western Mass, has taken a small passion he discovered as a young kid, honed his talent and created a career for himself; all by the time he was twenty-one.
At twelve he used to spend time after school skateboarding with his friends. Always trying to master new tricks, they began to make some interesting skateboard videos. As time went on, Matt found himself holding the camera more, just trying to develop an understanding and technique to improve his videos.
Fast forward to his junior year at Frontier High School. It was time to apply to colleges. When looking at his future, Matt was focused on his dream of making music videos. He looked into film school but decided it was best to stay local and enrolled in Holyoke Community College. “From there I took every film class possible and essentially used my time to connect with local hip-hop talents.” Working in a restaurant at the time, Matt had to ability to see his friends everyday and continue his love for skating, however he was not satisfied. “If I was going to pursue a video career, I had to do it 130%. I didn’t want to just be someone who had an interest in it, I wanted to be “that guy” that people wanted for music videos.”
Being from Massachusetts, there were not a lot of entrepreneur music video directors; this left a need he could fill. He decided to develop his own production company called M9Visuals. Matt took all of his savings and invested into equipment, business cards and social networks. He created a Facebook page and created a brand logo for his videos. He admits his strategy may not have been the best, but in the long run it worked. His advice for anyone looking to enter the film industry is to, “be ready to devote all of your time and creative power to it.” While at college, his client base grew. He decided to leave school and pursue M9Visuals full-time. After months of hard work and networking, Matt started touring with artists such as Sebastian Mikael, D-Why, and Huey Mack.
Arnold’s desire for greater success provided incentive. His fascination for behind the scenes work increased while he maintained his own video work. He learned the industry from top to bottom: video budgets, and how to put together projects on every level from start to finish. Later, he created a video for a Boston artist, ‘Moufy.’
Soon, he was receiving job offers around Boston that kept him working for over a year. With increased confidence, Matt started traveling to new places, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami, to work, fulfilling the dream he began at twelve years of age. Matt is now looking beyond music videos. At only 21, he has worked with some of the top music artists in the industry. After moving to Los Angeles, Matt found this competitive industry unlike what it is back home. “Now that I’m in LA, it’s a little different. I really narrow down on making my videos signature and make the whole experience for the artist flawless.”
When I asked him where he saw himself 10 years from now, he said, “I have a lot to accomplish within that time as far as visions, ideas, and artists I want to work with. Short films and movies are already becoming more and more of an interest for me, so who knows.”
Cole Spivak is a Baltimore based writer and director. While attending Johns Hopkins University, Cole developed a fascination in story telling and the arts and wants to share it with the world.