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Matt & Jeff Campagna

January 23, 2012

Matt & Jeff Campagna

When we see the words “Post-Apocalyptic Spaghetti Western” in a film description, we perk up. Talented brothers Matt and Jeff Campagna‘s deliver just that in their genre-bending feature film Six Reasons Why and its follow-up Roll the Hard Six. Matt (left) and Jeff (right) own and operate Campagna Brothers Independent Pictures, which has also produced the Irish documentary Roots of a Man.A versatile cinematographer, Matt was directing the webseries “WHIRtv” for The Web Host Industry Review even before the advent of YouTube. Since then he has produced the award-winning film preview and review webseries Your Geek News and the the popular irreverent vinology webseries Naked Wine Show, eventually directing it for the Food Network as Grape Notes.

Despite an early passion for film, Jeff left high school early to train to be a classical chef. Jeff was cast by Food Network Canada as the featured chef for Look Who’s Cooking Now, a cooking show that would never see the light of day. After that, Jeff decided to take matters into his own hands, creating  and starring in a web-based life-style show called Toronto Bites. After Toronto Bites, Jeff took a trip to Ireland and shot a video journal, which evolved into the brothers’ acclaimed feature length documentary Roots of a Man. Jeff has also written for the stage, and is the author of the two-volume compendium A Writer Under The Influence.

Matt and Jeff also co-founded the “Mississauga Independent Film Festival” to celebrate other Canadian independent filmmakers. MIFF enters its fifth season in 2012.

Matt and Jeff were nominated for 12 Questions by Nat and Marie.

1. What is your hometown?

Matt:

Mississauga

Jeff:

Oakville, Ontario.

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

Matt:

The Nomad from “Six Reasons Why”

Jeff:

Right now? Probably Doctor House.

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

Matt:

Will Smith based purely on resemblance.

Jeff:

Any actor willing to work for union minimums.

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

Matt:

“Once Upon a Time in the West,” the greatest western of all time. It manages to be about love and hate, progress and tradition, killing and nurturing, masculinity and femininity all at once.

Jeff:

Art does not speak to my soul. Art speaks to that part of me which appreciates craft and the meaning that may or may not be behind it. Art does not move past my brain. It does not enter my heart. Because art is made by man. Only things created by nature speak to my soul. Sunsets. Glassy lakes. Thundering beach breaks. The chatter of a hummingbird. The way smoke from a cigar curls up into the sky like a ballerina.

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

Matt:

“The Gunslinger,” Stephen King

Jeff:

“The Gambler” by Dostoyevsky. I just finished “The Sleeper Awakes” by H.G. Wells and would recommend it to liberals and dystopia fiends.

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

Matt:

Tragically Hip “Long Time Running”, it reminds me of home and of my brother while I’m in LA.

Jeff:

Any score by Cliff Martinez. “Lincoln Lawyer,” “Contagion,” “Drive” etc. …

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

Matt:

“The Fountain.” It didn’t make a lick of sense, but seeing Wolverine cry made it feel like it’s ok to weep like a baby.

Jeff:

Most movies actually. I am otherwise quite manly. I smoke cigars. I drink lots of beer. I enjoy meat and riding motorcycles. And I have a beard. But most movies, ones where humans are touched by other humans, are usually capable of making me cry

8. Cat person or dog person?

Matt:

Dog

Jeff:

Dogs. I once worked in a kitchen with a man who was training on the side to become an emergency response worker. He told me about a time when he arrived at a scene where a woman had been dead for three days or more. She was a cat person. Embroideries of cats nuzzling, old sweaters with pictures of fuzzy himalayans and even an old kitten adorned tea set. She had a cat of her own as well. It was an American Shorthair. It had begun to eat her.

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

Matt:

Truth

Jeff:

They are both lies. The only truth is absolute nothingness – an impossible void. And the only kindness a person knows is that which exists before they learn to speak and come to understand others. Envy comes masked in kindness. As does jealousy. Truth, kindness: it’s all just pillow talk.

10. How do you define sin?

Matt:

Most things that I enjoy doing.

Jeff:

As any act, deed, gesture, opinion, idea or notion that takes only the accumulation, preservation or dissipation of money into consideration. Money is sin in physical form. I think the world was a lot more sin-free when people traded goats for grain and sandals for horseshoes. There was only ever enough for what was required. There was never an excess. As soon as something arbitrary was chosen as ‘currency’ it allowed some men to posses more than other men. This dissonance was the birth of modern sin.

11. How do you define virtue?

Matt:

Everything that’s actually worth doing

Jeff:

I don’t understand virtue as well as I do sin. Which is strange, because I believe that all humans are born with virtue and that they learn sin. But along the way to adulthood, the ocean of apathy ebbs and flows and wears away the intrinsic stones of virtue. I believe in virtue. And I believe some people are still quite in tune with it. I like to think I can distinguish these people as soon as I meet them. I guess virtue to me is the ability for someone to act absolutely and entirely for the benefit of another.

12. Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

Matt:

“If You’re Not Cheating, You’re Not Trying Hard Enough” underneath the massive sculpture of me holding a noble beaver on my arm with my cape blowing in the wind.

Jeff:

It’s probably quite nice. Not in a luxurious kind of way because I am not rich but in a quaint kind of way because there are many people who love me. For that I am fortunate. They will take care of the headstone, so I am sure it will be perfectly fitting, but probably in a clichéd kind of way. It wont bother me though, because I know I will had a great wake, in the Irish style, where people drank and remembered and toasted to the fallen soldier. Even in death there is romance.

Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?

Jeff:

Probably Doctor House.

Connections:
Matt Campagna
@MattCampagna
Jeff Campagna
@AWUTI

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