Spotlight: Matt van den Meiracker, Filmmaker and Photographer
We love our videographers. We’d be lost without them, and it’s about time they got the recognition they deserve! First up is filmmaker and photographer Matt van den Meiracker who recently created the gorgeous intro we now use for all our speaker videos. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch our most recent video of Robot speaker Chris Lee.
Matt is new Nashvillian, having just moved here from Atlanta a little over a year ago. He works with musicians, YouTube personalities, businesses, and many others.
CMNSH - What is your favorite project you’ve ever worked on? What would your dream project be?
Matt - One of the YouTube shows I collaborated with is Kid President. Early on in the show, we were shooting an episode with the White House, but we had been told President Obama would not be able to appear in the video due to scheduling conflicts. So we wrote it and shot our piece of the video, not sure who would be appearing in their piece of it.
The afternoon after the shoot, I went to Brad Montague (watch his CMNSH talk here!), the creator of the show’s office to get the footage from him. He had just gotten an email from the White House with their part of the video and he was visibly excited as he called me over to his computer. He clicked on the attachment and it opened up and who should it be? President Obama! Apparently they had been able to find some time in his schedule and shot the video. That was probably the most exciting moment in my career so far, getting to collaborate on a video with the President like that.
As far as dream projects go, I have a script I’ve been working on the for the last couple of months for a short film. I don’t want to say too much about it, but it has elements of science-fiction to it. It’s set in space on an exploratory mission, but really it’s a story about humanity as a whole and our collective experience, about our past and our future, about our relationship with God and our place in this beautiful, mysterious universe He put us in.
It’s a big concept and I’m really excited about it. I’ve always loved science fiction and the idea of space exploration. That plus the opportunity to connect it with deeper themes this way makes it a dream project in a lot of ways.
CMNSH - Since we’re in the Music City, what’s your go to playlist or podcast to listen to while you work?
Matt - That’s a hard question, since it changes all the time. But right now, I’m really enjoying listening to Joy Williams’s new solo album “VENUS” and Hillsong United’s “Zion,” which I really haven’t stopped listening to since it came out two years ago.
CMNSH - What keeps you inspired? How do you get yourself out of a creative slump or block?
Matt - If you had asked me this a couple of years ago, I would have said movies, but lately I've been getting more and more into TV shows and short films from places like Vimeo. The writing and production quality in both of those areas lately is superb and the incredible variety of content keeps things fresh. I like the long-term storytelling and focus on big-picture character development I see television doing a much better job of lately. It's like reading a long book or a series of books. It gives you more time to invest in characters and understand their world.
And then on the far other end of the spectrum, I like seeing how filmmakers tell a compelling story in a compressed period of time with short films. It takes a totally different approach to get the audience invested without having time to really get to know the characters and their world. You have to sell the audience really quickly and I think that’s something all filmmakers need to learn how to do in our increasingly distraction prone society.
BONUS ROUND - What's your favorite animated gif?
Matt - I’m a big fan of this one and I can’t really explain why. It just makes me laugh every time.