Get­ting an Emmy nod

Matt King on work­ing with Jon Hamm and Jack McBrayer

Annex Post - - LIFE - By Ju­lia Mas­troianni

Matt King, founder of pro­duc­tion com­pany LaRue En­ter­tain­ment re­spon­si­ble for shows such as Emmy-nom­i­nated The Amaz­ing Gayl Pile, has op­er­ated on a BYOB — Be Your Own Boss — prin­ci­ple ever since he was in high school.

King, a Royal St. George’s Col­lege grad­u­ate, said one of his class­mate’s par­ents came in to speak about his job, while King was at the school, and that the acro­nym he taught them stuck with King.

“I thought, ‘I need to be my own boss. I need to start my own thing.’”

Af­ter a stint at Much, work­ing with his brother, and at En­ter­tain­ment One, King did just that. He set up LaRue En­ter­tain­ment in 2006 and con­vinced his child­hood friend An­drew Fer­gu­son to join him. They left En­ter­tain­ment One and re­launched LaRue in 2011.

“What’s great about our part­ner­ship is that we’re kind of this push-pull. He was al­ways a lit­tle more re­served, so he makes me jus­tify de­ci­sions for mov­ing the busi­ness for­ward be­fore I do any­thing,” King says.

King’s in­ter­est in pro­duc­ing started with his brother, who is a writer, ac­tor and pro­ducer, when he started work­ing for him at Much.

“I got to horse around and be on cam­era but also get peo­ple cof­fees. And lunch was paid for! I thought it was awe­some. And I re­al­ized it could be like this ev­ery day,” he says.

King is es­pe­cially pas­sion­ate about artists mak­ing de­ci­sions for them­selves, adding that LaRue’s mantra is that it’s a cre­ator-driven, artist-driven com­pany.

“When we worked at a big com­pany like En­ter­tain­ment One, we found that it was busi­ness peo­ple mak­ing the de­ci­sions, not the artist, and we said to our­selves, ‘This isn’t right.’ It should be the artist telling us what’s cool or what’s not cool.”

King and Fer­gu­son de­cided to pro­duce sto­ries that in­ter­est them, so their process is to find cre­ative peo­ple they trust and “go all in on their vi­sion and make it hap­pen for them.” So far, the sys­tem has worked for them. This year they pro­duced Filth City, a se­ries about a mayor run­ning for re-elec­tion who was caught on cam­era smok­ing crack. Sound fa­mil­iar?

“We wanted to make some­thing that was go­ing to be rel­e­vant to peo­ple, and as far as I’m con­cerned, it’s just a fun story. In 20 years when peo­ple watch it again, peo­ple may not re­mem­ber Rob Ford’s story, but they’ll re­mem­ber Filth City.”

They’re also pro­duc­ing The Amaz­ing Gayl Pile, cur­rently air­ing on CBC. The show earned an In­ter­na­tional Emmy nom­i­na­tion for its third sea­son, which fea­tured Jon Hamm ( Mad Men) and Jack McBrayer ( 30 Rock).

“Jon Hamm ac­tu­ally said he [agreed to be on the show] be­cause he watched the show and he liked the show,” says King.

Later this year, LaRue En­ter­tain­ment will be re­leas­ing Blood, Debt & Tears, a doc­u­men­tary about mak­ing Filth City (and how they al­most went bank­rupt do­ing so) that will air on CBC.

King’s up­com­ing show ‘Blood, Debt & Tears’ will air on CBC

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