Matthew E. Jacobson, MFA

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - School of the Arts - Film and Media Studies
Professor
Internship Coordinator
Primary office:
785-864-1348
Summerfield Hall
Room 118E
University of Kansas
1300 Sunnyside Ave. Suite 230
Lawrence, KS 66045


Matthew Jacobson is a Professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies at the University of Kansas. He primarily teaches Film and Media Production classes, including Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Film and Media Production, as well as Experimental Film and Video Production, Music Video Production, and Cinematography. He has been teaching at the University of Kansas since August of 1999.

Matt received his M.F.A. in Film and Video Production from the University of Southern California in 1991. He worked in the film and video industry in Los Angeles for the next seven years, working with directors and actors like Bryan Singer, Denise Richards, Hilary Swank, and Paul Walker.

In 1996, he began teaching part-time at his undergraduate alma mater, the California State University at Los Angeles. After discovering an aptitude and love for teaching, he made the difficult decision to focus more on teaching than production. As part of this career shift, he taught full-time as a Visiting Instructor at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) from 1998-1999, before accepting a tenure-track position at KU. He has received two awards in recognition of his teaching accomplishments at KU: the Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence (2004) and the CTE Award for Undergraduate Departmental Teaching Excellence (2002).

As Director of Photography, Matt has taken three feature films to the Sundance Film Festival—a rare achievement for most working filmmakers, much less those who teach full-time. In 2009, Kevin Willmott’s THE ONLY GOOD INDIAN was the latest of Matt’s films as DP (again, with co-DP Jeremy Osbern) to make it to Sundance. CSA: CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, another feature film collaboration with Kevin Willmott, was chosen to screen at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically by IFP Films in 2005. Matt also shot major parts of a feature-length documentary, BUKOWSKI: BORN INTO THIS, which screened at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, and was released theatrically in 2004 by Monarch Films.

Another project filmed by Matt, the award-winning short film SKETCHES (directed by KU student Savannah Rodgers), premiered at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival, and has since played at over twenty-five regional, national, and international festivals.

Other projects produced during Matt’s tenure at KU include the award-winning feature film THE BATTLE FOR BUNKER HILL (2008), the Learning Channel documentary HIGH TECH LINCOLN (2005), and the Kansas City PBS documentary FROM SEPERATE TO EQUAL: THE CREATION OF TRUMAN MEDICAL CENTER (2011).

Matt is currently the Faculty Advisor for KU Filmworks, the student general production society for the Department of Film and Media Studies. In this position, he has served as Executive Producer for the Kansas Association of Broadcasters award-winning series, “Out of Focus”.

He continues to work in the Industry while teaching, keeping "up-to-date" on the latest in digital production and post-production techniques and equipment.

More information about Matt's professional work is available at IMDB.

Teaching Interests

  • Film
  • Video
  • Film Production
  • Video Production
  • Cinematography
  • Music video
  • Camera
  • Director of photography

Research

In addition to teaching, Matt is also a cinematographer, producer, and director, with over 40 feature film and video credits to his name. As Director of Photography, Matt's latest project in release is a new feature film with creative partner and fellow KU professor Kevin Willmott, THE PROFIT. He is currently working on two projects: a documentary with Professor Willmott about Kansas journalist William Allen White, set for release in 2018 (the sesquicentennial of White's birth) as well as a long-form documentary about the process of creating the 2016 World Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City.

As Director of Photography, Matt has taken three feature films to the Sundance Film Festival—a rare achievement for most working filmmakers, much less those who teach full-time. In 2009, Kevin Willmott’s THE ONLY GOOD INDIAN was the latest of Matt’s films as DP (again, with co-DP Jeremy Osbern) to make it to Sundance. CSA: CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, another feature film collaboration with Kevin Willmott, was chosen to screen at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically by IFP Films in 2005. Matt also shot major parts of a feature-length documentary, BUKOWSKI: BORN INTO THIS, which screened at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, and was released theatrically in 2004 by Monarch Films.

Another project filmed by Matt, the award-winning short film SKETCHES (directed by Savannah Rodgers), premiered at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival, and has since played at over twenty-five regional, national, and international festivals.

Other projects produced during Matt’s tenure at KU include the award-winning feature film THE BATTLE FOR BUNKER HILL (2008), the Learning Channel documentary HIGH TECH LINCOLN (2005), and the Kansas City PBS documentary FROM SEPERATE TO EQUAL: THE CREATION OF TRUMAN MEDICAL CENTER (2011).

He continues to work in the Industry while teaching, keeping "up-to-date" on the latest in digital production and post-production techniques and equipment.

