Michael Matteo Rossi is a producer, writer, and director who I had the fortune of speaking with recently. We talked about how the pandemic has affected movie making, what it takes to make a movie, and more. Rossi is best known for his work on films such as Chase, Shadows, and Sable. Take a look below for my questions and his answers!
With the pandemic occurring for nearly a year, how has that impacted your filmmaking career? Have you found it difficult to be creative during this time or has it given you time to reflect?
It’s definitely impacted my career and life in general, but knowing my passion and drive for film, I wasn’t going to let it stop me from being productive and it actually made me more creative with my thinking. I was actually able to shoot a feature last summer which was a contained action thriller and it was actually because of the pandemic that made me think of this storyline, so in the optimistic sense of things, that’s the good that came of it. I’ve also continued to do a lot of writing from home.
What was the movie you watched that made you want to go into this industry?
To be honest it was probably seeing The Lion King at the El Capitan theater back in 1994 as a kid, I was blown away by it but as I grew older I would say it’s the films of Kubrick and Scorsese that really influenced me in my style of writing and characters. To this day I will study films of theirs because they are masters in my opinion.
The movie industry seems incredibly tough, how do you maintain the stamina to continue working in this field?
So much of it is mental and your frame of mind. You have to understand that things take time, but you also can do things to create your own content and keep plugging away. Nobody is going to give you a handout to a breakout role of film without working hard and showing you’ve done films before and what you are capable of. There are of course tough days, but I try to remain positive because it’s what I love to do more than anything else.
You had wanted to talk about the obsession with drama over social media. Why do you think social media has shifted in this way and what are you doing to combat it?
Unfortunately, it seems like social media is more divisive than ever, with people literally pulling you to their “side” of things even if you don’t want to discuss or have anything to do with it. I like to break that mold by usually posting positive uplifting advice and updates on my career which many have found refreshing and it’s helpful for me as well. We can find common ground with things and not everything has to be political or drama based. We all need to relax pretty much just a bit.
What are your thoughts on the constant clash between fandoms that we see on a daily basis?
Once again it goes into this tribal divisive nature of people now that we have to literally yell and fight with one another even if we disagree on trivial things. We all need to step back and realize it’s not that big of a deal and we can agree to disagree on things.
What are the new projects you’ve been working on?
I have two features, Shadows and The Handler, that should be released later in the year that I’m very proud of. They are both crime thrillers that are some of my best work so stay tuned for that of course! 🙂
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A girl with too many fandoms to count.