Interview with Filmmaker Matthew Beltz (FOUR PINS)

FOUR PINS played to rave reviews at the April 2022 BLACK & WHITE Film Festival.

Project Links

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Well we had just gotten this great team together to make our previous film, Death March, so the motivation was really a chance for us all to work together again. My producing partner had expressed an interest in wanting to write so I encouraged him to put pen to paper. We collaborated on some ideas, some things that inspired us both, and we ended up working on Four Pins. The other motivating factor was that I had just finished working on a tv show that filmed in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts where the second oldest candlepin bowling alley in America was located. We wanted to utilize that location so we tailored our story to that time and that place.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

The whole process took about eleven months, with post production taking the majority of the time. We knew from the beginning that we were going to really sell the idea with the edit and the sound design and we didn’t want to rush that.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

Learning lesson.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The biggest obstacle for us was making sure the story made sense. Going into the project we were conscious of showing and not telling and we played around with different ways of communicating information to the audience without confusing them or leaving too much out. So there’s this fine line that we were conscious of and that carried the majority of our conversations during the whole process.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

My initial reaction was, “oh good they got it.” Again, our biggest fear was that we weren’t giving enough information or that the point of the story wouldn’t be there but it was clear that the audience understood what it was we were going for.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

Good question. That’s a good question. I think it was the first time I saw Goodfellas when I was, oh I don’t know, seven years old. I was watching it on TNT and I remember finishing it and going, “Wait. How did that…? What was that?” I don’t have a favorite movie but that was the one where I wanted to learn about how it all got put together. I wanted to know how all of those elements come together to make a singular viewing experience.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

It’s tough to say. The Goonies certainly comes to mind. Treasure of Sierra Madre, Titanic, Young Frankenstein, Social Network. Too many to choose.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I’m still learning myself (ha). I’d say what you’ve offered is great. A chance for audience feedback, laurels, interviews, and a chance to have a platform for our film to be viewed – these are all great things as far as I’m concerned.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

FilmFreeway has been nothing but great. It’s a straightforward platform that centralizes the submission process and connects filmmakers with festivals. It’s a positive platform and I’m happy it exists.

10. What is your favorite meal?


11. What is next for you? A new film?

Our next film is called Nuclear! It’s a coming of age story set against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis and it tells the story of a father and son both grieving over the loss of a close family member. We’ve been working on it since wrapping Four Pins and we go into production Memorial Day weekend of this year. For anyone looking to see updates or help contribute, they should check out our website, Instagram, and GoFundMe site.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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