RHINEBECK – Matt Hagerty, graduate of John A. Coleman Catholic High School (Salutatorian and Class President, class of 2014) and Cornell University (BS, Applied Economics and Management, 2017), has announced the debut of a new film titled Anatomy of a Breakup, marking the 21-year-old’s first directorial role.
The seventeen minute film, which Hagerty also wrote and starred in, was made available to the public for the first time last week on Amazon Video.
Hagerty launched his career in 2013 by creating a nonprofit musical theater collective called NextQuest Productions, producing two shows at Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center in Poughkeepsie: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Fame. The NextQuest shows were also the result of a collaboration among several of Matt’s then-school-age peers, one of whom, Matt Harshberger, went on to become one of the producers of Anatomy of a Breakup with Hagerty.
Says Harshberger, also a Coleman graduate (Class of 2013), “I was drawn to work on Anatomy of a Breakup from the first moment I agreed to give notes on a rough draft of the screenplay. I immediately recognized that the intelligent humor and the dialogue were right on par with, or even better than, anything I’d seen before. Working on it in post-production was at times a bit of a roller coaster ride, but patience has really paid off. I never doubted the quality of our raw material, and was continuously amazed by the work of the creative team that yielded the refined product we have today.”
Hagerty added, “All I knew for sure was that it was unique—weird in a way that makes it exactly the kind of thing my friends and I would love to watch; so launching with Amazon is an awesome experiment to see how a broader global audience responds to our post-Millennial/Gen Z caffeinated perspective. The verdict so far has been overwhelmingly positive [both from the industry, and boasting, as of this writing, a perfect 5/5 average rating on Amazon, and the #1 result under the “breakups” keyword on Amazon Video – passing Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston’s “The Break Up”] and that’s very exciting. I think it’s a result of successfully walking this tightrope between the thematic universality of having your heart broken, and the stylistic singularity of this film and all of its quirks.”
The Rhinebeck native continued, “to frame it in music industry terms: Anatomy of a Breakup is like a first EP from a new artist—like Chance the Rapper a few years back with “10 Day”. Maybe it’s a little rough, maybe it’s a little tumble, but it’s demonstrative, I think, of a singular style that I hope to platform off with bigger and better things going forward, for sure, but also seems to really be entertaining and resonating with people in its own right, which is what I’m most happy about right now. And, absolute, worst case, it’s an ‘MFA in film’ that I’ve earned for way less than the price of tuition!”
Hagerty described Anatomy of a Breakup as both a short film and TV pilot; it is classified as a short film on Amazon, but, according to Hagerty, “television and film have basically become the same medium: content, in varying lengths. It is a standalone short, a pilot for a series that might spin off from it, but not the first episode of anything. For now, I’m focused on making it as successful a standalone project as possible, and we’ll work from there.”
Hagerty said, “In no other era could I just independently put together a pirate ship of a crew in the middle of a star-studded Beverly Hills neighborhood right next to Jennifer Lawrence’s house; shoot a short film that’s also an indie TV pilot with full creative control; work on post-production with a global team of professionals and creatives and Emmy winners from LA to Europe to Japan while still a student at Cornell; and then, after all that chipping away, see it distributed through Amazon, one of the premiere streaming services and content providers in the entire world. Welcome to Hollywood 2.0!”