Smart moves: How Dumb And Dumber movie sparked a change of direction.
Matt Earle (above left, pictured with friend Josh Hall) reveals how the Dumb And Dumber movie led to a new career in entertainment. Cass Marrett reports.
Matt Earle has built a career around planning ahead but he didn’t bargain for the direction his life is taking.
Earle, who has masters degree in resource management, was working a nine-to-five office job in planning when he had a career-defining moment.
“You know when you can see the next 10 years, and I had workmates about 10 years older than me, and I was just like, ‘ **** , I don’t want to do that’ like that’s the path I’m heading down.
“I remember I was reading scripts of Dumb And Dumber at my desk and I was just like, ‘I shouldn’t be doing this at work’.
“So I did a quick film course. I was just like, ‘I just need to make something just to get it out of my system’.”
That ‘something’ involved a niche movie.
“I went to the Marlborough Sounds for four weeks in complete isolation and made a castaway film about a man who wears a stingray for a hat,” he says in a blog.
“In hindsight, I think that I may have gone slightly insane during this period. But that was a good thing. It was a turning point for me into finding something that I was passionate about – comedy and storytelling.”
Linking up with Josh Hall, who he met at Otago University nearly 15 years ago, the pair made Blade NZ, a TVNZ OnDemand
“In hindsight, I think that I may have gone slightly insane during this period. But that was a good thing. It was a turning point for me.” – Matt Earle
series that has been sold to 74 countries and translated into 22 different languages.
“That sparked our love for travel and comedy in New Zealand and we just felt like we could do it a lot bigger,” says Earle.
So they bought the cheapest van they could find, added a cameraman and let rip on the South Island, creating a new series aptly named Misadventures.
“I think overall the show is kind of a celebration of New Zealand and the local people that we try to meet,” says Earle.
“It’s focusing on natural interactions with people and real-life moments on the road so that’s all part of the authentic feel that we’re trying to portray.”
And it doesn’t get more authentic than a chilly bin omelette.
“We had eggs in the chilly bin, you know, but they all got cracked,” says Earle.
“But we just poured them out of the chilly bin into the frypan and made an omelette, which was actually, like, quite disgusting in hindsight but that’s kind of an example of what we would do.”
Most of the time, the pair were treated to meals by the people they met. However, one encounter, Earle says, stressed out his parents a little.
“We tried some of New Zealand’s hottest chilli sauce, and it was the craziest thing ever, and my parents saw the video of us doing that because we did a Facebook live stream and they were a bit concerned. But, nah, they love it.”
And while the road was long and the antics were many, there was one thing Earle and Hall knew they could always count on.
“We’re kind of just really dumb versions of ourselves, but it’s so consistent that it’s kind of become scary.”