I have an old friend, and his name is Paul. We both worked in video production separately under our own companies, and after having lost touch over several years, we were coincidentally reconnected by phone. So we spent some time catching up.
Two weeks later, Paul calls me again. He says he has some news that he must share with me and proceeds to tell me about a client who has hired him to transfer old VHS home movies to DVD.
Having been familiar my film work, Paul asked if I would be interested in making a film about the life of this young man. Over the phone he kept saying, “I can’t stop watching this kid,” and I couldn’t help but hear the emotion in his voice. Having never heard of Matty (Being from Rhode Island, I was even fuzzy on where Canton was), I expressed a desire to view some video clips whenever he had the time and if Matty’s family was open to it. So we left it that that.
A year-and-a-half goes by. It’s the fall of 2011, and since that last conversation, I haven’t heard from Paul at all. That’s when out of the blue, he writes me. He asks if I remember that call we had (as if I could forget) and wants to show me some video. Paul comes to my home, and from the very first image I saw of, I knew I wanted to make this film.
That image became the opening shot of Raising Matty Christian.
Very soon after, Amanda and I met Allie and Jerry Christian. We hit it off, and we got to work that November. Having had numerous other films projects going on other burners, Raising Matty Christian was going to take some time and what a time it’s been!
The Christian family and Matty’s friends have all been warm and welcoming. Getting this story done just right has been one of my greatest challenges as a filmmaker, but it’s Matty’s story and everyday perseverance that I will always carry with me as a result. As one of Matty’s friends said during his interview, Matty was truly a teacher, and today I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to create this film with such a loving group of people, all of whom hold his lessons close to their hearts.
Thank you, Allie and Jerry.
Thank you, Paul.
I hope you are as moved by Raising Matty Christian as I was in the process of creating it.
Christian de Rezendes