Epix’s Matt Volpe on Jaws, Judas and his 4-step creative process

Matt Volpe is an award-winning senior screenwriter, producer, editor and creative director in audiovisual marketing, currently at EPIX.

Whether providing creative direction on original filming concepts, strategically executing visual media that challenges the creative status quo, or editing filming/broadcast sequences to tell incredible stories, Matt constantly strives to create amazing promotional content and build brand recognition.

Outside of his career, Matt is an accomplished bassist. Having played in numerous bands, the most notable being the underground New York post punk rock band Shirley Temple of Doom, Matt has amassed over 30 years of music.

Matt is married to his wife Gina and they have two sons, Avery and Evyén.

We spoke with Matt for our Backstory series, where we chat with people in the entertainment industry about their creative inspirations and more.

Matt, tell us…

Where you grew up and where you live now.

I grew up in Queens, New York, Walnut Creek, California and Marlboro, New Jersey. I currently reside in East Brunswick, New Jersey, with my wife and two sons.

Your first job in the industry.

My very first role in the industry was as a production assistant/reception administrator for a small TV marketing agency called Video From Video. However, I consider my first real job in this industry to be at HBO in the late 90s. I was there to witness HBO’s meteoric rise from a pay cable network that had great Hollywood movies to the premium network of high caliber supported by its original programming, as it is today. I worked on The Sopranos, Six Feet Under and a lot of WCB boxing.

A decisive moment in your career.

I have two defining moments that I’m very grateful to have had in my career so far. The first was one morning while I was working at HBO, I had a little too much coffee, and suddenly I found myself feverishly storyboarding an idea that came to me for a teaser shoot for season 2 of the anthology series Room 104. me, from nowhere. I ran into my supervisor’s office and presented this simple idea I had. It was lit that day! My idea was shot and I produced and edited filming footage in the initial teaser for the new season. I felt for the first time in my career that one of my original ideas had been transformed into something very cool.

The second defining moment for me came when I first joined Epix, and I was asked to participate in a hackathon they were hosting. We had to find a way to strengthen the Epix app to stand out from the crowd. I pitched an idea to my team that if one opened the Epix app, the video and audio of the network’s tentpole programming would play immediately, instead of the usual still images of the content that most apps in streaming had displayed at launch at the time. We didn’t win the hackathon, but the idea was loved by the CMO and CEO and was immediately implemented on the Epix app! I felt for the first time that I was making a little noise that was being heard in the industry.

Three movies you couldn’t live without.

First, Jaws is my ultimate favorite movie of all time. I can’t live without it because, for me personally, it’s the blood of creativity, suspense and storytelling. It really is a work of art. A masterclass in cinema. It’s the movie that made me want to be in the business, and I’m forever inspired by its cinematic magic. Also, I have five Jaws tattoos.

Second, The French connection. A true masterpiece of cutting-edge crime, drama and weirdness. I love how it portrays Manhattan as a cold, gritty backdrop. It made me want to move to New York as a kid and fight crime.

Third, Rope. I’m a huge Hitchcock fan, and this movie, maybe two to three takes in total, is my favorite Hitch because of its basic, raw nature. Like a play, everything is on a set. And the acting is amazing and so convincing.

Your favorite movie quote.

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat” is of course my favorite movie quote!

Your favorite movie trailer or poster.

My favorite movie trailer is Judas and the Black Messiah, trailer 2 to be precise. It tells an amazing story through the sound bites, and halfway through the music becomes very sparse to just bass drum and snare drum, beating to a slow metronomic beat that is mesmerizing and beautifully in tune. with compelling images. Not to mention, it’s an incredible love letter to trailblazer Fred Hampton Jr.