Eric Matthies - Award-winning documentary filmmaker, director, producer, photographer
By Andrew Vontz
The Beastie Boys, Spike Jonze, Doug Aitken, Public Enemy, Soundgarden, a Tribe Called Quest, the Matrix, Man of Steel, 300, Nike & Converse are but a few of the artists, films & companies who have leveraged the creative talents of Eric Matthies. In this conversation, we discuss his path from a Chicago skate punk with a camera who shot videos for bands like Nine Inch Nails to the exceptional documentary film work he has created with his wife and collaborator, Tricia Todd, including The End of Truth, a doc about ISIS kidnappings in Syria and Killing the Messenger, a film about the global epidemic of journalist murders. Eric is a polymath with formidable talent as a director, producer, writer, poet and photographer. In addition to film, Eric has worked as a director and producer across a number of genres including site-based VR, world-building R&D and live events. You can learn more about Eric on his website, www.ericmatthies.me and on his Tumblr and connect with him (maybe) on Vero. Check out his doc work with Tricia Todd including End of Truth, Killing The Messenger:The Deadly Cost of News, and Agile Mobile Hostile: A Year With Andre Williams. Eric and I first met through our passion for cycling and journalism that saw us mashed up in the birth of urban cycling culture in Los Angeles long before MASH was a brand or Red Hook was a crit. We were out rolling with Midnight Ridazz from the first few rides and saw it grow from a dozen people to thousands hitting the streets of LA on a Friday night. Simultaneously, I was involved in the cutthroat world of Cat. 4 crit racing in LA rolling on a stacked VeloWorx squad stacked with talent like Mark-Paul Gosselaar of Saved by the Bell and later NYPD Blue fame--one of the fiercest and most focused competitors I’ve ever ridden with--and a heavy-hitting entertainment attorney who would go onto rep both George Hincapie and Michael Jackson’s estate. These were wild times and the world didn’t know it, but a bike revolution was kicking off on the streets and office parks of LA. That led us to create a TV pilot about cycling culture in Los Angeles in the early 2000’s that encompassed everything from fixed gear culture to criterium racing and bike activism. We were onto something big, but about a decade too soon. The show didn’t get picked up, but a friendship and creative partnership was born that keeps on trucking. I have deep respect for Eric and what he and his partner, Tricia Todd, have done as artists and people. I am honored to be able to count him among my closest friends and most trusted advisors and I’m excited to share this interview with you. Thanks so much for taking time to listen to Choose the Hard Way. If you enjoy the show, PLEASE hit the subscribe button and rate the show. Then share this episode with a friend who you think might dig it. It makes a huge difference, it only takes 30 seconds, and it really means a lot to me. I’ll be back with another great guest soon. In the meantime, you can reach out @hardwaypod on Twitter or Instagram or just drop an email to email@example.com.