Mathew Welsh
Executive Producer, Founder, CEO
How you describe yourself: questing, curious, entrepreneurial
How others describe you: intense, focused, thoughtful
Years in the business: 25
Current work challenge: moving from filmmaker to business builder, learning to delegate
Personal mantra: Get back to the body.

Most valuable/valued skill: persistence, observation, attention to detail, metaphorical view
Languages: English, French, Spanish

 

How did you get into production?
My family gave me an 8mm movie camera and stills camera when I was 12 years old. I enjoyed making images and I thought I’d be a director. But after working in production part-time during University, I decided I definitely did not want to work in production! So instead I studied anthropology, lived in France, worked in Northern Canada, travelled to Africa then moved to Nova Scotia and learned to frame houses.

Then I was cajoled into working on a huge educational TV project on Physics. A teacher in high school had warned that Physics would come back to haunt me one way or the other. That project challenged me and I really enjoyed the collaboration of production. Then I went on to direct my first documentary film, Breakaway – tale of two survivors, and won a Gemini Award. So now I’m a director after all, and enjoy bringing my 20 years of experience to the work we do at Journeyman.

How has travel shaped you? 
I travelled a lot from age 17 to 22, and that’s a big reason I studied Anthropology at university. I’m very intrigued by the very different ways of seeing the world through time and across cultures. One year I opted out of a term at university and instead went to live in a small village in Normandy on the sea, and worked with the farmers there. I always recommend travel to young people as an essential part of an education. When people send us resumes, I’m most interested in someone’s travel experience: have they opened their eyes to the world?
How do you find balance and rejuvenation?
I got into training for and racing Triathlons three years ago, thanks to that mid-life moment when men take stock of their lives! There, I rediscovered a fire in the belly that I hadn’t felt since I was a young competitive swimmer. To calm the fire from time to time, I like to listen to bluegrass while traveling Nova Scotia’s back roads in my VW van, and enjoy getting into the wilderness for canoe trips. I also like playing guitar. And I plan to tackle a few house projects this year to get my carpentry skills back into shape…
Favourite quotes?
“Hard work beats talent, unless talent works hard.” – hockey coach, Ted Nolan

“I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” – Brit/Canadian author, Stephen Leacock

“When you want to get something done, talk to Tarzan, not the monkeys…” – from Chilean fixer, Soledad Silva