Matthew Cherry, Isaiah Howard, and the Bright Side of the Internet
I've been wanting to talk about this on the Chat Room podcast for a couple months now, but eventually I decided that none of my other co-hosts would probably have much to say to it other than "that's neat", so this new blog thing we've got going is perfect for this.
Recently, while wasting untold hours of my day on Twitter, I came across a tweet from Matthew Cherry, a former NFL player-turned filmmaker, praising a Musical.ly video made by a 17 year old named Isaiah Howard. The video itself blew me away. It was fun, creative, and utterly impressive, and rather than try to describe it I'll include a link at the bottom of this post.
In his tweet, Cherry encouraged Howard to get into directing "on behalf of film Twitter." Not too long afterward, this was retweeted and seconded by current filmmaking giants like Rian Johnson and Jordan Peele. This began a slew of tweets offering leads for work for the clearly talented teenager. Since then, Howard has been paid to make a similar video to promote All Eyez On Me, the recent Tupac Shakur biopic, and is nominated for a Teen Choice Award.
And the best part is, Matthew Cherry has been doing this for MULTIPLE people. He is constantly signal boosting promising work made by other people that wind up in his timeline, helping them find agents and opportunities, as well as blowing up their follower counts.
This whole thing stood out to me because all too often the Internet is a dark, depressing place that reminds us of the worst in people. But here it was being used for some of the many positive things it was intended for: connecting people, sharing ideas and art, and ultimately, making people's wildest dreams a reality.
Go support Isaiah by voting for him for the Teen Choice Awards, and follow him on Twitter @isaiahxavier10. And go support Matthew Cherry (@MatthewACherry) by watching his first feature film The Last Fall on Netflix, or by backing his new animated short Hair Love on Kickstarter. Because these two's story reminds me that sometimes people legitimately do want to look out for others, and that social media is a powerful tool that can do a lot more than just waste your day.
(But that too.)