This is a different kind of blog post for me today so let me start with this:
For more than a dozen years, turning out this blog about growing old has been and still is more than a retirement hobby. I devote as much time, interest, love, care and learning to it as I did any of the jobs I held in nearly 50 years of employment.
What I miss, however, are 20-somethings. When I switched from TV production to the internet in 1995, I was 55. Most of my coworkers were only three or four years out of college and some had only just graduated.
It had to be that way in the early days of the internet; they were pretty much the only people who knew how to program, design and develop websites and it worked out well. They had the computer chops and I, the managing editor, had the journalism skills. We learned from each other and together we built one of the first news websites, cbsnews.com.
As a matter of fact, a good case can be made that without my years spent with those talented young people who showed me so much about a brand new medium, I would never have started this blog.
But there was more to it than that. In slow moments, over lunch or after-work drinks sometimes, we learned about each others' worlds. There were many differences but we had a lot in common too and in one important instance, we – the young and the old – teamed up to intervene with a colleague who had a serious drug problem and together, we got him into rehab.
With that background, you will understand why I sat up and paid attention in January when I received an inquiry from a young filmmaker named Matt Law.
Mentioning one TGB reader in particular, Darlene Costner, he told me about how this blog
“...inspired us to make time to spend with our grandparents outside of the house. The fragility of the moments we have and the priceless nature of the love we share is evident in most posts on your site, so I thank you for that.”
He sure does know how to get an old woman's attention, doesn't he. The “us” in that quotation is Matt Law himself and his business partner, Matt Thompson. With a mutual interest in filmmaking, they became friends while attending Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Matt Law is a recent graduate, Matt Thompson has a few more months to go for his diploma and they have already launched their video production company named – what else? - The Matts Productions.
Matt Law explained in his first email that
”As part of our recently launched business, we created a video for a company who was looking to have their 'app' be a staple in elderly care. However, we wanted to make sure that we told an actual story about love, and the reciprocal duty of a generation to give back to those who raised us with love and adoration.
Of course, I'm going to show you that video but first, I want you to know something more about the Matts and they have given me permission to quote from a later email about taking this difficult path of entrepreneurship rather than perhaps cushier corporate jobs:
”...we realized we have chosen to start a very daunting journey where we can only see fifteen feet down a very twisty, misty path to success.
“Our only guide being an incessant curiosity and devotion to excellence in what we do, all the while taking it one clambering step at a time. Step by step, brick by brick, job by job[...]
“Matt and I are also two young men who have immense love and respect for our elders. Mostly testament to our upbringing of respecting those whose shoulders we stand on.
“In our family we both have grandparents, as well as other family members, that we were close to and that we lost. For me, it was my grandma on my father’s side who I saw slowly deteriorate from cancer. Breaking down the strong, independent and often times hilariously crass woman that I called Baba into another victim of that faceless enemy.”
There is much more to the Matts' letter and worth your time to read it all. You can do that here [pdf].
It's been terrific these past few weeks to once again listen – even long distance - to two talented, dedicated and caring young people whose chosen work dovetails with how I spent so many of my working years.
Here, then, is The Matts' first professional video. The client, Reassure Analytics, Inc., said in part about it:
”...the Matts were very organized; they set the dates, asked us for what was needed and when, and ultimately delivered an awesome video that was exactly what we were looking for.
Matt Law and Matt Thompson clearly put a lot of important work into that short video. They thought about being old, about being young, about generations needing one another, about how to present those ideas.
Just a couple of days ago, Matt Law told me that since that first video, they are gradually acquiring new clients. You can find out more about the two Matts at their company website where you can also watch some of their other video productions.
My 20-something colleagues from the mid-1990s have all gone on to more professional success along with marriage, children and (can it be so already?) middle age around the corner for them.
For the very talented two Matts, Law and Thompson, who already have such a strong understanding of how people of all generations need one another, I can only wish the same.
Perhaps they will stop back here now and then to keep us up to date with their progress.