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Alumni Spotlight - Matt Allen ('15)





Current City : Los Angeles, Ca

Hometown:  San Diego, Ca

Graduation Year: 2015

Major: Media Production

Occupation: Film Editor

Why did you choose to attend Pepperdine?

I chose Pepperdine because I wanted to grow both academically and spiritually during my foundational college years. I honestly treasure the memories I made, the skills I gained, and the friends that I did life along side with in a very special way.

Who influenced you most during your time at Pepperdine?
I was really blessed to have a variety of faculty and staff really give me some valuable opportunities. I want to thank Doctor Jerry Rushford for writing a letter to the communications department on my behalf. He helped convince them that it was really important I take an independent study course at a post production facility in London while I was studying abroad in London. I learned the editing software Avid Media Composer for the first time during my independent study course and edited all the London travel videos for International programs during my study abroad year. It definitely sent me on a course headed for editing. I also have to give a big shout out to Keith Hinkle who really opened a door for me and many other students to intern at the Cannes Film Festival. That was a big resume item I had right when I graduated college that helped open many doors.

Share your best college memory:
One of my favorite college memories was interning at LBC (London's Biggest Conversation) the summer leading up to the 2012 Olympics. It really took me out of my comfort zone to be interning at major radio station two days after I had landed in London for the first time. One of my jobs was to do "Vox pops" - which were going up to random people on the street to ask them their opinion on a current event of the day. I would then record their responses, pick the best ones, and edit them together for the evening radio news. It was quite an adventure!

What is the most important thing you learned while at Pepperdine?
I learned the importance of faith based community and integrity. Even though I was very challenged academically during my time at Pepperdine, I felt I grew more personally. It really prepared me for graduate school at the American Film Institute right after where I received an MFA in Film Editing before starting to assistant edit on big studio films. I got thrown into the "deep end" of Hollywood quickly so having that Jesus centered spiritual foundation really led to make films for the right reasons. If you're going to be in the filmmaking business, you have to love the day to day filmmaking process, not all the other stuff (like fame, celebrity and money) that sometimes comes with it. Also, you don't have to be writer, actor and director, to have a creatively satisfying career in movies. If that's your calling, great! But there are so many other jobs where you can a huge creative impact on a final film like production design, costumes, visual effects, sound mixing, film scoring and (of course) film editing. 




What advice do you have for current students who want to make the most out of their experience at Pepperdine?
Invest in relationships and take risks! It one of the most special times to make friends in your entire life. I honestly remember the relationships I made that I still have today way more than any of the good grades I got on projects or exams. Deep Relationships will add so much more value to your life and even your professional career and aspirations.
Describe Pepperdine in three words.
Describe your career path.
During my time at Pepperdine, I was fortunate to have many interning and work opportunities. Besides taking editing classes and interning at a major radio station in London during my study abroad year, I also worked as a temp assistant/ intern at CBS Films physical production, went to the Cannes Film Festival twice (Weinstein Company and Voltage Pictures), got to do play by play radio for all the Pepperdine sporting events and edited numerous short films. That was just college! After college, I got into the film editing program at the American Film Institute and landed my first big assistant editing job on Disney's Christopher Robin (the live action Winnie the Pooh movie) before I graduated. I have been really blessed to work as assistant editor on multiple studio feature films at places like Netflix, Universal and Sony. I got my next big break when I got the opportunity to edit my first feature film - American Murderer which was bought by Saban and Universal films. American Murderer is a true-crime thriller about a con-man turned fugitive that examines the dark side of the American Dream that stars Emmy-nominee Tom Pelphrey, Ryan Phillippe, Idina Menzel, and Oscar-nominee Jacki Weaver. It comes out in theaters October 21st.