Matthew W.F. Senior
biography

 

Before creating film professionally, Senior began creating short home videos from the age of eight, not only for recreation, but as a way of vacuum sealing memories - and he has continued to do so until today. Succeeding his friend joining a performing arts school, Senior gained an interest in acting. Soon after, another of Senior's friends purchased a video camera, encouraging him to create moving image, and he has continued to develop his skills as a visual storyteller ever since. Beginning with comedy shorts for most of his childhood, Senior later transitioned into the drama/experimental genre, eventually branching into multiple facets of poetry and art. Senior is completely self taught in all fields, though has taken part in numerous courses to develop his knowledge and understanding further.

 

Utilising film as an outlet to process and convert thoughts, dreams and emotions into a physical form - in order to move forwards and continue developing - Senior focuses primarily on dramatic and experimental short subjects, as well as the occasional feature length endeavour. Senior is passionate when it comes to the art and science behind filmmaking. He says: "My favourite part of creating film is the creative process as a whole - especially the feeling you experience once you've completed all of the fine tuning. I've always loved exploring my mind and the possibilities that are open to me: breaking down sound, and deconstructing video to create an audio/visual piece of art. When you first watch back your hard work it feels fantastic, and surreal."

 

Frequently, Senior works with close friends such as Daniel Lyle, James 'Jimmy' Vowden and others, giving them unique creative opportunities, as he believes that "acting and filmmaking gives someone the rare opportunity to live many lives, so why live them alone?" Senior's team consists of both industry professionals, as well as previously inexperienced personal friends. In terms of the latter, Senior teaches them a variety of practical/administrative skills, as he believes that you should always keep your original crew close.

 

Covering a wide variety of media skills, from: directing, producing and writing, to cinematography, editing, sound design and acting, Senior believes that if you're going to create a film, particularly within dramatic/comedic fields, you should seldom hold back. He says that "if extreme violence works, use it. If explicit language works, use it. Don't be afraid to offend people at the cost of your absolute vision."

In regards to social media, Senior primarily uses Instagram to provide updates regarding his work - though often utilises other social platforms to reach his audience, including: Vero, Facebook and Twitter. Posting his creative idols, personal views/opinions, music choices, aspirations for life and the positive inspiration required to reach his goals, whilst encouraging others to do the same, Senior rarely posts about his personal life. Believing that "too many people are consumed by trying to appear hyper-realistic, consequently casting them under an inaccurate light", Senior maintains that too many people lack individuality, as a result of shadowing one another, all at the risk of losing track of internal happiness and moral compass. "If it doesn't happen on social media, then apparently it doesn't happen at all in a modern world, although this is often the total opposite - and people change their looks, falsify their attitudes and consequently fail to appreciate true art and craftsmanship. Many people have this false perception of how others want to see them on social media, which can realistically be completely reduced to ego. Mimicking celebrities or projecting how you desire to live is nothing more than destructive." Senior becomes frustrated by this, and isn't afraid to express himself in any way, regarding any subject matter.

Senior's confidence drives him on to create meaningful media for the world, be it film, photography or storytelling. He has a deep need to  shake and affect the world... to create something meaningful, inspirational, and emotive. Senior is also a big fan of tactfully designed revolutions, or well-implemented shocking qualities, believing that they can maintain audience retention,long after the credits roll, with a lasting imprint. Senior believes that most modern films are purely driven by profit and therefore lack originality - maintaining the mindset that films need to be more about art; creating something unique, powerful and meaningful - which is what he aims to do himself. Even if his films reach a limited audience, he doesn't mind as long as his films are based upon artistic value & relative quality, as opposed to ground on which money-grabbing blockbusters, sequels and spin-offs operate. Senior generally creates his films based on dreams, visions, emotions and genuine inspiration, rather than forcing an idea. "I will always create, for the love of creating. Money is the last thing on my mind. A lot of people believe that money is the cornerstone of success, but this is a deeply saddening revolution; money is nothing more than a construct, designed to keep people in line, until they're too old to retaliate. Of course, people need shelter and food - but, broadly speaking, money has no correlation to success... at all. I have no issue losing everything if it means bringing more art into the world. All that matters is what we leave behind." Senior is known for being a perfectionist, using his previous work as guidelines to build upon. He says, however, that he has no regrets, as without the earlier work, he would not be able to develop & refine skill sets.

