Matt Hoffman: A Few Of My Favourite Things
HB Films co-founder Matt Hoffman talks us through the music, mementoes and memorable mugs that keep his creativity flowing.
Since covid, I've lived in my childhood hometown of Ashland, Oregon, with my wife and kiddos.
After 16 years of directing commercials, I am as much in love and inspired by what I do as I have ever been... while also sometimes wishing I was a Landscape Architect.
I love people, animals, and nature and have often said that if I can’t talk to it, pet it, ski on it, eat or drink it, it is dead to me (okay, this is the first time I have ever said that).
The point is, I’m not that attached to things or stuff.
But I do like the things I like, and now that I’m being asked about my favourite things, this is the stuff I like a lot.
The 'Bonnie Mug'
This coffee mug carries a ridiculous amount of symbolic weight and is currently in my #1 slot.
To say that this mug is one of my favourite things does not do it justice.
This mug is me.
It reflects all my creative sensibilities and taste, and its maker, Bonnie Morgan, is a true artist. Bonnie has been making ceramics in Ashland for over 50 years.
She is a master in creating purposeful and soulful objects that hold your coffee, beer, or magic mushroom tea.
I collaborated with Bonnie to make it, so we named it the “Bonnie Mug’.” We created the mug to be given to kindred spirits. It represents the company I started with my brother Mark and our best friend John Beveridge: HB Films.
This mug is meant to be like a hug of gratitude to our creative partners for the work we make together.
Each one is unique, like art.
The mug is thoughtfully and lovingly designed to be cherished.
The Black Stallion DVD
This is the movie that changed it all for me as a four-year-old.
It represents everything I love about films and making them: cinematic naturalism mixed with magical realism; mythology mixed with sports.
Real people casting/kids delivering staggering performances/horses/Nature and humans attempting to control/destroy its beauty.
Terri Garr is at her peak of levity/humanity-delivering power.
This is a perfect film that I return to often and still inspires me to tears.
The Colouring Book
When I was a teeny, tiny baby, my Mom illustrated a colouring book about my hometown of Ashland Oregon.
To this day, it inspires me in the most magical way.
She drew it freehand, and her drawing style and storytelling through penmanship is dazzling to me.
I especially love her way of drawing people.
The Vinyl Collection
When I need to chill and build an empty creative space in my brain… I put my small but very potent (and growing) reggae vinyl collection to the test.
Without fail, it sends me to a place where darkness and beauty, kindness and cruelty, and joy and heartache live in perfect harmony.
When the needle drops, the clouds part, and I am coming in from the cold.
The Inspiration Wall
I recently put up an inspiration wall in my office of stills from my favourite jobs and a vintage Czech poster I got in Prague on a weird and difficult job, where the Creative Director had to be removed from the set for throwing a wild tantrum and interrupting takes.
Is it indulgent and self-aware to put up my work to admire and inspire myself?
Yes, it is.
Does it feel good?
Boy, oh boy, my trusty guitar has gotten me through all the ups and downs of my adult life.
Music is such a powerful and healing thing.
It’s genuinely lifesaving.
And if this guitar could talk, it would tell you what is not healing or lifesaving: listening to me play guitar.
That is why I play it when no one is around.
I am a sneakerhead who does not have a sneaker wall.
I don’t believe in a wall of shoes wrapped in plastic that I will never wear, nor do I believe in trying to impress the world with a different pair of rare Air Force Ones each day of the week.
I’m an all-in type of sneakerhead, where I spend a long time looking. Then when I fall in love, I fall hard, and I am committed to wearing the same pair every day until my friends tell me it’s time to move on, and I make a clean break.
Currently, these are my beloved.
I found them in Las Vegas last year.
They are a strange mash-up of skate-style tribute to the 90s with a Jordan logo slapped on top.
I love them.
They’re like a hipster fishing lure, attracting eyeballs and shout-outs from across the street or at the coffee shop.
The garish design also hides the daily wear and tear.
Just wear it!