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filmcourage

$1,000. One Day, One Location and Two Actors – Story Behind BEING THOMAS – Q and A with Mario Mattei



(Read the full post via FilmCourage.com here)

Film Courage: Where did you grow up?

Mario Mattei: I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona in a pretty good home among rowdy friends.

Film Courage: Favorite films as a child?

Mario: As a child I liked Back to the Future, Flight of the Navigator, and The Never Ending Story. These stories took me away from the mundane and into unlikely adventures. As I grew into my teens I loved Dazed and Confused, Pulp Fiction, Braveheart, and then Matrix.

“I’ve had the opportunity to be around some very wealthy, high-level successful individuals, and while much is admirable in them, I’ve also seen the sacrifices they’ve made to be at the top. I define success differently. Overall fulfillment is what I seek. I really do enjoy making good money, but it’s about 1/5th of the total picture: Faith/Spiritual; Personal Growth; Relationships; Health; Wealth.”

Mario Mattei, BEING THOMAS

Film Courage: What is your day job?

Mario: I do film and video full time: documentary, corporate, and commercial. I travel for work frequently, but I keep it balanced. I spend evenings with my family most nights, and we do a lot together on the weekends. I’ve had the opportunity to be around some very wealthy, high-level successful individuals, and while much is admirable in them, I’ve also seen the sacrifices they’ve made to be at the top. I define success differently. Overall fulfillment is what I seek. I really do enjoy making good money, but it’s about 1/5th of the total picture: Faith/Spiritual; Personal Growth; Relationships; Health; Wealth.

Film Courage: How did you begin collaborating with Aman Johnson (the writer of BEING THOMAS)?

Mario: Aman came to my house to buy a vacuum off Craig’s List from my wife. We got to talking and hit if off. We got coffee. I thought we’d scheme about how to get more client work together, but it turned out he wanted to discuss passion projects. I told him I was working on a story idea and that I’d like to collaborate with writers. He said he loved writing. I asked him what kind of stories he wanted to make and he said meaningful ones with rich relational dynamics. I was on board with that. It was like Nacho Libre saying, “Me too!” to everything Encarnacion said she liked (except that Aman looks nothing like Encarnacion). I started telling him the idea for BEING THOMAS and immediately he began refining it and owning it. I stopped the meeting by saying, “Ok, how about you just go right now while you’re inspired and write a treatment!”

Film Courage: How long did it take the two of you to write the first draft?

Mario: Well, Aman, might need to correct me. I think we spent about a month on the script. He wrote a treatment and we talked it over, then his first draft script was really good, but we hammered it out to perfection. I read it daily and envisioned the story whenever I had free mental space. Aman put a lot into making a brilliant script. I was determined that I would NOT make a film if I didn’t have a solid script and solid actors.

(Read the full post via FilmCourage.com here)


Tags: austin texas, being thomas, film, film and video, filmmaking, media studies, movies, short film, short films, video, vimeo

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