We interview Matt Gomez Pennington on his short film ‘A Recipe For Disaster’.
“A Recipe For Disaster follows the story of Miss C, on her quest to protect her neighbourhood from sin. This comical silent visual contains six chapters, which explore the discourse of Miss C taking action to cleanse her community from the wrath of a local man called Byron. This short film explores faith, nostalgia, delusion, the past, and the future as we follow the actions of Miss C’s good intentions result in a questionable outcome.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Matt Pennington. I spent the first half of my life living in London & the second half in Surrey. I’m half northern & half Malaysian. During my time at the University of Arts, I decided I wanted to make a film, which drew upon my most distinct memories from growing up. A Recipe for Disaster was born from the short time I spent living with my grandma. She came to live with us in the Uk shortly before passing away. The comical experiences we shared formed the basis of the storyline for this film. This film was an ODE to my grandmother Rita from real-life moments such as the time she kidnapped me to be given baptism in response to being raised by my atheist father. Our time together was short as she was secretly terminally ill, so looking back on these memories was interesting for me to remember it from an adult perspective.
What inspired you to do what you do?
I firstly began filming & directing by creating music videos for my friends, after getting positive feedback from them I started to receive freelance opportunities. By doing a couple of music videos, it gave me more confidence in film, editing & directing. Seeing other creatives, who I know follow their hearts and trusting their vision gave me a boost to trust my own. I knew I would value this project & produce a good outcome as it was personal to me and allowed me to dive into memories I shared with influential female figures in my life who are no longer with me.
What was the biggest challenge when creating this film?
I had rented a flat in Anerley to film the first half of the film. The tenants had gone on a honeymoon to Vietnam but ended up coming home early. As a result, I had to strip the storyboard down and remake the last half of the film as our time was cut short. Although it was annoying at the time, I felt that this moment taught me to remain adaptable in any situation.
What was the funniest thing that happened on set?
The funniest moment was while we filmed the church scene. The main character is played by my girlfriend Camila, so she was already pissed off that I dressed her up as a serial killer grandma. For this scene, we had to break into the church and walk across a flooded & muddy water-clogged field. So while we did this, her shoes kept coming off in the mud & she kept crouching down to remain incognito in her bright orange costume which was funny. Another funny moment was dragging James (the dead guy) along the floor around the apartment. The weirdest moment would be while filming in Anerley. I saw one of my oldest friends who I hadn’t seen since I was a kid, and by chance, he randomly parked up behind me on location, which was a nice surprise.
What are some of the highlights/successes you’ve had most recently?
A highlight was getting awarded a first for University, which was cool because I was classed as a failing student in my second year. I would say a success, would be being entered for a fashion styling & Creative direction award for graduate fashion week. I’m currently in the top 3 out of the competition, so fingers crossed for that. I know I tried my hardest with the work, so that’s what ultimately counts in my eyes.
What’s next for you on your journey?
To keep pushing my craft & to learn as much as possible. I plan to keep freelancing with music videos & currently I am writing another short film. It would also be interesting to collaborate with other cinematographers & artists and maybe to undertake a view diverse job roles to step out of my comfort zone.
What would be your advice to other young film makers?
Take your work seriously, be willing to spend time on it & love it because it’s your creation. Don’t overlook the planning & storyboard stages because they are critical. I would say creating a sketchbook alongside your work is hugely beneficial.
At the same time, make sure you’re having fun & always have a vision for the end product. If you’re making things for the love of it, I feel like people will always appreciate the final result because they can feel the time & effort spent on it.
Check out the GUAP Arts & Culture section, to discover new art, film, and creative individuals.