Senior describes himself as a 'creator', aiming to think outside of the box, whilst creating media and art of a high technical scope, all whilst balancing intellect against humility. Senior is exceptionally dedicated when it comes to his passions - and until a project is complete and beyond, he refuses to stop pondering on how to improve it, in order to craft something into the best product that it can possibly be. Following the release of his method-acted feature film 'The Boy Who Commits a Murder', Senior was contacted directly by several individuals suffering with depression, expressing their gratitude towards the film, and explaining how it had helped them to mentally overcome negative thoughts.

Finding film inspiration from the minds of people such as Christopher Nolan, DANIELS, Clive Barker, David Lynch and Alejandro González Iñárritu, and musical inspiration from Phil Elverum, Mark Kozelek, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Radiohead and John Lennon, to name a few, Senior is extremely creative, producing some exceptional ideas, and developing himself every day when it comes to creating film and music. Senior enjoys watching a range of films from micro budget independent films, to blockbusters, to shorts."You can never learn enough, and never watch enough films, or listen to enough albums. The more you watch, the more you listen, the more you learn."

Additionally, Senior keeps a notepad of ideas, dialogue, phrases, questions and creative narrative on him at all times, adding to them whenever inspired. Often, he will wake to find notes, with no recollection of writing them - over time, these writings are often used as narration, lyrics, and other project crutches. Senior frequently plans his tweets and captions over one year in advance. Moreover, he has five forms of synesthesia, allowing him to choose sounds and words effectively, as he views letters of the alphabet with personalities, and can visualise sound.

timeline

From the age of eight, up until 2014, Senior shot amateur home-video comedy shorts with his friends, which were never released to the public. This was a crucial time, where all of Senior's critical learning and understanding of filmmaking fundamentals took place. The shorts themselves would include Senior, and an additional individual, playing fictionalised versions of themselves, in sketch shorts and surrealist comedy. Senior created three unofficial 'mock' companies during this time: M.A.D Productions, J.A.M Studios, and MAStudios, all of which were co-founded by Senior and an additional individual. The production company assigned to a short would vary depending on the duo featured within.

In 2014, Senior founded the independent arts company "NOT ENOUGH KNIFE". Additionally, Senior decided to make his childhood passion projects M.A.D Productions, J.A.M Studios, and MAStudios official partner companies, which continue to assist with film production today. He also created four new divisions over the upcoming years: INTEGRAL, for film work, PROSPERITY, for music, NEK Photography, and IMPERIAL, for publishing written work. In 2019, he began releasing clothing under the PARADIGM division. In 2021, UPSTREAM would briefly become a partner, before merging with, and replacing, the photography division. The initial goal of NOT ENOUGH KNIFE was to act as a platform for Senior to release short films - though as scope, professional fields and his creative team grew, it became a parent-company hub - a multi-media, multi-art platform, with numerous branches, for signed and trusted artists to release a variety of work. However, the companies two core values have never changed - all work must be created with authenticity, and integrity.

2015 was the first time that Senior created a dramatic short film, branching away from comedy - and he never looked back. This film was titled 'Never Touch', produced with Dan Lyle, and it was the first of three collaborations between Senior and Emmy-award winning writer D.M. Larson. The film, along with all comedy shorts up to this point, was never released, and was considered practice along with everything else.

