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CME Content Academy student - Matěj Škop

CME Content Academy student - Matěj Škop

Matěj Škop is a cliché. His story of falling in love with filmmaking is so typical that he doesn't even want to tell it. "It's a typical story of directors all over the world," he said. Matěj was nine years old when his father first put a camera in his hands. At the age of ten, he asked his classmates to make a film with him. He filmed it in his bedroom with homemade car chases, trains, and lots of humor. Then he screened it at school. "When I experienced that moment when my classmates laughed loudly, I knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life," he said.

Matěj's teachers encouraged his love for film already in elementary school, allowing him to make a film as a final project in English class. He also participated in a film competition at school.

"I won, but only because I was the only participant," he laughed.

Matěj, now 24, completed a semester of film theory, but "unfortunately it was too theoretical." So he switched to journalism and sociology, and will finish his bachelor's thesis next year.

Meanwhile, a series of "signals" led him to the CME Content Academy. The Academy is designed to develop talented newcomers into tomorrow's television writers, showrunners, and producers. CME, together with TV Nova and TV Markíza, created the CME Content Academy. The theoretical education provider is the Television Institute, and the practical part subsequently takes place at TV Nova or TV Markíza, not only to train students in the television industry but also to provide them with the opportunity to work long-term for both broadcasters.

Matěj said that about two years ago he read an article in Hospodářské noviny about Kamila Zlatušková, the founder of the Television Institute, which leads the Television Institute. He followed her career and mentioned in the article the possibility of creating a school for television theory.

This summer, Matěj saw a post on Instagram inviting potential candidates to apply to the CME Content Academy.

Matěj was deeply immersed in his bachelor's thesis and had journalism holidays scheduled for the fall. Moreover, he noticed the advertisement only two days before the deadline and thought he would never have his application ready on time.

He was debating whether to apply. And that's where those "signals" came in.

First, the deadline was extended, giving Matěj the time he needed. Then one evening Matěj, who lives in Brno, went out with friends to a pub. He asked them if he should apply, and they all said yes.

Still unsure, he went to another pub with his friends.

"And there was Kamila!" he exclaimed. "Isn't that the biggest sign?"

Matěj was sitting near the jukebox when Kamila approached him and asked what music she should choose. So Matěj introduced himself and asked Kamila if he should apply. Her answer: Definitely.

Matěj says he was really nervous when he made it to the second round of interviews.

"There were 12 of us," he said. "I think they had a strategy of 11 nice people and one person who kept asking difficult questions, to make us think."

That person was Tuwiah Neustadt, CME's content director.

"He wanted me to give better answers," said Matěj. "He asked me why I was wearing a suit. Is it really your usual suit? Then he said, 'Next time we meet, I want to see the real Matěj.'"

Matěj says he wants to develop comedy that has meaning for our society, something popular and thoughtful. He thinks television in Central Europe lacks sketches, like the famous American TV show Saturday Night Live. He knows it's a very difficult genre, but he's determined to fill what he sees as a gap in the market.

"There's a thin line between being funny and being awkward," TV Nova CEO Klára Brachtlová said about sketch comedy. "We look forward to helping Matěj develop expertise so he can bring his vision to life. His dedication and love for film shine through and will be a great asset to the academy."

Matěj's goal is to create humor for viewers aged 18 to 30. "I want to present topics of our generation," he said, "but make them appealing to others as well."