Matt Koval is “NextUp” On My List of New Filmmakers to Follow

Matt KovalToday I continue the series I started Monday, where I encourage you, my devoted readers, to seek out new life, and new civilizations. To boldy go… (okay, I’m sure you’re tired of the Star Trek references). Anyhoo, I challenged you to leap out of your comfortable little world of super star wedding, event, DSLR or commercial photog filmmakers that you follow and find three new filmmakers to be a source of inspiration.

Yesterday I suggested leaders in the Asian-Invasion, Wong Fu Productions. “NextUp” on my list: Matt Koval. You’re probably wondering why I have the term “NextUp” in quotations. You are probably guessing that there is some connection to the term “NextUp” and Matt. Well, you are correct. I am using the term “NextUp” to describe Matt because 1) he really is “NextUp” in my list, 2) he is one of the 25 winners of YouTube’s “NextUp” contest, and 3) I’m dubiously seeding this blog post with the tern “NextUp” for SEO purposes. 🙂

But seriously, Matt is a filmmaker out of L.A. responsible for the popular series “Fuplers” and “8 Dates” and others. Collectively his videos have racked up over 10 million views. As you can learn from his short intro video (see below), Matt originally got into filmmaking for the same reasons many of us do. We want to make movies that people watch and enjoy. He high-tailed it to La-La Land (i.e. Los Angeles) with hopes of being “NextUp” in the line of famous filmmakers. But once the reality of what it takes to make it in Hollywood set in, Matt realized he needed a new path. Then he discovered YouTube.

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As Matt acknowledges in his video, it took a lot of hard work and time to get to where he is. Becoming a YouTube hit doesn’t just happen over night (unless you make a really, really bad song). His work paid off and he joined YouTube’s Partner Program, designed to help a new generation of filmmakers (what I coined Monday as part of the New, New Hollywood). Many of the YouTubers in the program make enough money from their share of ads on their videos to do this stuff full time. The NextUp contest was created to provide some partners with some cash and education to continue their development.

Why You Should Follow Matt

What I so appreciate about Matt is his passion for story over substance. I encourage you to watch his film “Tenth” (embedded below). It took first place at Kevin Spacey’s film contest. Matt is a credited writer/director in the IMDb. He understands and appreciates that it’s not the tools you use but the story you tell that makes all the difference in the world. It just may be that the most powerful piece of gear in your filmmaking arsenal is actually your pen (I’m using the term pen metaphorically, of course). With the NextUp funding and education I think we will begin to see more really great and inspiring content from Mr. Koval. So follow him already.

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After watching “Tenth,” hop on over to Matt’s blog and watch the commentary on the making of it. You will be inspired.