Matt is a small-town country boy from Minnesota, which is where he first attended the church of the great outdoors. For Matt, staring at a firefly can lead to infinite questions — his greatest accomplishment is never being bored. This investigative spirit and knack for keen observation, has led Matt to explore our relationship to the world around us. His filmmaking is candid, expressive, and transformative. Beauty abounds, as much from the inside out as the exquisite flora and fauna he lenses in the process.
Matt is the founder of the independent video channel, Into the Unknown, which has dragged him across the planet for unexpected encounters and the opportunity to describe extraordinary places. From the rainforests of South America to the coral reefs in Central America, his goal is to film and share the hard work of communities helping to protect wildlife.
His travels to the Amazon, accompanying local guides and renowned scientists including biodiversity expert Thomas Lovejoy, provided a deep and authentic connection to the region and all that it offers. In it, audiences join Matt – exuberant and inquiring – on journeys to understand Purple Martin migration, explore sustainable agriculture, learn what it means to incentivize environmental protection, and more. Swimming with pink dolphins, eating beetle larvae, and seeing streaks of birds across sunset skies – we witness it all with Matt at our side. But the series is more than a clarion call demanding you get out there and learn what you don’t know — It is also funny, poignant, ambitious filmmaking rooted in genuine curiosity for understanding cultures different than our own.
The episodes are available online and have been screened in classrooms in his home state, where Matt also volunteers for youth foundations. Inspiring and supporting others is part of Matt’s upbringing and essential to who he is as an artist, and one of the many reasons why Amazon Aid’s Artists for the Amazon program resonates with him.
“Finding an organization that honors the power of artists’ voices and also seeks to educate and activate young people really speaks to me,” he says. “I hope that my films bring a deeper understanding of the importance of protecting delicate habitats including the people lucky enough to call them home.”
Speaking of home, after a hard day of filming, editing, or composing music, Matt is always grateful to return to his family and his place in the country. This will always be his most cherished treasure, fireflies and all.