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Senior Matt Wilson has made the most of his years in high school

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As their high school careers come to a close, the memories come flooding back to seniors as they fondly recount all they have accomplished. Senior Matt Wilson reflects over his years at FHC through creating the senior video and respecting all that the Class of 2018 has done.

Matt and other seniors like Molly Growney have been taking time to make the yearly senior video that is meant to represent the graduating class with a little help from FX teacher Jeff Manders. Next Friday, during the candlelight ceremony, their video will be displayed to the entire school as well as parents to honor all of the seniors’ accomplishments. While having the opportunity to create a video has been enjoyable for Matt, it’s been stressful as the anticipation of the video has drawn near.

“In the beginning of the year, it was me, Molly, and Kendall [Leach], and now we’re all coming back together,” Matt said. “It’s been really nice because there was a period when I felt like it was all on my shoulders.”

Contrary to past years, Matt and a few other FX members have gathered a series of interviews with seniors around the school. Rather than focusing on the events leading up to the ceremony, they have focused the senior video on the people. Prior years have created montages of event that occurred during senior year and have started to become a pattern, so Matt, Molly, Manders, and Kendall tried to find something different that would best represent the Class of 2018.

“Everyone is going to remember homecoming,” Matt said, “but then you want to be able to go back and remember who you went to school with, where they are now, and what they were like back then.”

The process of gathering the interviews had been interesting for Matt. The people involved in gathering information tried to get people involved in more than one activity in order to reach more topics more efficiently and to maximize the amount of interviews used. The process has been insightful for Matt.

“It’s been really interesting because I’ve been able to talk on a deeper level with more people that are spread out across the school, not necessarily a certain group,” Matt said.

With other people in FX looking in on the project, Matt said there was a lot of help to prevent any repetitiveness throughout the video and also to make sure there was an emotional aspect to it. After working on it for so long and seeing the same content so many times, Matt said he doesn’t have as much of an emotional attachment to the video as he does a qualitative perspective. Matt believes the fresh sets of eyes on everything will keep the overall reaction to the video where he wishes it will be.

“We’re definitely looking for that happy, sad, bittersweet balance [from the reaction],” Matt said. “I want people to be entertained. I just want people to look back on it and remember everything. I want to paint a good depiction of what the year was and what the class was.”

Matt’s opportunity to participate in the creation of the senior video stems from his experience in filming throughout high school. He took the Media Comm. class his freshman year so he could be on FX by his sophomore year. While he had been the only sophomore in his class, Matt enjoyed working with the upperclassmen and made many older friends.

“I think it was rather good for me,” Matt said. “I really just sat down and shut up that year to learn about what was around me.”

His first year on FX gave him a lot of experience as he absorbed as much as he could from the older classmates around him. Matt watched and found anything new to learn or to help him grow his skills in the class.

“[FX] helped bring me to a place where I can start developing my own content with quality and actually get good feedback instead of like, ‘Hey you need to fix your shot.’ It’s good like storytelling development and good technical development,” Matt said. “It’s helped me get further down the path I want to go down.”

Matt’s continuation in the film area stems from his interest in how it affects and moves other people. The inspiration for his films come from people, objects, and music. Former FHC student Sam Ovens inspired him to write his first film during his sophomore year. Matt had taken his character and wrote the story about who he was as a person. During his junior year, Matt drew inspiration from an idea that had been conjured up by him and FHC graduate Dakota Weinman about the similarity between Hall Street and Wall Street, thus creating Wolf of Hall Street.

“It’s not necessarily people that inspire me; it’s just kind of things and characters,” Matt said.

For three years, Matt participated in improv. He had tried out at the end of his freshman year and made the JV team. He then made it onto the varsity team his junior and senior year. He originally didn’t hold much interest in the activity but slowly grew attached to it and the people that participated. He explained that he just generally enjoyed joking around and having fun with his teammates like senior Noah Bosch.

“The more I did [improv], the more I found a connection to it because it’s just so fun and interesting,” Matt said.

Matt has taken many skills from being on the improv team like team bonding, being able to think on his feet, and coming together with people and being positive. Rather than shooting someone’s idea down, you take it and expand on it or make it better.

“The first rule of improv is just to say, ‘and you’re,’ or ‘yes, and,'” Matt said. “You never say no.”

Despite his interest in a wide variety of activities, Matt focuses his passion on film as he prepares to go to DePauw with the goal to pursue a career in the filming industry. The university’s hundreds of contacts in Los Angeles and strong program drew him there rather than to other colleges.

“I wanted to go into a program that would get behind me and support me,” Matt said. “Even after college, I would still be getting that support and development that I need.”

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Senior Matt Wilson has made the most of his years in high school