Matthew DeTitta is
GEORGE WHITE (GW)
Matt was raised and lives in River Edge, a small town in Bergen County, New Jersey, 21 miles (and 50 minutes’ drive) from New York City. At nine years old he got his first acting role when his father cast him in The Guardrail, a short film his father directed which won the Pioneer Film Festival in 2003.
It was his father's attempt to crossover from being a Local 52 grip to being a creative. Though his father didn't continue with his own filmmaking because he was too busy raising a family and working, it inspired Matt. He continued to act in school talent shows until high school when his dad would drop him off and pick him up at auditions in New York City.
For college Matt went off to West Virginia University, his major was Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Theatre. At the college TV station Matt start what could have been a distinguished TV news reporting career, but couldn't give all to the more practical (job-wise) journalism route. In the end he went his passions -- acting and screenwriting. At WVU he got to work with other student filmmakers. He continues now to work with some of them on their independent films.
Even when a teen Matt knew he would need economic fall back if he was to pursue being a creative. Matt got into Local 52 IATSE as a Set Dresser and Prop Assistant before he graduated high school. (How did he get into a film union as a teen?!!! Find out below!)
After college it was back to New York City auditions. He’s worked on independent films, and plays the lead in the NYU student short film Milk & Cookies, which recently screened at the Hollywood Reel Independent and Harlem International Film Festival. Matt’s also done Off-Broadway showcases with theater companies such as The Actor’s Project (TAPNYC) and The Revolution Group.
GROWING UP WITH FILMMAKING AS BACKDROP
Matt is thrilled that through his role as George White in THE CREW, he can pull as an actor from another important part of his life. When Matt’s not acting and writing, he works as a Set Dresser and Prop Assistant in Local 52 IATSE, which has been part of Matt’s family dating back to when his Great Grandfather joined the union in the 1920s.
Matt’s grandfather worked as a Set Decorator and got nominated for an Oscar for his work on the film Ragtime (1981). Matt’s Uncle (who was named George!) was his Grandfather’s Assistant Decorator on Ragtime, and went on to have his own career as a Set Decorator, winning an Emmy in 2004 for Angels in America and a Critic's Choice award for Art Direction for Birdman which won the Oscar for Best Picture in (2015). Matt did set dressing on Birdman while he was home on summer break from college.
Matt brings the additional expertise of working (in-between acting jobs!) on film sets since he was eighteen to the development of THE CREW. Matt’s written two feature scripts, and looks forward to learning more about producing low/no budget films (really different than union level!) through the workshops that are part of THE CREW Series development.
Important facts about George White (GW) that you might (or might not) relate to:
1. George White (GW) feels trapped. He grew up safe and happy and right into Local 52. The film union his family has been employed by since his Great-Great Grandfather, GW being fifth generation and a Set Dresser.
2. GW is different. His union family and co-workers don't have a love of films --- they don't care about seeing the films they worked on once the films are out. Nor do they have much love or interest in the Above The Line creatives they work for. But GW does, because he wants to cross the line and be a creative.
3. Trying to be pragmatic. GW wrote a low budget horror script to star his buddy TRAVIS. GW knows statistically those films do the biggest box office on the smallest budgets. Only problem is GW has never worked on a low budget film and doesn't know how to get one made.
4. Damn proud to be a New Jersey son. Hates there's no New Jersey film industry. Hates that he's working for NY companies even when shooting in NJ.
5. When bored on Set, he hums (off-key) the songs of the New Jersey greats because they are American's greats (i.e. Bon Jovi; Bruce Springsteen; Whitney Houston; Frank Sinatra; Paul Simon; Shirelles; and Frankie Valli are his playlist).
6. Wears plaid or striped long-sleeve shirts that he keeps buttoned and khaki pants, not jeans. All the rebellion is in his head.
7. His most loved possession, his 2007 Mustang -- white with blue racing stripes and 300 horsepower -- is where he can scream.
8. He's a hard worker who everyone depends upon. But on his own time he's prone to periods of depression and inertia.
9. GW's favorite hangout (with his buddy Travis) is the Hatmakers Shop in Bushwick Brooklyn owned by his uncle (the shop APRIL lives over). GW's uncle had first crossed over from Local 52 to Local 892, the Costume Designers Guild. Now his uncle specializes in creating hats and hanging out with neighborhood and film friends (always beer in the box!).
10. Favorite Movies:
Dark Knight (2008)
Van Wilder (2002)