MySpace Loves Gay Films!


By Charlie Ortiz

You probably haven't heard of out filmmaker Matt Riddlehoover yet, but the odds are in his favor that you soon will. Only 21 years old, his resume already boasts two music videos for indie band Strays Don't Sleep'one of which was featured on Late Night with Conan O'Brien'and a feature film which has been receiving quite a lot of attention, thanks entirely to the most viewed Web site on the internet, MySpace.

The buzz began when the DIY filmmaker posted a trailer for his film To a Tee on his MySpace Filmmaker page last April. Four days later he was nominated for a MySpace Film User's Choice Award, and by June he had won the prize. 'I didn't even know it existed,' he says about the competition.

Filmmaker Magazine contacted him soon after and wrote a piece about the MySpace phenomenon and its impact on up-and-coming filmmakers. For four months his trailer was featured on MySpace, gathering thousands of hits daily. 'People kept asking, 'When can we see the film?''' he says. And he hadn't even finished editing the movie yet. 'Lots of free advertising came out of the contest. I put the trailer up just to put it up'for my friends, family, and the actors to see themselves'and people were expecting a finished product!' The demand finally pushed Riddlehoover into action.

The final, edited film premiered in Nashville last November. Two local gay newspapers have since featured Riddlehoover and the film'one even taped a TV segment that aired this week on the local CBS affiliate. Smaller distribution companies started calling Riddlehoover (pictured above, with Jonas Brandon, the lead in his film). But the young writer, director, editor, and star of the film decided to wait on the various offers, opting instead to send To a Tee to numerous film festivals. 'At this point I'm more interested in people seeing it and what they think, rather than the business aspect'it's all a little scary and intimidating.'