Director Matt Hoffman is known for coaxing world class athletes out of their shells to deliver authentically fun performances. His work is brimming with humor and humanity, connection with the audience, and always with a great plot twist. At the core of Hoffman’s work is an obsessive (bordering on competitive) love of film, sports and making people laugh. Matt credits this passion mashup to his family, friends and growing up in the hippy utopia of Ashland Oregon, where the local longhairs had a competitive edge.
Growing up in Ashland also exposed Matt to the world class Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where he fell in love with the theater and lead him to become a classically trained actor (BA Theater - Southern Oregon University) and later to study in London.
‘When our dad brought home a video camera, my brother and I started making movies the same way we played sports... like angry hippies.’
‘I had the magical opportunity to study in London where I saw like 65 plays in 70 days. One of which was a pub performance of ‘Trainspotting’ that to this day is the most influential creative experience of my life.’
After London, Matt moved to Hollywood where he starred in commercials and had small rolls in TV & Film while amassing a ‘frightening and embarrassing’ collection of headshots. His experience as an actor arm him with powerful insights as a director and unwavering empathy for anyone on the other side of the lens.
‘A good actor has to be as disciplined and as prepared as an elite athlete while knowing instinct and intuition will win in the end. As a director it’s so easy to become bogged down by the minutia of preparation and forget that the preparation is to set yourself up to be free and to play and to lead others to do the same.’
However, it was Matt’s writing and freelance work as a creative for the earliest Nike/YouTube campaigns that would pave the way to directing, winning awards and millions of views. Those early viral campaigns were a perfect environment for his unique instincts as an actor and storyteller to ground and solidify him as a director. The kind of storyteller that grew up near a world class theatre with a video camera in his hand and a little angry hippy in his heart.