Matt Goff is a young British filmmaker who recently went shooting in Iceland and came back with an edit that went absolutely bonkers on his Vimeo page.
He also came back with one hell of a swag of incredible photographs, so we thought we’d catch up with Matt to find out more about his craft and his trip. And, of course, to share some of those incredible photos of Icelandscapes. Yep, Icelandscapes.
Matt - tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?
My name is Matt Goff, but I work under the name ‘Gattmoff’. I make films and capture images, I’m 19 years old and I live in a town called Reading, just outside of London here in the UK.
When did you begin making films? What inspired you or influenced you to pick up a camera?
When I was around 13 years old - I can actually remember the exact moment. I grew up skateboarding and riding bikes and doing all the stupid stuff kids do. We were messing around one evening and one of us said “we should make a video of this”, but none of us owned a camera.
Swipe to scroll through awesome photos from Matt's trip below
My mum had just bought a new computer which came with a free digital camera, it was terrible but it was a camera none the less. So I shot my first ever video that night and taught myself how to edit the following day.
Fast-forward to 2016 and I’ve been a freelance filmmaker for just over a year now. It’s taken me all over the country and I’ve met some of the most amazing people. I’m very excited to see what the future holds.
Why did you choose Iceland for this adventure? What was it about Iceland that pulled you in?
I think it’s just one of those places everyone should experience, especially if you’re a creative. I watched a bunch of videos from the country before the trip but nothing prepared me for the sheer solitude and extraterrestrial-likeness of it all. It’s a very magical place. You could drive six or so hours and experience glaciers, mountains, volcanoes and geothermal springs all in the same day.
Did you have a plan for the film going into the trip, or did you kind of make it up as you went along?
Not particularly, I knew that I wanted the film to have some sort of emotional value and to be more than just another Iceland travel video showing all the tourist spots, I just wanted to do something a bit different with my own style of filmmaking tied in I guess.
What do you think your favourite moment of shooting in and travelling through Iceland was, if you had to pick one?
That’s a hard question! I think if I had to pick it’s got to be the ending scene, where we’re skateboarding down the road completely surrounded by the mountains. It’s the beginning of the road that leads onto where they shot the longboarding scene in the film ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’. We parked up and spent the next 45 minutes or so skateboarding and shooting all the shots that you can see in ending of the film.
By this point it was around 3am, it was still light of course because Iceland doesn’t get dark in the summer months. I put down my camera and took a couple of runs cruising down the road on my own, then on the third run I was too caught up in the moment to stop - I just kept riding down this road with no idea where I was going. It hit me at that point just how beautiful this place is; I think that moment will stay with me forever. It was a half an hour walk back up hill to the camper, but it was worth it.
Yuu had a couple of dicey moments, right? What happened?
Yeah, that was interesting. The film makes the trip look like smooth sailing but that was definitely not the case all of the time.
It was time to end our trip and we were an hour away from Reykjavik ready to drop the camper off. We made a U-turn but the truck missed the bit of gravel we were meant to reverse on to and the back of the camper went straight into a grass ditch.
A local Icelandic man saw us and kindly called a couple of local farmers to come and pull us out, but they were both busy… so he left. With time getting on we decided between the four of us to reverse further into this ditch, in order to get a run up to drive out. After a few very sketchy minutes reversing into this thing the camper got caught on an electric fence - not good news considering there’s gas in there.
So three of us had to climb onto the bonnet, jump over this fence to then tie a rope around the post that was trapping it, and with all of our strength pull it to release it. After that was out the way, we it took us another hour to get the van out of the ditch. But we managed it!
Did this trip teach you anything about filmmaking, travelling or life in general?
This project was a mix of a few things, firstly my desire to escape the everyday city lifestyle, secondly to experience this beautiful country, and lastly to create a film purely for the love of it.
Upon releasing the film, it got an overwhelming response from friends and fellow film makers which is a lovely feeling, yes I made it for myself but ultimately I want people to see it, and if I have made someone’s day a little bit more interesting or inspired them to create an adventure of their own then I’m happy. I think if this experience has taught me anything about life, not to sound too cheesy but it’s to not be scared on the unknown, because that is where the real fun happens.
Do you think it's possible for people to have more adventures in everyday life?
Absolutely, I think adventure can mean different things to different people. To some it may be conquering Mount Everest or travelling the world, to others it may be having a new experience or having a baby and starting a family. We live in a world where life is very repetitive for a lot of people and breaking out of that is good I think, doing something where you’re not in full control or where there’s a bit of risk involved, you grow more as a person through those experiences.
Do you have any other trips, adventures or films planned?
There’s no trips planned right now, but USA, New Zealand and Norway have taken my interest recently. I’m always making films, but I have no idea what the next adventure one will be, we shall see!