Directing is a career that many aspire for; however, most don’t go very far with it. Directing takes a special eye for detail, trust, and of course, natural talent. The VIVA GLAM Magazine team was thrilled to sit down with Matt Berman, a friend and incredibly talented writer and director. Berman has had several successes as a writer and director, one of which was the romantic comedy The Wedding Pact starring Haylie Duff.
After the success of The Wedding Pact, The Wedding Pact 2: The Baby Pact has officially released today on Demand and Digital HD (a project our very own Malorie Mackey was a part of), and we are thrilled to hear all about it. Read below to hear about Matt Berman’s career and his plans for this new feature.
Matt, how long have you been working in the entertainment industry? Have you always been a director? Can you tell us about the evolution of your career?
I started out as a page giving tours of Paramount Pictures in 1994. I became a director in 1995, directing my first short called Dumb & Out. I then wrote and directed two feature films before The Wedding Pact. (Artie starring Kevin Farley, Seth Walther and Heather McComb and Hollywood and Wine starring, Chris Kattan, Nicky Whelan and Chaz Palminteri)
How did the idea for The Wedding Pact first come about?
A girlfriend and I said, one day in college, that if we were both 40 and not married, we’d marry each other. As I developed the story and changed it to 10 years, I wondered how many other people had done something similar. Turns out it was a lot.
What’s your favorite scene from The Wedding Pact?
I think my favorite moment in the movie is when Elizabeth, about to marry Jake, remembers the pact she made with Mitch. Instead of going big with the music, we went small, and it hits me emotionally every time.
Had you always planned on filming a sequel for The Wedding Pact? Can you tell us about the conception of The Wedding Pact 2: The Baby Pact?
I always wanted to, and there were several ideas I came up with. One was starting the sequel literally right after the first one ended. But I really like what I went with. It’s definitely not your normal sequel story when, at the beginning, one of the main characters is no longer with us.
I understand you’ve been working with Damian King of Fantasy Forge Films for several years now. Do you have your set crew that you prefer to work with? Do you think it helps your process having a familiar set of faces who you can rely on?
As long as I’m comfortable with my guys at the top, I trust their process in making it happen. I love working with Damian and hope to more on many projects in the future.
What does your directing process look like?
I know what I want, but I try not to be a puppeteer with the actors. I like to let everyone in the cast and crew do their job, but I know in the end, I will be happy with the results.
We hear you’re a dog-lover and hide Easter eggs related to your pets within your movies. Can you provide examples.
Well my Basset Hound, Murphy, (he passed last March) had a cameo in the The Wedding Pact. In my last film, we created a diner called Murphy’s with a Basset logo, and in the The Wedding Pact 2: The Baby Pact, there is a Basset Hound hand puppet a character uses.
It sounds like you acquired an incredible cast for The Wedding Pact 2: The Baby Pact. Can you tell us about your incredible cast?
It really comes down to three things. Number one, write a good script. Actors love to act, and if they like the role you are offering then compensation becomes secondary. Number two, ASK!! Just ask. All they can do is say no. But if they like number one, you’d be shocked what you can accomplish. Number three, be a nice person. As a director I know the mood on set starts with me. If I’m in a bad mood, nobody is going to give me their best. Film-making is supposed to be fun! I do my best to do that, and in the process, you develop working relationships that can last a lifetime.
Aside from The Wedding Pact 2: The Baby Pact, you recently finished the film Manipulated. Can you tell us a little about Manipulated?
Manipulated is a who-done-it. Three ex-girlfriends are accused of murdering John Davis who was killed two weeks after they found out he was dating all three of them at the same time. A retired LA Detective is brought in to interrogate the three suspects and try to determine who is guilty of murder.