Matt Senior

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Matt Senior
File:Matt 3.jpg
Matt Senior, November 2015
Born Matthew William Francis Senior
(1998-10-15) October 15, 1998 (age 23)
Plymouth, England, U.K.
Occupation Director, producer, actor, writer and photographer.
Years active 2012–present
Website
www.notenoughknife.com

Matt Will Senior[1] (born October 15, 1998) is an English actor, director, producer, photographer, writer and filmmaker. He is a founding member of the film production company Not Enough Knife, which he continues to run. He began creating short home videos at the age of 11, and has continued to do so until today, now with several qualifications. Appearing as an extra in War Horse (film), Senior first gained interest following his friend joining an acting school, which encouraged Senior to create film. He specialises in short and feature-length film, often dramatic.[2] Usually, Senior works with close friends Dan Lyle, Jim Vowden and others, as he believes "Filmmaking gives someone the rare opportunity to live many lives, so why live them alone?" Senior is a great fan of film, especially horror - though has made no horror films of his own to date. In an interview, Senior states that he very much enjoys the work of Clive Barker and anything 'different' and/or 'controversial' as opposed to generic and boring films, such as the Marvel movies he guests.[3][4][5]

Biography

Following his friend joining a performing arts school, Senior was encouraged to create moving image, and gained an interest in acting. Furthermore, another of Senior's friends bought a video camera, and ever since Senior has continued to develop his filmmaking skills. Because Senior is a fan of the arts behind film, he cannot help but be a perfectionist, though claims despite this he is never happy with his work. He covers a wide variety of media skills, from Directing, Producing and Writing, to Cinematography, Editing and Acting. Senior believes that if you're going to make a dramatic film, you should not hold back. He says that "if extreme violence works, use it. If explicit language works. Use it. Don't be afraid to make a masterpiece."

When it comes to social media, Senior primarily uses Instagram, providing updates regarding his work, however uses many other social platforms to reach is audience. Aside from work updates, he posts his personal views and aspirations for life, often positive inspiration and confidence required to reach his goals, whilst encouraging others to do the same. He rarely, however, posts about his personal life as he believes too many people are consumed by trying to appear how others want them to be seen on social media. He believes too many people lack individuality, and many are shadows of one another, losing morals and high goals in life. If it doesn't happen on social media then it doesn't happen at all in a modern world, and people change their looks, falsify their attitudes and don't appreciate true art and craftsmanship anymore. Senior becomes frustrated by this, and isn't afraid to let people know.

Senior's confidence drives him on, and though previously down, he now always stays positive to create meaningful media for the world, be it film, photography or storytelling. He wants to affect the world; create something meaningful. Senior is also a big fan of shocking qualities, and believes that it keeps an audience interested. Even if they become surprised or disturbed, it'll stick in their minds for a very long time with a lasting imprint. Senior believes that most modern films are purely focused on money and they lack originality - he thinks that films need to be more about art; creating something unique, powerful and meaningful - which is what he aims to do himself. Even if his films reach a limited audience, he doesn't mind as long as his films are more art & quality based as opposed to money-grabbing blockbusters, sequels and spin-offs. Moreover, Senior is a fan of writing comedy, which can be seen in some of his work.

Senior describes himself as a 'creator' - he enjoys creative writing, directing, producing and lyricising. He aims to think outside of the box, whilst creating media of high technical scope to prove himself to the world as an intelligent and talented, yet humble man. Senior is a hard worker and a perfectionist when it comes to what interests him, and until a project is complete, he will not stop thinking about how to improve it and make it the best it can possibly be. This can be seen in his film 'Life (AKA The Boy Who Commits a Murder)' - the writing has been described as 'genius,' whilst Senior, who worked non-stop on the project, is a great lover of true film, and so method acted his role to make himself more believable. He says although it ruined his social life for a year, he has no regrets, and hopes that his audience appreciates his efforts.

