Arts & Entertainment

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Shouse ‘blessed’ with opportunities for exposure

In pursuit of following the footsteps in the great cinematographers before him, Matt Shouse encountered many opportunities for exposure, including being entered into the Heartland Film Festival two consecutive years.

(Photo provided)
Matt Shouse (Photo provided)

Indiana Jones – a hero to many, an inspiration to others. Ironically, it was the cameraman in the back of a moving pickup truck filming the iconic action sequences that caught seven-year-old Matt Shouse’s attention and inspired him to enter the field of film production.

Following his passion for cinema, Shouse picked up a camera and learned the art. By senior year of high school, he earned exposure by winning Envision Film Festival’s “Best High School Film Award” in 2012. Later that same year, his short documentary on a humane society in his hometown in Fairmount, Ind. was selected to be an honorable mention in the high school division in the Heartland Film Festival, one of the nation’s most selective festivals.

The following year, he recieved a call from the festival announcing that his latest film on an urban gardening community in Indianapolis had been selected for the shorts category at the film festival for that year. Of the thousand plus submissions, Shouse’s was one of about 60 total films that was selected.

“Being accepted to the Heartland again the following year was an even bigger deal,” Shouse said. “In 2013, I went live on the radio with some Heartland Film Festival judges and made a brief appearance in a TV interview.”

A year later at an annual event called “CineGear” which exhibits the latest gear in the film industry and allows people to network, Shouse attended a presentation hosted by world-renowned cinematographer Shane Hulbert. At its conclusion, Shouse approached and engaged him in conversation. By the end of the conversation, Hulbert invited Shouse to help him with a shoot for his website.

“He was doing an intro for some lenses that he was testing out,” Shouse said. “I was working with other people and learning a lot. Shane had top of the line gear for us to use so that was fun. I met some cool people that I’ve been friends with since.”

Shouse also helped with the Wright 3rd viral parody video of the official “Thrift Shop” music video from 2012.

“We shot the video in my hometown thrift store, so I helped to arrange that,” he said. “I helped with the cinematography and camera side of things. We shot for two weekends.”

Without many expectations, upon uploading the video on YouTube, Shouse witnessed in disbelief as the video quickly exploded with popularity.

“What started out as just a fun project now has over 500,000 views on YouTube,” he said. “It’s awesome to know that many people have seen something that I was a part of.”

With so many opportunities to develop and showcase his work, Shouse said it was difficult to choose a significant moment in his career because he has been “blessed with many great experiences.” Defining his film career as a blend of both business and creative arts, Shouse said a job that allowed him to exercise both of those aspects in Los Angeles has been one of his most memorable experiences.

“I will never forget when I boarded a plane last August and headed to Los Angeles to work on multiple short films,” he said. “That was a bucket list thing for me. It was crazy to me that someone would pay money to fly me over a thousand miles to shoot their film.”

Upon graduation, Shouse said he hopes to enter the cinematic playground and move to Los Angeles. Film, however, will not limit his career possibilities.

“I’ve also gotten super into photography lately,” he said. “I’d love to shoot a magazine cover some day.”

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