In Northern Ireland being a cinematographer /director/photographer/writer must be a tough occupation, right? Not for the man in question, Matthew Alexander Patton. “[My work is] all visual, even the writing. I think only in imagery, so whilst I'm trying to express ideas and feelings using different mediums - to me, it's the same.” While music is still a growing phenomenon for a lot of people, the other arts tend to be ignored, but not by the few who are skilled enough to actually use them to create something. “A lot of what I'm doing I've fallen into. I was actually an IT consultant for a few years after I left school, and I have always loved storytelling...an interest in film making came first, then writing and finally (by complete accident) photography.” For Matthew it was as much an accident, discovering what he was good at, as it was for any musician to discover how good they are at their chosen instrument.
As I’ve already mentioned, this sort of work might seem tougher than most jobs in a country as small as Northern Ireland, but is this really the case? “I don't think Northern Ireland is small at all, I think the general mentality is small, we've grown up with that mindset. I've been constantly told by friends in the film industry that I should be based in London, and eventually move stateside - but I have no interest in that. My enthusiasm for film making in particular is directed into raising the game here at home. The talent is there, but a lot of people are unaware of just how much they can accomplish without having to jump ship.” It couldn’t be more true. Once again turning to music, we’re constantly seeing bands feeling the need to tour in England to gain success. Northern Ireland may be geographically small but there’s so many opportunities that people refuse to see because they want to be part of something obvious, something they refuse to look for here because it might take a little longer to find.
Matthew currently has three unpublished books but doesn’t want to try publishing until he’s really happy with it: “I completed my first book back in 2005, then drafted it over and over, and I'm still not happy with it. It had a little interest from a publisher in England, but breaking out as a novelist is possibly one of the hardest creative paths to follow - and so it never came to anything. I've continued to write but have decided to sit on it until I know I'm holding something really worthwhile.” But it isn’t writing that would Matthew’s choice if he had to pick just one of his interests to do for the rest of his life – “Film is the best of both worlds really, it's a descriptive medium that immerses the audience, and can be insanely powerful. It has had the greatest impact on my life, and I have learned so much emotionally from cinema that I couldn't pick up from day to day situations.”
Matthew is currently working on a low budget feature film, and trying to secure funding for four music videos with various local acts, so make sure to watch out for some of his work throughout the year.
You can view more of Matthew's work at www.pavelware.com