We got to know film maker and fellow Bearwoodian, Matt Taylor, through being part of the Bearwood Promoters, the friendly team who put on the Bearwood Shuffles. Don’t forget the next Bearwood Shuffle is taking place very soon on Sunday 15th June!
We caught up with Matt whilst he was busy juggling video editing with booking bands for the next Shuffle to find out more.
Hi Matt! Thanks for agreeing to an interview with welovebearwood. It’s great to see you so busy and we love the website for your company, HTF Media.
Please tell us more about the company, how did it start?
HTF Media started around five years ago, basically as a collaboration between three friends who wanted to learn other skills that we couldn’t learn in our day job at the same time as producing some content for a music festival run by some friends in the city.
I was an editor at the BBC editing everything from Points of View, Countryfile, Gardeners World and Coast. I really wanted to get out of dark edit suites and learn more about the production process and get hands on with cameras and the work with HTF gave me the opportunity to do just that.
After ten years at the BBC the powers that be, rather unwisely, decided to move all network programming to Bristol and Salford. This didn’t really suit me as I kind of like my house and life in Bearwood. It was a no brainer really to try and put all that work into practice and set up our own company.
So what projects are you currently working on and have earmarked for the future?
We have been lucky to work with some great clients during our first year including The Bullring, Marketing Birmingham, The Library of Birmingham and Help Harry Help Others.
We also have some exciting work lined up for the future including making 40 films for Disability Rights UK which involves following seven families for a year and watching as they cope with getting back on their feet and back to work following a major illness.
Wow! You are busy! Which aspect of the work do you particularly enjoy?
I guess the biggest difference between my work now and previous work at the BBC is that I don’t spend ten or twelve hours a day locked in a dark room with a Director anymore. I enjoy the variety, meeting new people, getting hands on with cameras and some editing (but NOT everyday!)
It sounds as if you really enjoy your work, where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration comes from all over the place but mostly from other people! I always think talking to people about initial ideas helps them to grow and develop.
It must be a tough industry to get into what advice would you give people who would like to go into video production?
If you are looking to work in the industry my advice would be to get as much experience you can and know what area it is you are looking to get into. The amount of times I have had to suffer wannabe presenters sat bored to tears in the back of an edit suite is countless and not productive for either party.
You are also getting busy with the Bearwood Shuffles as you and Esther book the bands for the Bearwood Shuffles. What do you think of Bearwood’s live music scene and what changes would you like to see in the future?
Bearwood’s live music scene is slowly getting better however for it to get a proper boot up the arse we need a decent venue or at least one of the existing venues to sort it’s self out. However, saying that watch this space we are in talks.
Ooh exciting stuff! Are there any particular bands that you would love to see play at Lightwoods Park bandstand?
There is some great stuff coming out of the ’wood at the moment, my two personal favourites are Kouben and Amelia Wallace, both very different but interesting and both very young and unaware of how great they are. We are looking forward to playing host to Kouben at the next shuffle.
It must be stressful though booking bands. What’s it like?
Booking bands for a free event can be a massive pain in the ass! I enjoy it, but we always start with a huge wish-list of who we would like to see but a lot turn it down either because we can’t afford to pay them or because they have the wrong idea of what the event is about!
I love the shuffle, I like the idea that someone might stumble across the bandstand and hear not just a band but a style of music that they have never heard before and love it! With all the crap that gets flung at people by corporations and marketeers choice is squeezed out and quite often I don’t think that people realise exactly what’s out there. Hopefully the shuffle is an opportunity for people to be presented with choices in a setting and style that is both accessible and recognisible to them.
I would love to see the Cure play in the bandstand, but then I would love to see the Cure play anywhere! Swans – Now there is a band at the top of their game at the moment, not sure they would be suited though (in fact pretty sure they wouldn’t) - they are one band that everyone should experience live at some point in their lives! Then there’s Daft Punk, Chic, the list goes on!
The Cure, now that would be fantastic! Talking about Bearwood now, what’s your connection with the place?
I have lived in Bearwood for six years now, however I was brought up just down the road by the cinema in Quinton and had many school friends who lived in the ‘wood.
It seems as if Bearwood keeps evolving. Do you think more creative people are now living in the area?
I am sure that there has always been a load of creative people living in Bearwood. I think it just seems that we are lucky that they have managed to organize themselves over the last few years so we have the Crafty Muthas, The Pantry, The Shuffle, The 67 and loads of exciting things on the radar, pretty sure social media has a lot to do with helping people get organized and making it feel like there’s a lot going on!
Please tell us your Bearwood All-Star. In other words, what, where or whom makes you smile in Bearwood?
My wife Sally! Is that a cop out?
No, definitely not. Sally works hard organizing local community groups and we are very excited to see what happens with the website We Are Bearwood.
Thanks for answering all the questions, Matt. One more which we always like to ask everyone. What makes Lightwoods Chippy’s chips orange?
Teabags in it? Tetley I believe.
Genius! See you at the Bearwood Shuffle.
Genius! See you at the Bearwood Shuffle.