I first became aware of filmmaker Matthew Frost’s work when his Fashion Film (embedded lower in this post) featuring actress Lizzie Caplan gained significant word-of-mouth online. Recently Mr. Frost has helmed the first original short films for Vogue magazine featuring actresses of the calibre of Kate Winslet and Jessica Chastain. So let’s start with watching Best Actress of All Time featuring Ms. Winslet before we dive into the interview.
The Vogue films with Jessica Chastain, and Kate Winslet: I imagine they have very busy schedules, how long did you have with each actress on set/location?
Yes, they are very busy as you can imagine! Let’s just say that I didn’t have much time at all! But sometimes that’s a good way to get interesting things. When you are a bit in a corner with not many options. Also the fact that they happen to be some of the most accomplished actresses around does make it easier to do a lot without needing much time or footage.
I loved the comic timing on ‘Scripted Content’. Everything flows so well, I’ve got to ask how much of that was clever editing versus getting the shots in-camera?
Well I think that, like in most cases, it’s all in the initial concept and the script. The idea was to come up with a fun little thing that was random and easy to watch with rhythm, pace and a sense of humor.
I understand Vogue is making a move into scripted short film content; what do you think that means for filmmakers? Could high-profile web videos become the new calling card for new directors?
Yeah, why not! I’d rather do original scripted stuff than the latest music video. It’s more fun for me to do something based in narrative. Just having footage, however great, suspended on a cool song has its limits.
Did you study filmmaking? How did you get your start in the business?
I graduated from the films studies program at UC Berkeley. It’ s a small department based on theory and other academic angles without ever really making films per se. I loved it. Later I shifted to working in the trenches on various features in LA, as an assistant in different departments.
What came first for you: the photography or the filmmaking?
Film came first and then photos became a good way to stay busy and keep the eye sharp I guess! They’re both similar in so many ways; it’s quite a natural jump.
Which film (or project) would you consider your big break?
I don’t know about “big break” but I loved coming up with the videos for M83.
Do you spend a lot of time thinking about your career or are you just making it up as you go along?
Ha! I think about silly stories a lot! I make those up as I go for sure. It would suck to spend too much time thinking about your career…you have to just worry about doing the things you enjoy doing and doing them the best you can.
You’ve worked with a few respected actresses thus far – Lizzy Caplan, Ms. Chastain, Ms. Winslet – is that becoming your ‘thing’? Is it the type of work you’re getting recognized for, or is it the type of work you gravitate towards?
I have four sisters so maybe that’s why I’m comfortable thinking up these female-centric ideas! I’ve been surrounded by them all my life! I’ve been very fortunate to be able to have amazing performers help me tell these little things. I’m not sure how that happened!
What’s next for you?
I’m finishing a third piece for Vogue starring another amazing actress. It should be out mid-December.
Along with a busy commercial shooting schedule I’m starting to write another screenplay I’m excited about.
Any feature film-making plans?
Yes, I’m looking forward to it! Hopefully very soon!