Senior has taken part in many film courses to further expand his knowledge, and has an abundance of film awards from prestigious educational centres such as The University of Birmingham. He believes that you can never learn enough, and never watch enough films. The more you watch, the more you learn. Senior enjoys watching a range of films from micro budget independent films, to blockbusters, to unknown shorts. Finding inspiration from the minds of people such as Clive Barker, The CKY/Jackass Crew, DiCaprio, Kanye West and Tarantino, Senior is extremely creative, as is his composing/producing friend Kyle Staff, a part of Not Enough Knife. Together, along with the rest of the NEK crew, Senior produces some exceptional ideas, and improves every day when it comes to filmmaking. He offers his friends opportunities to do something different, such as act or manage production. Senior, if impressed with their skills, may invite them to join Not Enough Knife, and says that he always gives people the chance to do something unique. If they turn it down...it's their choice.

Senior's work has been encouraged by established film actors, including Stephen Merchant, Robert Englund and Andrew Lee-Potts.

During the course of the future, Senior plans to expand Not Enough Knife, as well as expand his knowledge to become a better artist.

Early life & Personal Life

Senior was born in Plymouth, England. Brought up by a single parent, he is an only child who hopped between hobbies before settling down into filmmaking. His first friend Sam Ord-Houghton grew up around stage acting/singing which inspired Senior to begin his ventures. Friend and cinematographer Jack Ide then inspired Senior to pick up a camcorder and begin filming his activities, hence where Senior is now. Senior's personal life is generally private, though he is a black belt in Ju-Jitsu, and also plays the keyboard (instrument). From 2015-2016 Senior method acted a role for an independent film, causing to loose a dramatic amount of weight. In 2016 Senior's best friend and workmate Dan Lyle contracted pneumonia, which affected Senior greatly. Lyle has since fully recovered.

Career

Sketch Comedy

Ever since 2012, Senior has been busy shooting humorous clips with himself and friends (Jack Ide, Dan Lyle and Sam Ord-Houghton) for personal use, until 2014, when he began to use YouTube, Vimeo and Dailymotion. Each short video tended to focus on a fictionalised version of himself and co. as they partake in ridiculous, surreal and often random activities.[6] Some popular examples of these short skits include The Lonely Boy's First Friend, David Battenberg's Bush Life and more recently The Search for the Christmas Spirit.[7]

In 2015, Senior stopped producing comedies due to mixed reviews, as well as to focus on more serious, more mature projects to show his dedication to the career.

Drama

Moving on from Sketch Comedy, Senior decided he wanted to show diversity, and so contacted x2 Emmy Award Winning and Telly Award winning writer D.M. Larson to create a film adaptation of his script entitled Never Touch. Receiving positive reviews, Senior went on to write and direct his own feature length dramatic movie entitled Life (AKA The Boy Who Commits a Murder)[8] This was Senior's first serious feature film and received positive reviews. Since Life, Senior co-directed the short drama The Operator alongside Zain Khan.

J.A.M Studios, M.A.D Productions and MAStudios

In 2013, Senior created a film production company entitled J.A.M Studios,[9] an abbreviation of its two core members Jack Ide and Matt Senior. Soon after, Senior joined up with his close friend Dan Lyle to create M.A.D Productions,[10] also an abbreviation. Together, Senior and Lyle produced the first commercial short film 'What Doesn't Kill You,' which received mixed to positive reviews from comedy critics. Finally, Senior created MAStudios [11] with Sam Ord-Houghton, however shut down the company due to inactivity. In 2016, Senior re-opened the company to produce his film Life (AKA The Boy Who Commits a Murder).

