Matthew W.F. Senior
- biography -
Before creating film professionally, Senior began creating short home videos from the age of 11, and has continued to do so until today. Following his friend joining a performing arts school, Senior was encouraged to create moving image, and gained an interest in acting. Furthermore, another of Senior's friends purchased a video camera, and ever since Senior has continued to develop his skills as a poet and visual storyteller.
Senior utilises film as an outlet to process and convert thoughts, dreams and emotions from his head into a physical form in order to continue developing as a person. Focusing primarily on dramatic short subjects, as well as feature length endeavours, Senior is fond of the art behind film. 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, deconstructing video to create an audio/visual piece of art. When you first watch back your hard work it feels fantastic."
Frequently, Senior works with close friends such as Dan Lyle, Jim Vowden and others, as he believes "Filmmaking gives someone the rare opportunity to live many lives, so why live them alone?" Senior teaches them a variety of filmography based skills throughout each project, and believes that you should always keep your original friends 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 make a dramatic film, you should not hold back. He says that "if extreme violence works, use it. If explicit language works, use it. Don't be afraid to make a masterpiece."
Senior runs the independent arts company "NOT ENOUGH KNIFE", the team behind 'william.' and 'goya'. Additionally, Senior is a part of M.A.D PRODUCTIONS, J.A.M STUDIOS, and MASTUDIOS, subsidiary companies which assist in his films production, as well as NOT ENOUGH KNIFE's music counterpart, NEK RECORDS, under which Senior releases his own music, as well as other signed artists.
In regards to social media, Senior primarily uses Instagram to provide updates regarding his work, as well as his opinions of the world - though utilises other social platforms to reach is audience, such as Twitter. He posts his personal views, aspirations for life and positive inspiration required to reach his goals, whilst encouraging others to do the same - he rarely, however, posts about his personal life as he believes too many people are consumed by trying to appear how others want them to be seen on social media. Senior believes that too many people lack individuality, and many are shadows of one another, losing morals and high goals within life. If it doesn't happen on social media then it doesn't happen at all in a modern world, and people change their looks, falsify their attitudes and don't appreciate true art and craftsmanship anymore. Senior becomes frustrated by this, and isn't afraid to let people know.
Senior's confidence drives him on to create meaningful media for the world, be it film, photography or storytelling. He wants to affect the world; create something meaningful. Senior is also a big fan of shocking qualities, and believes that it keeps an audience interested, even if they become surprised or disturbed, it'll stick in their minds for a very long time 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 more art & quality based as opposed to money-grabbing blockbusters, sequels and spin-offs. Senior generally creates his films based on dreams, visions, emotions and genuine inspiration, rather than forcing an idea. 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 have the skills he has now.
Senior describes himself as a 'creator', aiming to think outside of the box, whilst creating media of high technical scope to prove himself to the world as an intelligent and talented, yet humble individual. Senior is an exceptionally hard worker when it comes to what interests him, and until a project is complete, he will not stop thinking about how to improve it and make it the best it can possibly be. Following the release of his film 'The Boy Who Commits a Murder', Senior was contacted directly several times by individuals suffering with depression expressing their emotions and gratitude towards the film, explaining how the film had helped them mentally overcome negative thoughts. Senior, who worked non-stop on the project, is a great lover of true film, and so method acted his role to make himself more believable. He says although it ruined his social life for a year, he has no regrets, and hopes that his audience appreciates his efforts.
Senior has taken part in many film courses to further expand his knowledge, and has an abundance of film awards from prestigious educational centres such as The University of Birmingham and The University of Leeds. He believes that you can never learn enough, and never watch enough films. The more you watch, the more you learn. Senior enjoys watching a range of films from micro budget independent films, to blockbusters, to shorts.
Finding inspiration from the minds of people such as
Christopher Nolan, DANIELS, Clive Barker, David Lynch, Kanye West, Frank Ocean and Alejandro González Iñárritu, Senior is extremely creative, producing some exceptional ideas, developing himself every day when it comes to
film-creating. Often, Senior offers his friends opportunities to do something different, such as act or manage production. Senior, if impressed with their skills, may invite them to join NOT ENOUGH KNIFE, and says that he always gives people the chance to do something unique.
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, and other project crutches. Senior also plans his tweets and captions one year in advance. 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.
Encouraged by established film actors, including Stephen Merchant, Robert Englund and Andrew Lee-Potts, throughout 2016 and 2017 Senior's skills dramatically improved. He has since collaborated with x2 Emmy award winning author D.M Larson multiple times, produces films for Amazon Prime, and has directed a feature film which received physical global distribution when he was fifteen years of age ('The Boy Who Commits a Murder'). The following year, Senior directed a short film in collaboration with Zain Khan and Tom Holland's cousin, James Holland. Entitled The Operator, Khan first reached out to Senior through Instagram, where he agreed to help produce Khan's debut short film. That same year, Senior produced a biographic eulogy film dedicated to his grandfather entitled 'william.', which he describes as a 'living photograph'.
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, it is primarily made for the benefit of others. 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. Additionally, that year Senior extended and re-released his short eulogy film 'william.', resulting in the project becoming Senior's proudest work. 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 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 company (now NOT ENOUGH KNIFE LTD), with the main headquarters being based in Kensington. Under this brand, he then released a clothing line, an EP (automatic tuning), a short film (goya), and a short piece of writing (movement). That same year he helped fund Andrew Lee-Pott's short film 'Kindred'. His EP was delivered to streaming services by the same distributor used by Ludacris, Pusha T, Chance The Rapper and 21 Savage.
In 2020, Senior shot a music video titled "Track 5", based on a song from his EP. The video featured conversations with dementia patients, and conveyed the ideas of compassion, and the effect of love across time.
Senior is currently working on music and clothing.
"I don't know what to label myself - I don't want to be shoe-boxed into being a 'filmmaker'. I'm more than that. I'm a director, a sound designer, a singer, a poet, an orchestrator, 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 be 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."
"Always love friends and family. They are the ones that encourage, support and raise you. Always remember them too."
"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. I've always loved exploring my mind and the possibilities that are open to me. Breaking down sound, deconstructing video to create an audio/visual piece of art. When you first watch back your hard work it feels fantastic."
"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."