Matthew Leavitt

Matthew Leavitt explores gender norms, sexual health, role models, stereotyping, education, poverty, and cultural disposition through new media, installation, and video works.

Much of Matt’s time has been spent in the two worlds of art and progressive education. Through his work at the Upward Bound program (a federally funded program to help first-generation, low-income high school students achieve college aspirations) as a counselor and program designer, he has been able to learn how the skills involved in the art world can be used to work in other creative environments. Aside from these creative counseling practices, he runs his own business, Waving Hand, LLC , which specializes in web design and semi-professional photography. Leavitt exhibits most of his work locally through the college nearby or in the wide-open realm of the internet, trying to network projects through online blogs or galleries.

Exposure is a key element for Matt. His work is about education, whether it be about his professional goals with working with topics of poverty or about other sociological topics such as gender, body modification, or family structures. Whether the method be satire or hard-hitting facts through the use of video or installation, he aims at projecting and exposing limiting cultural norms or bringing up important socio-political ideas, but this is normally done through the visual means of video, photography, or installation.

Mrs. Jingles

How is it that films with virtually no production value can be distributed? Through trickery maybe? I expose these faulty failures in “Mrs. Jingles”. Based off of the 2006 horror film Mr. Jingles (which was a sequel), Mrs. Jingles tries to be serious, then gives viewers a big “what did I just watch?”

There are a variety of indie horror films that work. Those that have good production value or at least good plot , characters, dialogue, etc. For me, film (and art in general) should take us somewhere, with intention, in a way that entices viewers and gives them something for their valuable time. There are the films that have such terrible production value, that they surpass bad, and find themselves back to good. This is normally plotted under “Comedy-Horror”. Such was not the case with either of the two above films, even if that is what they were going form.

In order to expose the haphazardness of the distribution corporations based on production value, I made the film trilogy with ; Mrs. Jingles. In this film you will find all the major flaws with the type of indie filmmaking pushes films through without a heart and soul that should have been caught by editors, directors, cast, distribution company, or anyone involved in this process. By making Mrs. Jingles seemingly have good production value with the DVD Case, CD, DVD Menu, Intro, etc. I can expose the actual flaws in production and the type of “trickery” a cover can produce. This film was built from the ground up. I did the costume design, set design, music, filming, editing, etc. I tried to do this so over the top that it then became funny and thus more successful than the predecessors, but ironically executed this by exposing these issues through discontinuity.