Not Enough Knife

In 2015, Senior created the company which he would dedicate his life to: Not Enough Knife. The concept was simple - to create a film production company, focusing on original & controversial topics, which would be made primarily by younger age groups to demonstrate capabilities. The official website describes the company like so: "We are a versatile media production company from Plymouth, England, working to develop short & feature length independent movies, accompanied by books, photos and music. As a company, we have all of the equipment, creativity and motivation required to make your ideas reality. We also develop music, radio interviews and audio-books under the NEK Records project."[12] Then going on to explain that: "Creating film, taking pictures, creating music, is so much more than picking up a camera. Or a guitar. Or even owning a studio. It's about art; individuality. It's about expressing, connecting, conveying and creating a masterpiece."

Often abbreviated as 'NEK', The name Not Enough Knife is derived from an outtake whilst shooting for a film course. During the scene, a young girl is getting stabbed, however the knife is out of shot - Senior can be heard whispering "There's Not Enough Knife", and so the name stuck. The original introduction video was designed by Mike Bruty and can be seen at the start of Never Touch,[13] a film produced by NEK. The team is made up of 7 members: Matt Senior, Dan Lyle (producer), James 'Jimmy' Vowden (basketball player and lyricist), Kyle 'Im Scott' Staff (musician), Matt Brown XCV (producer), Sam Ord-Houghton(actor), and Elias Freeman (voice acting). Senior, the founder, is close friends with all of the members as he believes the relationship with the crew helps a great deal with the shooting of any movie. Matt Brown acquired the name 'Matt Brown XCV' as he is the 95th actor with that name to be credited on IMDb. Kyle Staff gained the nickname 'Im Scott' following a mistake in the short film What Doesn't Kill You, in which Staff had a cameo role - see the What Doesn't Kill You section for an explanation. Not Enough Knife has four divisions: NEK Productions, NEK Records, NEK Publishings and NEK Photography.

The company has produced all of Senior's skits, as well as Never Touch, and more professionally Life (AKA The Boy Who Commits a Murder) and The Operator.

The official logo displays a knife piercing the letters "NEK."

Photography

As part of the NEK Photography branch, Senior used his skills as a cinematographer to become a photographer. His work can be viewed on his website [14]. These shoots include Harsh Reality and Through the Filter.

Writing

Asides from writing scripts, Senior is a natural writer, producing stories that are absurd and grammatically exceptional. He is currently writing the coming-of-age drug-fuelled novel 'Skin and Bone...and Methadone." Other short stories can be found on his official [15]

Short Films

What Doesn't Kill You

The first commercial short film by Senior and Dan Lyle, with an original storyline - there is no storyline! The idea of the sketch film was to create something extremely random with no relevance to anything. During filming, Kyle Staff's cameo role is named Scott, though his name tag has a typo and reads 'Im Scott' as opposed to 'I'm Scott' - this created Staff's nickname.

Never Touch

Never Touch is dramatic coming-of-age black comedy that depicts how bullying emotion can affect an individual, which can lead to depression, lack of self-esteem and worse, whilst exploring themes of love affair and desperation.

Senior and Not Enough Knife's first project of 2015 - 'Never Touch' is their first dramatic film. Senior gained contact with multi-award winning author D.M Larson, who has achieved a telly award and two emmy awards, after discovering his short monologue from a popular play 'Big Nose (A Modern Cyrano).' Senior connected with it immediately as the script was perfect for him. So Larson allowed Senior to create the screenplay, transforming his monologue into a short film. Adapting the writing into anything, Senior chose to create a video exploring the effects of bullying - with themes including isolation, love, depression, self-esteem and more. Dan Lyle (of M.A.D Productions) was the cinematographer and producer for this piece, as Senior believed his views and camera-shot style were well suited. NEK also teamed up with outstandingly well established composer Mattia Cupelli, whose music was perfect. Once filming was complete, Senior and Lyle looked back at the ending and Senior & Lyle both agreed it wasn't quite right. After two days of re-thinking, they both came up with two perfect endings and couldn't decide between the two! In the end they settled for two films (Version 1 and Version 2), both with different endings. The third ending was erased as the idea was preposterous.[16]

