Branding whiz Donna Brescia turns entrepreneurs into millionaires by helping them hawk their products on QVC. How good is she? Ask Tony Robbins, Victoria Principal or super-stylist Michael Christopher.
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Concord High grad Luke Matheny captures gold at the Student Academy Awards.
At a podium in front of a red curtain, Luke Matheny accepted his medal from actor Jeremy Renner, thanked the Academy, his cinematographer and his mom. He dissed Columbia University, got some laughs, and wrapped up in about three minutes.
All in all, not a bad Oscar speech.
Matheny, a grad student at NYU who grew up in Wilmington, had just won gold at the prestigious Student Academy Awards in Los Angeles for his short film “God of Love.” It could open some major doors for the budding screenwriter, director and actor.
“I think any filmmaker is lying if he says he doesn’t picture that moment thanking the Academy,” Matheny says. “It was pretty great.”
The ceremony earned Matheny an audience with agents, producers and other industry professionals that might parlay his award into job offers. “I’m learning the film process is a lot of meetings,” he says. “But it’s been good. This recognition has been a perfect springboard.”
Matheny’s “God of Love”—his graduate thesis, actually—is an 18-minute black-and-white comedy about a lovelorn lounge singer who comes across a box of love-inducing darts, then goes about resolving the strange romantic triangle he’s in. It’s a comedy, and it has romance, but it’s not a romantic comedy, Matheny says. It’s styled more like a 1950s jazz club film.
A movie buff since his pre-teens, Matheny would ride his bike to Branmar Plaza in North Wilmington to rent VHS tapes from California Video. “I guess everything I’ve made is comedy, but I approach the characters and conflicts very seriously,” he says with a laugh.
The Concord High School grad’s (class of ’93) previous work was entitled “Earano,” a loose comic retelling of the Cyrano de Bergerac tale. His upcoming work is a feature-length comedy script called “Ron Quixote,” a loose, comedic take on—well, you can probably guess.
“I’m still working on a script for that,” he says, following which he’ll pursue getting it made. “Luckily, now I have some attention.” —Matt Amis
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