Matthew MacLeod's Webpage

Local Newspaper Article

On January 3rd, 2004. The local newspaper did an article and interview on me and my movie H.T.A.

Technology a boon for local filmmakers
BY MARY BETH WAGNER, Staff Reporter - With the latest home video and computer equipment, it’s possible to film and edit your own masterpiece. The ever-evolving technology allows would-be producer/directors to taste Hollywood without pesky studio executives capping budgets and cutting footage, and without stars who demand their own dressing trailers and a bowl of only green M&Ms. It’s complete creative control for the price of pocket change. Madison County’s amateur filmmakers are enjoying creating their own flicks and finding local places to put them on the market.After helping Anderson friend Adam Jones create “Debt of Loyalty,” a medieval fantasy he filmed as a college project, Matthew Allen decided to make his own film. “I loved it,” he said of his work on “Debt,” his acting debut. “It was fun ... you had to study your lines and go out and perform it, and seeing it all done was very cool.” Allen’s “Highlander The Amateur” is a take-off from the Highlander movie and TV series. Allen, who enjoys role-playing online, is crazy about the series, and is a fan club member of its star, Adrian Paul. The club’s magazine printed a short article about him in 2003. “I’ve met most of the stars of the television show and got their autographs,” he said. Allen, 26, wrote the story around his role-playing character, Matthew McCloud. “A guy loses his best buddy, takes off for awhile to get away from things, and a situation comes up where he has to take care of things and help out certain people,” Allen said. “It involves the bad guy who killed his buddy.” His flick only cost him in swords and cameras, which were covered by some savings. There are some scenes recorded at Daytona Beach and Cocoa Beach in Florida (he took the camera on vacation), but “Highlander The Amateur” was mostly filmed in Frankton, Anderson, Elwood and Nashville, Ind. “Around here, you’ve got all kinds of things you can work with,” said Allen, who filmed in a cornfield and Shadyside Park. The Frankton High School graduate is the director, producer, casting agent and leading man. He selected his cast among family and friends, and it proved to be a challenge. “Dealing with actors was probably the hardest part besides the editing,” Allen said. “I kept having problems with the actors. They’d quit or something. I’d get halfway through and have to recast. “I was able to work all the time on it and they weren’t.” Allen, who started filming in December 2002, wrapped in July after a friend came to fill his hole for a leading lady. Sorah Stein, 24, is a New York City film student who volunteered for the acting credit. They met online through role-playing. “She said NY’s a big place and there’s not a lot of little things to get started with,” Allen said. “I’m glad she came. It was one of the hardest parts to cast.” The final product included performances by his cousin, Justin Pruitt, who plays the buddy role; a cousin’s cousin, Larry Clabaug, who played the bad guy; and his brother Nathan, who briefly appears. Like the big budget films, there were some outtakes. “During the sword fight (with Clabaug) we missed the cue and cut each other’s fingers,” Allen said. “We didn’t have a lot of time to finish the fight scene and were making it up as we go, and that was a big mistake.” Next through his lens: A sequel, with more sword fights and conflict. “Highlander The Amateur” is available only at Allen’s Web site, But at least one local video store is embracing locally produced movies for rent and sale. Ralph Lee, owner of Lee’s Video in Anderson and Muncie, has an open mind to independent work. His sign advertises a locally filmed flick, “Maintenance By Any Means.” “The fellow who had done it came in our store for years,” Lee said. “I watched it, it was funny and entertaining. It wasn’t like something like that came out of Paramount, but it was well done for an independent film like that.” Lee says sales of “Maintenance” have been “fairly decent.”“I figured it’s tough getting a start, so I’ll help,” said Lee, who has stocked a couple other local videos, too. “If it’s something tasteful or well done, I’d be interested in handling it,” Lee said. “It’s something different. I can’t say I watch everything, but I try to.” “I suspect as time goes on, you’ll see more independent film makers,” he said, adding the door is open at Lee’s Video for more local talent. “I’d be glad to see something.”

There were a few minor mistakes made in the article but overall it was a good news story.

Click Here to See Original Online

Back to News Section

Back to Main Page