March 6th, 2014

Creative Babble Interviews Detour Director Matty Brown


HECTOMETER is a visual journey of William Trubridge’s world record 100 meter freedive. What’s 100 meters? Imagine sinking the entire length of a football field with one single breath.

Director Matty Brown brings his unique visual style packed with emotion and imagination. He’s not just a director, cinematographer and editor –he truly is a visual storyteller. In my opinion, HECTOMETER is the turning point in Director Matty Brown’s career.

A discussion with Director Matty Brown at Detour Films

How did you get involved with HECTOMETER?

Matty: I got involved with Hectometer  one day when William Trubridge wrote to see if I was interested in documenting his attempt to break the world-record dive. I guess he saw a video I made;  we both used the same kind of music, he liked my style… so he approached me with the idea. I immediately jumped on board and was whisked away to the Bahamas a couple months later.


What kind of preparation did you have before the shoot?

Matty: I really didn’t know what to expect before going and I didn’t know yet what kind of feeling I would go for with the video’s emotion. I mapped out where I needed the shooters and which angles I wanted for the shoot. I wasn’t able to see (the footage) until after we shot it.  We only had one chance.

I thought he was crazy to dive so deep.

Were you happy with the end result?

Matty: The project didn’t come out fully as I had hoped. There were certain technical issues, and I wasn’t able to capture some of the shots I was hoping for. In the end, though, it became a deep little piece that I am very proud of – one of my favorite pieces I’ve made.


What are you working on now?

Matty: Right now, I just finished up directing a major global commercial for Chevron which is currently airing in Europe and will air in the United States sometime soon. I am finishing a portrait piece of the Tenerife Island in Spain, as well as finishing up writing a short film that I will be creating in the spring called, “Oh, Look at the Sheep!”.

HECTOMETER opened the 2011 Doha Tribeca Film Festival in Qatar. Do yourself a favor and watch all of Matty Brown’s films on Vimeo. His work is phenomenal. Also, follow his artist page on Facebook.

HECTOMETER – Behind the Scenes

“With one breath of air and diving without weights, fins or any propulsive assistance, William descended to 101 meters in the waters of Dean’s Blue Hole, Bahamas, the deepest blue hole in the world.

This short documentary of the record attempts to transmit what it is like to freedive deep beneath the surface, and how we can return to explore our potential as an aquatic mammal in the search to help our endangered cousins of the seas.”
-Matty Brown, Director – HECTOMETER


William Trubridge is best known for his world record dives. In HECTOMETER, William dives more than 100 meters in one single breath.

Any video capturing a feat this extreme is worth watching. However, HECTOMETER is more than just a documentary. It’s an experience.

In our previous conversation with director Matty Brown, we learned that HECTOMETER is a true collaboration between Matty Brown’s unique visual style and William Trubridge’s powerful words.

We spoke to William Trubridge to find out more about his contribution to the videoHECTOMETER.

What you and Matty created is a great collaboration. He told me you found him accidentally?

Yeah, it was kind of a really bizarre thing. Someone called “Matty Brown” contacted me and said, if you ever needed a director and I jotted his name down. Then a year past, and when I went back looking to film Hectometer, I went back and searched for this guy named Matty Brown on Vimeo.

I started to see these videos that I hadn’t seen before that blew my mind… they were incredible. So I wrote to him and it turned out to be a completely different Matty Brown.


When I first saw HECTOMETER it really blew me away. I watched it and I thought, that’s not the way most directors would approach this video. That’s just not the obvious approach. What direction did you give Matty Brown?

I didn’t want to give Matty too many parameters and limits to his creativity.  I basically wanted him to be able to capture what it felt like to do a deep freedive and the emotion surrounding it.

It’s very easy to document a freedive and show it from start to finish but the way that Matty uses imagery , capturing the exact emotional state, that is one of his many talents.

From talking with him, he had no idea what to expect either. He basically described it as, you whisked him away and…

He’s completely absorbed in that film making process the whole time. He had his camera and caught those little moments.

I don’t know if you remember the shots of this incredible osprey which is a sea eagle. He was able to creep up, through the bushes, to the point where he got behind it, looked down past the osprey to the dive platform with the Dean’s Blue Hole behind it.

Those kind of shots you don’t just get by chance, you have to manufacture yourself in the right place at the right moment.


What makes this video so great and unique is the poem. How did that idea come together?

I think I wrote those words to go into a book that a photographer friend of mine was putting together. I guess I wanted something to tie together the physical feat with the emotive side of it.

Why did you use a child’s voice to read the poem?

It was like a girl that was 13 or 14 years old. I’ve had some people say it’s very effective. I’ve had some people say, “Um, don’t think it works, as well.”

I think I was inspired by a video I had seen where a very young sounding voice did a similar kind of narration and it’s kind of a way of expressing something that’s deeper inside you. The further you go inside you, you reveal that inner child.