"You can work for years in this industry without ever having one of your films show on a theater screen, much less on more than 21,000 of them."
Producer, 2005 Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker Award Winning Film
On August 6, he walked across the big stage to receive his graduate degree from Florida State University. Within a few months, his name will appear as producer of a prefeature film on the big screen of 21,000 theaters across the country, and hundreds of thousands of moviegoers will become familiar with the work of Matthew Beans, FSU Film School graduate and a winner of the 2005 Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker Award Competition.
"You can work for years in this industry without ever having one of your films show on a theater screen, much less on more than 21,000 of them," Beans comments.
Just a few years ago Beans was at an impasse in his life—making little progress toward his Hollywood goal. It was then that he reconsidered his oath never to go to a film school.
"After I did some research," he says, "I discovered that Florida State University had a very innovative graduate film program that was unlike any other film school in the country. It's small; it's productive, guaranteeing each student would write and direct at least three short films during his or her tenure; and it was low in cost. I applied immediately." Beans was awarded a University Fellowship for the 2004-2005 academic year.
Right now Beans' life reads like a … Hollywood movie. What shouldn't be lost in Beans' success story is his round-the-clock commitment to the Film School and his projects.
The notion that commitment can lead to good results—though sometimes in strange and touching ways—is rendered in the award-winning short feature, "The Line Starts Here," that Beans produced (and Matthew Pope wrote and directed). The main character camps out to assure a place in the ticket line for a highly anticipated movie but misses his chance when a stuck zipper traps him inside his tent.
"The Line Starts Here" was selected from among hundreds of concepts submitted by students from the most prestigious film schools in the country. The panel of judges who selected the film included Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and other high-profile industry experts.