Monday, August 28, 2006

You should know... Matt Krentz

Too often in this city, those are truly helping to build our culture and give St. Louis a good name get left out. Boo hiss, I say. Or, if we talk about national contribution to the entertainment landscape it comes in the form of Nelly or Chingy or ... you get the picture. That's why you should know Matt Krentz.

Matt Krentz has been getting some media attention the last few weeks for the film Streetballers, a feature he wrote several years ago, and one which he is also directing and acting in. I caught a quick profile of Matt on Fox News the other week and Matt made a point of saying repeatedly that there were people who thought that he should make this film in NYC or LA or Chicago, that he needed to go to a big city to be successful. Matt stood his ground. He wrote the film in STL, about STL and he wanted to film it in STL. I admire his perseverence, and I applaud him standing his ground. He wanted to make this film in St. Louis, and that's what he's doing.

Why people think STL is not a place where art and culture can be created, I don't understand. But I love that someone with talent (and a budding reputation) stood up for this city and saw something here that could not be translated into another locale.

Matt Krentz is a filmmaker who was born and raised in St. Louis. I met him years ago when I first moved to town and we worked together for a spell while Matt was in between gigs working at the Sundance Institute. He has made several acclaimed shorts and worked on quite a few productions. His own company, MSK Productions is now making Streetballers. While Matt might possibly be one of kindest and most genuine people I know, he's also a visionary. Despite him not living in St. Louis full time anymore, he is often back here for work, and he brings his work with him when possible.

So if you see a crew out filming, it could be MSK. But more importantly, if you see a crew filming, think about all the things that they are bringing to this city. It's one thing for us to make great art here; it's quite another to fight with financiers to come back here and help make STL a city of great art.

I wish Matt luck, and I can only suggest that if you meet him, pay attention. Matt may go all over the place to make films, but when he had his choice, he came home. That kind of risk and vision is what we need, and it's what will help pave the way for our survival, as well as our renaissance. So really people, you should know him. He's going to make a difference.

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