Research Interests

  • Cinematography
  • Film
  • Video
  • Production
  • Filmmaker
  • Music video
  • Director
  • Director of Photography
  • Videography

Selected Work

Jayhawkers
Kevin Willmott, Pratt Community College, Parsons, KS, 110 min., 12/31/1969 - 04/09/2015

Destination: Planet Negro!
Kevin Willmott, British Film Institute, "Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder" and "African Odysseys" series, South Bank Theatre, London, England, 100 min., 12/31/1969 - 12/20/2014

Destination: Planet Negro!
Kevin Willmott, British Film Institute, "Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder" and "African Odysseys" series, South Bank Theatre, London, England, 100 min., 12/31/1969 - 12/20/2014

Jayhawkers
Kevin Willmott, Emporia State University, Emporia, KS, 110 min., 12/31/1969 - 10/30/2014

Jayhawkers
Kevin Willmott, Kansas City Jewish Film Festival 2015, Kansas City, KS, 110 min., 12/31/1969 - 10/19/2014

Jayhawkers
Kevin Willmott, Film Streams Theater, Omaha, NE, 110 min., 12/31/1969 - 08/14/2014

Jayhawkers
Kevin Willmott, National Premiere, Black Harvest Film Festival, Gene Siskel Theatre, Chicago, IL, 110 min., 12/31/1969 - 08/03/2014

Jayhawkers
Kevin Willmott, Parsons Theatre, Parsons, KS, 110 min., 04/30/2014 - 05/13/2014

Jayhawkers
Kevin Willmott, Marquee Performing Arts Center, Winfield, KS, 110 min., 12/31/1969 - 04/13/2014

Jayhawkers
Kevin Willmott, Salina Arts Center, Salina, KS, 110 min., 04/05/2014 - 04/13/2014

Destination: Planet Negro!
Kevin Willmott, Show Me Justice Film Festival, University of Central Missiouri, Warrensburg, MO, 100 min., 12/31/1969 - 04/11/2014

Destination: Planet Negro!
Kevin Willmott, Show Me Justice Film Festival, University of Central Missiouri, Warrensburg, MO, 100 min., 12/31/1969 - 04/11/2014

Destination: Planet Negro!
Kansas City Film Festival, Kansas City, MO, 100 min., 12/31/1969 - 04/10/2014

Destination: Planet Negro!
Kevin Willmott, Kansas City Film Festival, Kansas City, MO, 100 min., 12/31/1969 - 04/10/2014

Jayhawkers
Kevin Willmott, Standees, Prairie Village, KS, 110 min., 02/01/2014 - 03/31/2014

Jayhawkers
Kevin Willmott, Jayhawkers, LLC, Liberty Hall, Lawrence, KS, 110 min., 02/01/2014 - 03/31/2014

Jayhawkers
Kevin Willmott, 20th Century Center, Wichita, KS, 110 min., 03/07/2014 - 03/09/2014

Jayhawkers
Kevin Willmott, C L Hoover Opera House, Junction City, KS, 110 min., 12/31/1969 - 03/08/2014

Jayhawkers
Kevin Willmott, Screenland Armour, Kansas City, MO, 110 min., 12/31/1969 - 02/28/2014

Director of Photography (with Jeremy Osbern), Jayhawkers, Kevin Willmott, Lied Center, Premiere Performance, Lawrence, KS, 110 min., 02/14/2014 - 02/16/2014

Destination: Planet Negro!
Kevin Willmott, St. Louis International Film Festival, St. Louis, MO, 100 min., 12/31/1969 - 11/11/2013

Destination: Planet Negro!
Kevin Willmott, St. Louis International Film Festival, St. Louis, MO, 100 min., 12/31/1969 - 11/11/2013

Destination: Planet Negro!
Kevin Willmott, Our Image Film and Arts Festival, Houston, TX, 100 min., 12/31/1969 - 10/26/2013

Destination: Planet Negro!
Kevin Willmott, Our Image Film and Arts Festival, Houston, TX, 100 min., 12/31/1969 - 10/26/2013

Destination: Planet Negro!
Kevin Willmott, Our Image Film and Arts Festival, Houston, TX, 100 min., 12/31/1969 - 10/26/2013

Destination: Planet Negro!
Kevin Willmott, University of Indiana, "The African-American Independent: The Films of Kevin Willmott", University of Indiana, Bloomington, IN, 100 min., 12/31/1969 - 10/15/2013

Destination: Planet Negro!
Kevin Willmott, Dallas VideoFest, Glenwood Arts Theater, Overland Park, KS, 100 min., 12/31/1969 - 10/11/2013

Destination: Planet Negro!
Kevin Willmott, Kansas International Film Festival, Glenwood Arts Theater, Overland Park, KS, 100 min., 12/31/1969 - 10/10/2013

Destination: Planet Negro!
Kevin Willmott, Lawrence Premiere, Cider Gallery, Lawrence, KS, 100 min., 12/31/1969 - 08/31/2013

Destination: Planet Negro!
Kevin Willmott, Lawrence Premiere, Cider Gallery, Lawrence, KS, 100 min., 12/31/1969 - 08/31/2013

Director of Photography, Producer, Production Designer, Special Effects Photography, Destination: Planet Negro!, Kevin Willmott, Ninth Street Studios, Premiere, Black Harvest Film Festival, Gene Siskel Theatre, Chicago, IL, 100 min., 08/23/2013

Destination: Planet Negro!
Kevin Willmott, 2013 Campbell Science Fiction Conference, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 100 min., 12/31/1969 - 05/15/2013

Director of Photography, From Separate to Equal: The Creation of Truman Medical Center, Kevin Willmott, 12/31/2011


Calendar of Events
Student Work

See more student films in our Galleries section.

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