Student Spotlight: Brandon Mattingly
Brandon Mattingly is pursuing his screenwriting career this fall at New York University's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts.
The school is highly coveted by aspiring filmmakers – less than 10 percent of the applicants were accepted for next year's class. And with an alumni list that includes such well-respected talent as Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone and Spike Lee, Mattingly is fully aware of his good fortune.
"My goal was to attend one of the big schools in Los Angeles," Mattingly said. "As an afterthought I applied to NYU, the most prestigious film school in the U.S. When I got in, I was absolutely thrilled."
Mattingly took a chance on applying with the encouragement of one of his COD professors, Deborah Adelman, herself a graduate of NYU. It's a dream come true for the Wheaton-Warrenville South High School graduate who began tapping into his imagination as a boy.
"I've always been big into storytelling. When I was younger, I felt stories were more real than the truth," he said. "My interest in film started in high school. I really got into screenwriting. A director may have more say in how a movie is made, but I create the world that the characters live in. I love the idea of building a story – it's just me, my imagination and the computer, with no limitations."
Mattingly is drawn to the excitement of big-screen action films and thrillers. Influential movies include "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "The Departed," Tim Burton's "Batman" and the most recent "Star Trek." As for his own work, he had to submit 25 pages of an original screenplay as part of his application to NYU. His acceptance validated the belief he has in his writing abilities.
But before attending a four-year institution, Mattingly turned to College of DuPage.
"I felt that coming to COD would give me an opportunity to strengthen my study skills and become more focused while staying at home, which would better prepare me for USC or UCLA," he said.
At the end of 2012, Mattingly will graduate with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing and a minor in Production. During his time at Tisch School of the Arts, he has been mentored by some of the industry's most well-respected teachers.
"One of my teachers, in fact, is currently a producer on the hit TV series '30 Rock,'
and another was the producer of last year's Academy Award-nominated documentary 'Exit
Through the Gift Shop,' " he said. "Yet another is a former-writer on 'Seinfeld' and
currently writes for 'Law and Order: Criminal Intent.' "
In 2012, he interned at Marvel Entertainment, where he worked alongside the editorial staff three times a week in their Times Square office as they worked on the print comics for the Ultimate versions of Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Avengers. Inside and outside of class, he has been working on original feature-length scripts and television pilots, as well as making a few short films. He credits fellow classmates and instructors for enriching his work and helping him grow as a writer and a filmmaker.
After graduation, he is open to all possibilities and plans to move to Los Angeles and pursue a career in writing for film and television.
"While NYU has opened up incredible opportunities for me that I couldn't have gotten anywhere else, I couldn't have done it without first attending College of DuPage," he said. "Spending two years at COD allowed me to better prepare myself for a fast-paced, intellectually and creatively challenging environment like NYU and in some ways, living in NYC. The instructors at COD encouraged me to work hard and pursue my dream and with their help I was able to get myself exactly where I want to be."
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL
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2012 College of DuPage