Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Matt, the Mini-Movie Mogul: Night out Led to Role of Indie-Film Angel "By the Slice"

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Matt, the Mini-Movie Mogul: Night out Led to Role of Indie-Film Angel "By the Slice"

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

LinkedIn hosts many bankers with long resumes. But after Matthew Converse's page lists his post as president and CEO of $319 million-assets Sevier County Bank, Sevierville, Tenn., it also notes a position that is rare among bankers: partner and co-producer, Cavalier Films, Inc.

This banker's side-trip into filmmaking began when Converse and his wife, Laurie, movie buffs, went to dinner and a flick at Cinema Cafe, a combination venue in Chesapeake, Va., a few years back when he was working at another institution. A poster offered interested parties the chance to invest in an independent film. Converse contacted Barry Sisson, one of the heads of Cavalier. Sisson had a theory that movies could be made less expensively by minimizing overhead. Likewise, Sisson and partner Marc Lieberman thought people who like movies would enjoy buying shares in pending projects and playing a part behind the scenes. The banker liked the sound of that--but not the asking price. Sisson came up with a smaller, "slice of a slice" option.

At that stage, no script had been settled on. Cavalier's team kept considering script proposals, and posted potential projects and updates on an investors-only website. Converse enjoyed seeing moviemaking at its raw beginnings, with scripts complete with shooting directions, actor instructions, etc.

The film that was eventually produced and released as Familiar Strangers had several interim titles: Pretzels and Pills (to explain that would be a spoiler) and Donkeyball, a fringe sport that plays a small but important role in the film. …

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