I'll be perfectly honest that I was drawn to the short film Matt because of one of its stars, Colby Jansen. My ignorance then came into play as I had no idea it was actually about.
The tagline of filmmaker Ori Ravid's work is "Every daddy was once a boy." It's a sentence that has good timing given that I just wrote about the world of men who physically look like a daddy but still see themselves as much younger.
It's described on the film's official page as a "young man's path to daddyhood" and how every experience, no matter how short, can shape you into the person you are. That can easily be said about becoming a "daddy" and about life in general as well, so what makes Ori's work stand out compared to others that have a similar concept?
I spoke with him about Matt, its stars Colby and Patrick Wallace, and if he would want to turn this into a full-length movie.
How the concept of the film Matt begin?
It’s inspired by a true story. A few years back, I found out this guy I had a huge crush on was dating a man well-above his age. I wanted to see what the fuss is all about, so I arranged a sleepover with someone in my neighborhood. His apartment was two stories and filled with collectible comic book memorabilia. He was married to a woman and came out at the height of the AIDS crisis. Meanwhile, my sexuality is a non-issue for everyone in my life, and my dining table was literally falling apart. I felt incredibly intimidated, yet also curious. Like, if this man thinks I can give him anything besides a “good time” he must be kidding himself, right? Yet, older and younger people date each other all the time, so those relationships must work on an emotional level. I started thinking in the mindset of a character who could indeed potentially end up with someone half his age, and it went off from there.
The film is essentially about a young man's path to daddyhood. Was this something you personally could relate to?
I thought that’s what it was about when I first wrote it and initially promoted my Kickstarter, but during production I realized it is really a coming of age story about the younger Matt character. I actually cut out part of the movie that made it more about “daddyhood” because it was just wasn’t working from a narrative standpoint. Younger Matt’s discovery of gay culture is certainly something I can relate to and I’m still learning something new every day.
You decided to cast Colby Jansen, who is known for being both a well-versed porn star and a "daddy". Was he your first choice for the movie?
Absolutely. Not only is he an icon of sorts, but out of all the adult stars out there (the gay ones at least) he is the only one who actually cares in his foreplay scenes. I emailed him the script and not only was he down, but it turns out he’s one of the nicest, most generous people I’ve ever met. I’m so lucky he hopped on board and he adds a gravitas to the project it otherwise wouldn’t have had. I can’t wait for people to see his performance.
How did you go about finding Patrick Wallace for the role of Matt?
It was really important for me to find a gay or bi guy for the role. My roommate who I also collaborate with frequently and shot the movie helped me post a casting call, and Patrick was one of the people who responded. Within fifteen seconds of meeting him I knew he was the perfect choice.
It's a short film for now, however the daddy thing has been big in the gay world for years. Would you eventually like to turn this into a motion picture?
I see this as a stand-alone piece honestly. I would love to work with Colby and Patrick again in other contexts though, so who knows what the future has in store as far as that goes.
What are you hoping viewers get the most of from it?
I think I portrayed a type of hook-up that a lot of people have in a realistic light, and I don’t think that’s done very often, especially in a gay context. I hope people will relate to either or both “Matts,” and will feel better about themselves sexually after watching it.
For more information on Matt, please check out their official website.