 

In 2016, encouraged by established film actors, including: Stephen Merchant, Robert Englund and Andrew Lee-Potts, Senior released two films, both produced for Amazon Prime. The first, a feature film titled 'The Boy Who Commits a Murder', which he began writing as the age of fifteen, became Senior's first publicly released film. Released when Senior was seventeen years old, it received physical global distribution on digital, DVD and Blu-ray. The DVD was discontinued when the film was remastered. The second film that Senior released in 2016 was a collaboration between Senior, Zain Khan and James Holland (cousin of Tom Holland). Entitled 'The Operator', co-director Khan first reached out to Senior through Instagram, where he agreed to help produce the film, as he wanted Khan's debut film to be of high quality. Originally an executive producer, Senior soon became script developer, acting coach, director of photography, editor and, ultimately, co-director.

 

In 2017, Senior's skills dramatically improved. He produced the first cut of his biographic eulogy film dedicated to his grandfather entitled 'william.', which he describes as a 'living photograph'. The film was released on Blu-ray, and is considered by many to be Senior's best work. Later that year, Senior experimented with 35mm photography, and began working on a film titled 'Demon Revolution', which would eventually be cancelled, despite being almost complete, as Senior felt unsatisfied with the result. Many of the scenes from this project, which was set to be the third collaboration between Senior and D.M. Larson, were reworked into 'goya', released in 2019, as well as the remaster of 'The Boy Who Commits a Murder'.

In 2018, Senior experienced some physical health problems, as well as some mental health issues; depression, self-doubt and heartbreak. During this period, Senior's attitude toward life and his art shifted. He began to describe his work as 'selfless art', pushing the idea that, although his work keeps him sane by alleviating his psyche, it is primarily made for the benefit of others. "I'm in love with the idea of creating a body of work that people can turn to when there isn't anybody else. I would die satisfied knowing that at least one thing I had made caused a connection, or helped to save a life." His art became more poetic and experimental - from his short story 'Inside Lays Our Valuable Everything. Yesterday's Our Utopia' (which was written under the influence of love), to his abstract short film 'free', which acted as a coping mechanism for Senior's mental state.  As a creative perfectionist, Senior often revisits and re-edits his art, and Vimeo allows Senior to update his video work seamlessly. For similar reasons, Senior expressed a dislike towards physical media, however, says he will still release Blu-rays, because physical media "feels infinitely better". That year, Senior released 'william.' on Blu-ray, and began utilising Instagram again after two years of absence. He wanted to refine his aesthetic and become a more illusive artist, re-appearing only upon the release of new work; he wanted to live life privately, to gain experiences and emotions, to later pour into his art. The same year, Senior passed his first year studying film at Plymouth College of Art.

2019 was a busy year for Senior - after filming an art gallery installation piece titled 'HOME', passing his second year studying film at Plymouth College of Art and releasing a visual audiobook titled 'I LOVE YOU', he legally registered NOT ENOUGH KNIFE as a limited company, with the main headquarters being based in Kensington, and the clothing facility being based in Los Angeles. Under this brand, and the respective divisions, Senior then announced his clothing line, concurrently with the release of Season 1, as he fell in love with the idea of tangible art. Soon after, Senior released an EP (automatic tuning), a short film (goya), and a short piece of writing (movement). That same year he helped fund Andrew Lee-Potts' short film 'Kindred', and released the extended version of his 2017 short film 'william.', which completely replaced the original version (the purpose of the new cut was to add more context and biographical information, subsequently causing the film to receive over 112,000 views). Senior's EP, which was delivered to streaming services through the same distributor associated with Ludacris, Pusha T, Corpse Husband, Chance The Rapper and 21 Savage, was streamed over 25,000 times, in over 26 countries, with only two weeks of promotion.

In 2020, Senior graduated from university with a Bachelor of Honours degree. That same year, he wrote 'The Still Now', and shot a music video titled 'Track 5', based on a song from his 'automatic tuning' EP. The video featured conversations with dementia patients, conveying the ideas of 'compassion, and the fragility of love across time'. The video was released through Symphonic Distribution and Vevo. Soon after this, Senior shot a short film titled 'RETROSPECTION', which looked at nature and the end of the world, whilst simultaneously acting as a thankyou to those who supported his creative journey. The release dates for both projects were delayed until 2021, due to COVID-19.

