August 2017 - Behind the Scenes: Matt Peterson
What do you love about the film scene in New Mexico?
I love the community feel of it—from large scale feature films and television to smaller sized independent films and shorts—there's a great sense of pride, family, and community. Some of the most successful films and television as of late were created right here in beautiful New Mexico. I believe that’s in large part due to the hardworking, talented local community of film folks!
Whenever I'm lucky to get cast on a project or be called to help crew, I always see some wonderful familiar faces. It's very comforting to see people you may have known for a long time doing things they love to do...and doing them well. We have some of the best and brightest right here in New Mexico! It takes quite a village to create a film, and we have one of the BEST!
Where does your passion for acting come from?
I've been a nut for film since I was a kid. I remember the first film I ever saw in the theater—well, at least the one that had an effect on me. It was called The Man from Snowy River, a western set in Australia. A young cowboy, new to town, falls for the beautiful daughter of the town’s main ranch owner. Protective father doesn't dig this at all. Challenges cowboy, cowboy succeeds in challenge, and Father is convinced cowboy is worthy now. Anyways, you get it. Classic story.
But there was this one scene! All these cowboys were waiting around the edge of a cliff. They had been chasing some wild horses (Brumbies, as the they called them) for prize money from the main rancher. But this cliff was too steep and dangerous for them to continue. So as they sat there waiting to figure out what to do, Jim (young cowboy) rides up and over the cliff! Dramatic music and camera angles ensue as Jim rides down after the Brumbies. He of course gathers all the horses with a few loud cracks of his whip and brings them to the rancher father, collects the prize money and the daughter, and they live happily ever after...at least until the sequel. (Don't get me started!)
So I guess to answer your question...I really wanted to be JIM the Cowboy!
But it wasn't until I started doing stand up comedy that helped with the confidence to be Jim—I mean perform. But mostly it was because of "JIM the Cowboy"
You are also working in comedy. Tell us about the high you get from that.
For me, it doesn't compare to anything else I've encountered. Once you get over the stage fright and really start working hard at writing jokes and bits, it sort of becomes addicting. You become comfortable being in front of people. You need to be up there. One of the best things and different things is you get instant gratification of a joke or instant disappointment—either way you’re learning on the spot. It’s the best and pretty damn fun!
What are some of your upcoming projects?
I'll be out on the road for some dates with the Why The Long Face Comedy Tour as we are starting to book some late summer runs and into the fall and winter. Be on the lookout for those dates. Either on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or our website whythelongfacecomedytour.com.
Also, I run two featured shows in here in Albuquerque once a month at the famous Guild Theater in Nob Hill and at Palmer Brewery and Cider House every fourth Friday of the month!
As far as film projects of my own, I've written two short films I hope to shoot this year and have something else in the works as well! Vague, I know. And of course [I am] auditioning whenever I can for films shot here in NM and beyond!
What would you like to see more of here in the Land of Enchantment when it comes to film?
I'd like to see the continuing rise of New Mexico film as a whole. We have the world’s attention, so let’s really run with it and show the world what we are made of. We are doing pretty good and helping put out some of the best films and television around. So much hard work from so many folks involved has got us to this point, and the sky is the limit. I can’t wait to see what’s next!