Art Maker: Matt Newman, music video designer

  • Matt Newman, who works at Hampshire College, also makes music videos for numerous bands. Here he checks on some potential material for images. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Matt Newman, who works at Hampshire College, also makes music videos for numerous bands. Here he checks on some potential material for images. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Matt Newman, who works at Hampshire College, also makes music videos for numerous bands. Here he checks on some potential material for images. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • A still from Matt Newman’s video for “Silver Snail” by The Pixies. Image courtesy Matt Newman

  • An image from Newman’s video for the song “Panic Amongst The Herd” by the death metal band Dying Fetus. Image courtesy Matt Newman

  • A still from Newman’s video for the song “www.iig” by New York band Passerby. Image courtesy Matt Newman

Published: 1/3/2019 4:59:10 PM

By day, Matt Newman is the media services production coordinator at the Hampshire College library. But on his own time, Newman works for bands from all over the world, making music videos in what he calls an “experimental narrative” style that makes use of different kinds of media.

“I use a lot of different types of imagery and image making methods, from stop-motion animation, to digital effects, VHS camcorder, S8/16mm film, high end HD cameras and imagery,” says Newman, who uses “Mount Emult” as his business handle. “I love working in Western Mass with local crew and talent.”

Hampshire Life: Talk about the work you're currently doing. What does it involve, and what are you trying to achieve?

Matt Newman: I just finished a music video, "I Dream in Lines," for the Boston band Astronoid that Stereogum described as a sort of fever dream viewing.  I would say that most of my work could be classified or described in this way. I feel really excited to be working in this area.

I tend to work in a very collage-like way in both the narrative/content and stylistic natures of the work. I like to work with all different types of media, trying to create ecstatic imagery. I am in preproduction right now getting ready to shoot a video for the band Beta Machine from Los Angeles.  

HL: Have you ever had a “mistake” – a project that seemed to be going south – turn into a wonderful discovery instead?

MN: I love and actively work to embrace the mistake. I believe heavily in chance happenings in art, and I find that some of my favorite moments in my work were born of mistakes that I embraced and followed up on. I work pretty heavily in paper collage animation (using paper, ink, paint, marker, etc.), so there is a built-in kind of meticulous nature to that process. But I also constantly try to undercut that by avoiding plans and going with a highly improvised type of animating. 

I like to get a ton of source material together (specifically culled for the project)  and then with some basic themes or ideas kind of see where the material goes. I am also very particular about what I put in the final piece, so not all mistakes are created equal …

HL: How do you know when your work is finished?

MN: I work on deadlines for the most part, so the work has to be done by a certain date. When I edit, I get very zoned. I know when it is done because I usually have to submit it that week, and if I can watch it like 10 times, usually with my fiancé, without making any more little tweaks, then it is done.

HL: Name some artists you admire or who have influenced your work. What about their art appeals to you?

MN: Stan Brakhage (experimental film), Jack and Jeremy from BUNNIES (music, personal), Martha Colburne (animation), My Bloody Valentine (music), Francis Bacon (painter), Ryan Trecartin (artist), David Lynch (filmmaker) Neil Cloaca Young (artist, personal) Jessie Beland (personal), Holdyn and Orri (personal).  

HL: What's your go-to snack while you're working?

MN: When I edit, I like to drink a lot of Coke. It’s a bit of a problem. The caffeine offsets/compliments other things that are affecting my brain. I get pretty silly. I used to munch on those spicy Cheetos, but I had to stop. When I am shooting live action footage, I generally forget to eat — then I get really hungry and most likely eat pizza.

— Steve Pfarrer 

Matt Newman’s website is montmult.tumblr.com.




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