In 2021, Senior became the associate producer for the HD remasters of the following Bam Margera/Brandon DiCamillo/Joe Frantz films: 'Landspeed: CKY', 'CKY2K', 'CKY 3', 'CKY 4: The Latest & Greatest', 'Haggard: The Movie', and 'Minghags: The Movie'. Later that year, ahead of his Signature Season clothing line release, Senior integrated the separate NOT ENOUGH KNIFE webstore with the main site, to create a more seamless experience, before teaming up with in-house creative Sam Tordy, in order to publish his FORD MUSTANG SERIES photoshoot. Soon after, Tordy launched a photography/videography platform, titled UPSTREAM - this new platform soon became a division of NOT ENOUGH KNIFE, merging with & replacing the existing photography branch, which resulted in Senior assisting with its overall development, as well as curating his favourite pieces for the NOT ENOUGH KNIFE website.

​Senior is currently working on music and clothing, as well as curating the UPSTREAM gallery, and regularly coding/updating this website.

All of Senior's updates can be found on Instagram and Twitter, as well as Facebook and Vero.

QUOTES

"It gets to a point where people cease critiquing your filmmaking ability, and begin critiquing the films - that's when you can slow down proving yourself, speed up developing your niche, and begin relaxing into your artistic chasm. As long as you never stop learning and improving, the only person you need to prove yourself to is yourself. Set goals and break on through them."

 

"I don't know what to label myself - I don't want to be shoe-boxed into being a 'filmmaker'.  It seems restricting. I'm a director, a sound designer, a singer, a poet, an orchestrator, a curator, a writer, a fashion designer, a graphic designer... I am whatever I need to be, at any given moment. 'Artist' is too vague. 'Storyteller' is too ambiguous. I create what feels right to me; I am integrity. There are so many lanes that are open to me that I am utilising. I strive to become the best version of myself, and to be the best at everything I do. I can learn, and achieve, whatever I set my mind too. It's beautiful and empowering - the freedom to express myself... to create and tell stories, poetically, through everything; film, music, clothing - to name a few. I'm true to myself, with a goal of helping others. I can't be labelled. I'm just Matt, that's all there is to it. I'm just doing my thing."

"Always love, support and remember the ones that encourage, support and build your pillars."

"Innovation is success. Innovation is the future."

"Development is all about understanding your faults, learning how to overcome them, and applying the necessary changes to better your purpose."

"My favourite part of creating film is the creative process as a whole - especially the feeling you experience once you've completed all of the fine tuning. I've always loved exploring my mind and the possibilities that are open to me: breaking down sound, and deconstructing video to create an audio/visual piece of art. When you first watch back your hard work it feels fantastic, and surreal."

"Attention to detail is what divides the exceptional from the average."

"You don't want to watch my previous work. You want to watch what I do next."

"Music and film are my life. I live for both in equal measures."

"At one point in my early teenage years I felt really depressed. In the wide scope of everything, I really had no right to feel such as way. But at the time, I did - so I poured all of my thoughts and feelings into my feature film and guess what? No more depression. At one point I had recurring nightmares about the passing of my grandfather, so I took it as a sign to create 'william.' - and now the nightmares have stopped. Films are an essential process for me and my personal development. I'm not sure why, but I don't think I want to, either."

"If I'm not 100% happy with my work then I won't put it out to the world. You all deserve the best that can be achieved. I don't care if they stop paying me. I don't care about money. I just care about translating my thoughts in an authentic way, for the benefit of the people. I will never sell my artistic integrity for corporations or time constraints."

"Sculpture is the ultimate creative goal. Also boundless radio. I'd love to have my own radio station - with no talking, and no genre limits, just constant, wonderful music, across a range of styles."

"I can have two completely opposing ideas at exactly the same time, and debate with myself. I try to keep my mouth shut most of the time."

"I really don't like the term 'filmmaker'. Anybody can make something. 'Film-creator' seems more appropriate."

"At the center of everything, I'm a writer."

"The views of the company are my views, just written from a collective perspective."

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