Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Lifelong Friends Hope to Make It as Filmmakers; Matthew Perkins and Nathan Bridges Produced the Film Paul & Me

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Lifelong Friends Hope to Make It as Filmmakers; Matthew Perkins and Nathan Bridges Produced the Film Paul & Me

Article excerpt

Byline: REBECCA K. QUIGLEY

ATHENS, Ga. -- Until about a year ago, University of Georgia graduate Nathan Bridges hadn't thought about becoming an actor, but now sees himself "walking down the red carpet" within 10 years.

Bridges starred in Paul & Me, a short film that he and his lifelong best friend, Matthew Perkins, also a 2006 UGA graduate, produced and screened last week at the Atlanta Film Festival -- which, to their dismay, had no red carpet.

With an award from UGA and the screening in Atlanta under their belts -- and intensive filmmaking and acting workshops next month -- the film industry wannabes of Watkinsville will head to the Big Apple in September to try their hand at the big time.

In Paul & Me, Bridges plays Ethan, a young man who, after years of emotional pain, finds the strength to confront his father, Paul, about his absence as a parent. Paul is on his deathbed when Ethan arrives at the hospital to bare his soul to his father in the five minutes left of visiting hours.

Perkins, who directed the five-minute film, said he wanted to create a "slice of life" story and avoid the glitzy style of Hollywood by shooting four minutes of the film all in one shot to avoid "breaking the tension" of the characters' emotions.

"I am one of those people who takes things slow and takes things simple," he said.

Perkins grew up wanting to be an actor, but after moving from the front to the back of the camera in the eighth grade, he realized his skills were better suited for directing and producing.

Perkins has been writing a feature-length movie script that he expects to produce when and he and Bridges take their production company, Big Boy Pictures, to New York, he said.

Creating the company as a path to his film career is not a new idea for Perkins, who created his own major at UGA because the university lacked a film production program.

Joe Dominick, interim department head of the telecommunication arts department at UGA's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, said that in the past 25 years, "we've had a steady stream of students who want to be filmmakers. …

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