Courtroom to Screening Room: A Lawyer Finds Purpose as a Filmmaker
About this episode:
"Let me say it, again. Matt Weiss, a traffic lawyer from New York with no experience whatsoever, got to direct an Oscar winning actress. I mean, how cool is that?"
- Attorney and Filmmaker Matthew Weiss
Matthew Weiss is a successful attorney and a restless dreamer. He built a formidable New York City-based private law practice that helps thousands of people. And yet, he yearned for greater purpose in his life and career.
A chance meeting with the father of a fallen 9/11 hero would radically change Matthew's life and unexpectedly pivot his career in a new and meaningful direction as a filmmaker.
Matthew’s debut film, the documentary called Man in Red Bandana, memorializes the life of Welles Crowther, a 24-year-old equities trader who worked in the World Trade Center. On September 11, 2001, as the Twin Towers burned, Welles escorted at least 10 people to safety before losing his own life when the South Tower he was in collapsed. Man in Red Bandana debuted in September 2017 and won critical acclaim.
Soon after, he co-produced his first feature film, Vault, which stars Chazz Palminteri and Don Johnson. The movie recalls the true story of one of the largest heists in American history.
In this episode, Courtroom to Screening Room. Matthew describes his:
Childhood dreams of work and early entrepreneurial experiences [starts at 2:30]
Success building one of the largest traffic law practices in New York [starts at 8:10]
Chance encounter with the father of fallen 9/11 hero Welles Crowther that led him to produce the documentary, Man in Red Bandana [starts at 20:37]
Second project, the feature film Vault [starts at 39:00]
Work as a film producer [starts at 42:10]
About our guest:
Matthew Weiss grew up in New York City's Long Island suburbs. While he dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur, his early career led him to the law and founding the New York City-based firm Weiss & Associates, PC, and, the 888-Red-Light traffic law brand. He is CEO and executive producer at RDZ, a film production company. Matthew earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Philosophy from Brandeis University and a Juris Doctorate (Law) Degree from Hofstra University. He and his family live in South Florida.
EPISODE DATE: December 6, 2019
Facebook - Man in Red Bandana
Man in Red Bandana - Trailer
Vault - Trailer
Media credits: Matthew Weiss at editing station, Matthew Weiss; Portrait, New York Times; Man in Red Bandana poster, RDZ Productions; Man in Red Bandana Trailer, RDZ Productions; Vault Trailer, RDZ Productions.