“Well you are in film school, you are working always for free… You could work on a film every weekend. “
“I like editing because I’m making a movie. Everything before it, like the shooting, the acting, and the prop design isn’t who actually makes the movie… Someone gives me a hard drive and I slowly start making a movie. Or the director comes, sits on my couch and then we are making a movie together.”
Matt Kendrick is a video editor and sound recordist in the Los Angeles area. He graduated from Chapman University’s film school in 2011, and since then has been working on a variety of films. Some of his larger credits have been Internet Famous and the remastered X-files. I was connected to him and got the chance to pick his mind as he was related to one of my past Cross Country Coaches.
For a quick background, he spoke about his time at Chapman University. Where he was taught by Michael Stevens, grandson of George Stevens. Michael was an associate producer on “The Thin Red Line,” and the director/producer of the TV movie “Thurgood,” on which he won an NAACP award.
Matt told me about the importance of working on as many films as possible, while in school. This will allow you to meet more people and gain knowledge of filmmaking. “Well you’re in film school, you’re working always for free…” He remarks. “You could work on a film every weekend. I didn’t, I probably worked half of the weekends.” He tried multiple things, from the producer, on which he hated, to on set sound recordist, which he found he enjoyed. “I like sound recording because I like to be on set. Be in the action, meet cool people…” He found off set, he also enjoyed editing. “Producers, directors… They all have to come up with the business, either coming up with the ideas or finding them; good editors will always have work through people they know. I can literally trace every job back to Chapman and who I was connected with.”
When he graduated, he had knowledge of video editing and on set sound recording. Because of this, he was approached by someone who, he had worked for during school. “Hey, you do sound editing?”, he remembers them saying. He got paid no money but that was a start. His first production paid him 1500 dollars for 3 weeks and there were 6 weeks in all. With equipment cost at $500 every 3 weeks, he got away with 2000 for the 6 weeks. “I remember the first time getting paid over 200 a day” he joked, “I was like “Wamh, making big money.” His longest position was at Illuminate, a post house, working there from 2012 to 2014. He worked on remastering the X-files and Pee-wee’s Playhouse. Shot in the 90s, these films were filmed on actual film. So to remaster them, they had to re-scan them and re-edit them. Matt did 100 episodes of editing, to exactly the same edits as the past versions. “I know everything about every frame of those episodes”, he remarked. From 2014, until now he has been doing freelance work.
His largest budget film he edited was Internet Famous. Released in 2016, Internet Famous had a million dollar budget and told a story of talents on the internet. He started out his career as an assistant editor but he got to lead the full edit for this film. Some of his friends have their names connected to Saturday Night Live, Gone Girl, Shades of Blue, and the Hunger Games. “You don’t really know who might make it big.” He does not have a portfolio or even a reel because of his connections gained back in school. These give him business through simple word of mouth.
This wasn’t all of what we spoke about during this interview. If you would like a more in-depth look into Matt Kendrick’s journey from Chapman University to what he is doing now, please feel free to get in contact with me.
Some of his work done back in 2011, during his time in Chapman University’s film school, or just funny videos; can be found on his youtube channel:
Matt Kendrick on YouTube
Here’s that Post House he spoke about:
His latest film on which he is the sound recordist is a Sci-Fi short:
The Tangle (Coming Soon)
Official Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBChYvGhSbo
And his first big budget film… Super cringy but well edited:
Internet Famous (2016)
Official Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfPkNGh_gaw