The Lonely Boy's First Friend

This film is the loving story of a lonely boy who encounters his first ever friend, presented by James 'Jimmy' Vowden and Not Enough Knife [gb] Productions. A sketch comedy short with a twist - the whole film turns out to be an advertisement by Nike! Although being praised for originality, the short received mixed reviews, so Senior created a 'Critic's Re-edit' version based on the given feedback. This version received incredible reviews.[17][18][19] [20]

The Search for the Christmas Spirit

The madness returns as Not Enough Knife are back with another sketch comedy short film! Jim and Matt celebrate 2015's festivities by going on a search for...the Christmas spirit!! This was made as part of Not Enough Knife's two week challenge, and the DVD includes exclusive bonus features. Directed by Matt Senior, featuring James 'Jimmy' Vowden, written by Dan Lyle and shot primarily on Canon, the film proclaims that if you loved 'What Doesn't Kill You', if you loved 'The Lonely Boys First Friend', then you might like this but they make no promises! This was the first of Senior's films to be released on DVD, and contains his sketch 'David Battenberg's Bush Life' as a bonus feature.[21]

Life (AKA The Boy Who Commits a Murder)

“The only way out is to climb a tower of bodies.” Living a normal life, a teenage boy becomes influenced by everyone and everything around him until he reaches breaking point, leaving us all asking...what is his story?

From independent filmmaker Matt Senior (Never Touch) and x2 Emmy Award winning author D.M. Larson, The Boy Who Commits a Murder is a powerful and thought provoking piece of drama, fantastically composed by Kyle Staff & Ross Bugden, and executively produced by Dan Lyle.

This is Senior's first feature-length movie. It is a dramatic mystery revolving around a boy After the producer screening, actor Sam Ord-Houghton told Senior that "I want to be your Uma Thurman to your Quentin Tarantino."

The film has a current rating of 8.8/10 in IMDb.

The Operator

Young. Vulnerable. Blood on his hands. For Cillian, the next ten minutes are perhaps his most important.

Written & Directed by Zain Khan and Matt Senior, this short piece of psychological drama is an exploration into the mind of a teenager who becomes overwhelmed by his accidental situation and emotion.[22]

This short was written by film reviewer Zain Khan, who reached out to Senior through Instagram after watching his film Life (AKA The Boy Who Commits a Murder). Senior agreed to executive produce and edit the film, as well as to co-direct and develop the script.

Other/Upcoming Projects

Ball Is Life

Senior is creating a documentary following the ventures of his close friend James 'Jimmy' Vowden.

Apocalypse

Senior is currently writing an art film about schizophrenia.

Stop Motion/Animation

Senior hinted that he would create a stop motion and animated video to go along with two of his poems, though nothing has been confirmed.

Other

Senior has written a number of short stories, including the upcoming teen drama Skin and Bone...And Methadone, which featured a preview in The Search for the Christmas Spirit DVD.

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2011 War Horse (film) Boy In Village (Extra) Extra
2014 What Doesn't Kill You Matt and Harold Actor, Writer, Director, Producer, Editor
2015 Never Touch Cyril Actor, Screenplay, Director, Producer, Editor
2015 The Lonely Boy's First Friend The Lonely Boy and The Narrator Actor, Concept, Director, Producer, Editor
2015 David Battenberg's Bush Life Himself Actor, Concept, Director, Producer, Editor
2015 The Search for the Christmas Spirit Matty Patty Actor, Director, Producer, Editor
2016 Life (AKA The Boy Who Commits a Murder) The Boy Actor, Director, Producer, Editor
2016 The Operator Co-director, executive producer, editor
2016 Ball is Life Himself Director, executive producer, editor

Discography

With Kyle Staff
  • One Step Beyond (2016)

Bibliography

  • Matt Senior, Skin and Bone...And Methadone (NEK Publishings; April 30, 2016)

References

External links


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