CME Content Academy student - Matěj Škop
Matěj Škop is a cliché. His story of falling in love with film-making is so typical, he doesn’t even want to tell it. “It’s a typical story of directors around the world,” he said. Matěj was nine years old when his father first put a camera into his hands. At 10 years old, he asked his classmates to make a movie with him. He shot it in his bedroom – complete with car chases, trains, and a lot of humor. Then he showed it at school. “When I experienced that moment of my classmates laughing out loud, I knew it was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” he said.
Matěj’s teachers encouraged his love of film even in elementary school, allowing him to make a film for the final project in his English class. He also entered the school’s film competition.
“I won, but only because I was the only participant,” he laughed.
Matěj, now 24, took a semester of film theory, but “unfortunately it was too theoretical.” So he switched to journalism and sociology and will complete his bachelor’s degree next year.
In the meantime, a series of “signs” led him to CME Content Academy. The academy is designed to develop talented newcomers into the scriptwriters, showrunners, and TV producers of tomorrow. TV Nova and TV Markíza created CME together with The Television Institute, to not only train students in the television industry but to give them the opportunity to work long-term for the two broadcasters.
Matěj said that about two years ago he read an article in Hospodářské noviny about Kamila Zlatušková, the founder of The Television Institute, who runs the Content Academy. He had been following Kamila’s career, and in the article, she mentioned the possibility of developing a school like the Content Academy.
Fast forward to last summer, when Matěj saw an Instagram post inviting potential candidates to apply to the academy.
“Both connected in my head,” he said. “That’s what I read two years ago.”
However, Matěj was deep into his bachelor’s degree and had arranged for an autumn journalism internship. Furthermore, he spied the ad a mere two days before the deadline and figured he could never get the application ready in time.
He agonized over whether to apply. That’s where those “signs” came in.
First, the deadline was extended, which meant Matěj had the time he needed. Then one night, Matěj – who lives in Brno – went out to a pub with some friends. He asked them if he should apply and they all said yes.
Still unsure, he went with his friends to another pub.
“And there was Kamila!” he exclaimed. “Isn’t that the biggest sign?”
Matěj was sitting near the jukebox when Kamila walked up and asked what music she should select. So Matěj introduced himself and asked Kamila if he should apply. Her answer: Definitely.
Matěj said he was really nervous when he made it to the second round of interviews.
“There were 12 people,” he said. “I think they had a strategy of 11 nice people and one person who kept asking the difficult questions, the thought-provoking ones.”
That person was Tuwiah Neustadt, CME Content Production Director.
“I felt challenged to give him better answers,” Matěj said. “He asked me why I was wearing a suit. Is that how you really dress? Then he said, ‘next time when we see each other, I want the real Matěj.’”
Matěj says he wants to develop comedy that is meaningful to our society, something both popular and thought-provoking. He thinks television in central Europe is missing sketch comedy, such as the famous U.S. television show, Saturday Night Live. He knows it’s a very difficult genre, but he’s determined to fill what he sees as a hole in the market.
“There is a thin line between being funny and being awkward,” TV Nova CEO Klára Brachtlová said of sketch comedy. “And we look forward to helping Matěj develop the expertise to bring his vision to life. His determination and love of film shine through and will be a great asset to the academy.”
Matěj’s goal is to create humor for viewers 18 to 30 years old. “I want to raise the topics of our generation,” he said, “but make them attractive to others, too.”