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Academy Student’s Film Captures the Sportsfan

For School of Motion Pictures & Television MFA student Matt Ware, deciding what topic to select for his final editing assignment was an easy task. He wanted to tell a story that was engaging, thrilling, relatable and heroic, not to mention fulfill the two-to-five minute time requirement. Matt decided to focus on his favorite sports team and create a twenty-six minute film on the controversial topic: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith.

Matt and his brother grew up diehard Niners fans, watching the progression and recession of the 49er franchise, and wanted to bring this topic to light. The School of Motion Pictures & Television student has taken his “Sportsfan” film from the classroom at Academy of Art University, where he earned an “A”, to the Internet, where it has rightfully received more than 33,000 views on Vimeo:

“I was at the Saints playoff game in January and was already very familiar with everything Alex Smith had gone through….. And just the entire emotion that was erupting from the stadium was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I’d like to tell meaningful stories that are emotionally rich,” said Matt.

Among those who have given the Academy student’s film a click is Smith’s wife, Elizabeth, who said via Twitter that the piece inspired tears.

“I think part of the appeal is that this story actually happened, just last year. I tried to tell the story from a fan's point of view, and express the various emotions a typical 49ers fan has felt in the last decade, leading up to the Saints playoff game in January. I hoped this would add to the realism of the piece, and thus add to the emotion and meaning of the story,” the Academy student explained.

Taking his own advice of “sticking to stories and ideas that keep you up at night,” Matt is excited that this classic “underdog” sports story of getting boo-ed off the field, then to going on to win one of the most exciting games in recent NFL memory, has not only won-over 49er fans, but “Sportsfans.”

“I'm hoping Alex Smith's story will inspire others as much as it inspired me and this film will share his story with as many people as possible,” said Matt.
Matt hopes Smith’s performance in 2012 will inspire a “Sportsfan” sequel.



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