Field Notes: An interview with Filmmaker, Matthew Brue

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Matthew Brue sets out to do one thing in every film he makes: Capture real moments and stories -- He not only accomplishes this task, but he does it well. 

Brue's production company Capture has been killing it. This has a lot to do with the company he keeps: his younger brother Ben Brue and cousin Calvin Brue. Together, they have built  something  amazing,  expanding quickly and bringing on extremely talented filmmakers. All leading back to capturing one compelling story at a time.

We caught up with Matthew about the art of collaboration, hitting the ground running in a new filmmaking industry and how music can make or break a project.


M: When did you start filming?

MB: Back when I was working a corporate job I was asked to join a group that was going over to Russia to do some work with orphanages and bring a couple cameras to document their experience. I was the guy who was always into photography and video, but never really took myself too seriously. That trip gave me an opportunity to shoot for 2 weeks straight and through the process I discovered that film was something I wanted to pursue full-time.

M: When did you know that you wanted to be a filmmaker?

MB: The trip I mentioned above really helped me realize that I wanted to jump into film more seriously, but it was also the affirmation of the people in my life that helped push me over the edge. I didn't know that what I could do with a camera was any better than the next guy - I was shooting based on instinct - but people who saw what I was putting together kept telling me they hadn't seen anything like it at a non-pro level. So, I started following other filmmakers and started trying to figure out how I could make a go at making a living with a camera in hand.

M: What's usually your favorite moment when working on a film?

MB: I am an execution guy. I have realized over the years that there are people who are good across the spectrum of a project - some are great planners, others great in post - but what I love most is brining an idea to life. It's usually that "hey, this is actually going to work" moment that gets me most excited.

M: How did Capture come to form?

MB: I jumped into the industry on my own, but quickly realized that film isn't easy to do on your own. It takes a lot of moving parts - more than most other creative fields - and I needed extra hands and heads if I was going to ever build scale into our work and our business. I did a pretty good job of keeping the door open for people to engage with me and my work, which lead to people asking if they could join Capture and be a part of the team. 6 years later and we have a great group of people committed to seeing Capture grow on a daily basis.

M: Have there ever been any happy accidents when filming? If so, what's one that stands out?

MB: I think they happen all the time. We shoot a lot of "real" stories in uncontrolled environments, which means you never really know what you are getting yourself into. I can remember a time I was shooting some spring training baseball down in Florida and as we were following the team back to the clubhouse it started raining like crazy. I had a high-speed camera mounted to a steadicam and in order to transport it back to our home base I mounted it and was planning to wear it back. When it started pouring I saw players running across the field, so I started rolling and ran with them - turned into what looked like a pretty intense "hollywood" shot.

M: How do you feel music plays a role in filmmaking?

MB: Music is the emotional backbone for any film we make. Picture is obviously huge, but in the end I think music will make or break you. 

M: What's your process of finding a soundtrack to a project? When do you know you've found the right one?

MB: We are constantly on the hunt for tracks. When we know we have a project coming up that will need a certain type of soundtrack we make mix tapes for inspiration and it gives us a place to log our favorites. As far as finding the right one - we typically sample 3-4 in an edit and see what we really connect to and what makes the film "feel" right. We often have a good idea of what we want the viewers' emotional response to be, so it's a hunt to find the track that when paired with picture and nat sound, does that for us.

M: How do you feel music can be misused in film?

MB: You shouldn't just slap a song to picture and walk away. I think some people find a song they like and try to force it into an edit (I have definitely done that before). I see people putting "epic" music to "sub-epic" picture and it sort of throws me off - the last thing you want to do is use your music as a manipulation tool. I aim to pick music and picture that reinforces what it is I am trying to communicate - in a way that the viewer can't really pick it apart. If the music feels like it "lives" in the film, I think we did our job.

M: What are you working on now? What's a project you're excited about coming up?

MB: We have all sorts of stuff going on. We are wrapping up a good amount of work before year-end for a variety of agencies and clients, but what I am most excited about are a couple housekeeping items (new reel, portfolio, etc) and a couple personal projects we are trying to get moving on.