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SPY HOP PRODUCTIONS PRESS KIT 2) Overview 3) The Spy Hop Way 5) Quick Facts 6) Annual Report 2010/11 10) Strategic Plan 2011/12 12) FILM 13) AUDIO 14) DESIGN 15) MUSIC 16) Spy Hop in the Community 17) PitchNic 20) Salt Lake Magazine 26) Out of School and In The Studio 28) The Salt Lake Tribune 32) Phase 2 Productions 33) Now Hiring You 34) Class Cards 42) Portfolio













ounded in 1999, Spy Hop Productions is a highly effective and nationally recognized not-for-profit youth development and media arts center located in the historic Art Space district of downtown Salt Lake City. Spy Hop’s purpose is to empower youth to express their voice and with it create positive change in their lives, their community, and the world. Spy Hop’s mission is to encourage free expression, self-discovery, critical and inventive thinking, and skilled participation via the big screen, the airwaves, and the Web. Spy Hop Productions’ programs take place in dynamic studio environments where young people of all backgrounds actively engage in the production of their own narratives and solutions to the challenges they face. Each year, independently, and in collaboration with numerous community partners, Spy Hop mentors over 1,000 young people in multiple media arts disciplines including: documentary arts, film and video production, radio, sound engineering, interactive design, and music. The emerging media makers’ creative work reaches local, national, and international audiences.









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IN THE 2010/2011 PROGRAMMING YEAR… 1 , 945 students were served through Spy Hop’s seasonal, core and community partnership programs.

15 was the average age of a Spy Hop student. 103 different schools in the Salt Lake City community formed the student body at Spy Hop.

59 programs and workshops were taught at Spy Hop’s downtown studios and in the community.

3,976 hours of programming were provided to Spy Hop students. $40,363

of financial assistance was given to Spy Hop students.

99% of students reported that their Spy Hop experience has made them feel BETTER PREPARED FOR LIFE after high school.

100% of students reported that their participation in Spy Hop’s programs helped to CLARIFY THEIR GOALS for the future.

273 individual donors believed in the power of youth voice.

PURPOSE, MISSION & VALUES Spy Hop Production’s purpose is to empower youth to express their voice and with it create positive change in their lives, their community, and the world. Our mission is to encourage free expression, self-discovery, critical and inventive thinking, and skilled participation via the big screen, the airwaves, and online. The values we embrace are instilled in our programs, our relationships with students, staff, and community, and the way we lead and support the organization. explore and express their ideas with confidence. society is crucial to civic and social engagement. supportive environment of risk-taking, creativity, and respect.

STRATEGIC PLAN 2011-2012 PLANNING OVERVIEW In the summer of 2007, the Spy Hop staff and Board of Trustees created a three-year strategic plan. This process examined Spy Hop’s history and its core values, purpose, and mission, as well as its competitive advantages, and the critical conditions facing the organization at that time. This plan guided the organization through several notable milestones, including the designing, building, and

I’ve probably learned the most about how to channel my creativity in a way that positively represents who I am. I’ve grown a lot in ways I didn’t imagine possible.– Musicology student

In the summer of 2010, the Spy Hop staff, during two facilitated planning sessions, reviewed the 20072010 Strategic Plan. The values, purpose and mission developed in 2007 remained constant, but a new set of goals, objectives and strategies, along with a corresponding work plan, were developed in order to guide the organization through the 2010-2011 year. In September 2010, Spy Hop's co-founder

uncertain economy led the organization to develop another single-year strategic plan for the 2011-

FOUR OVERARCHING GOALS FORM THE FOUNDATION OF THIS PLAN. Goal 1 – Be financially stable and able to adapt to the needs of our community. Goal 2 – Provide high quality, high impact, youth-driven programs. Goal 3 – Be a high-performing nonprofit youth media organization. Goal 4 – Be recognized both locally and nationally as a leading youth media and youth empowerment program. 511 W. 200 S. #100 Salt Lake City, UT | 801.532.7500


The most important thing I’ve taken from Spy Hop is to be open-minded and to listen to other people’s perspectives. Everyone has something to teach. –Reel Stories Alumni



Focus 11-12 fundraising on individual, corporate and national support.

Engage Board of Trustees to contribute to the growth and leadership of the organization.

Strengthen collaboration between development team & programming staff.

Develop 3-year Strategic Plan for FY12-13 through FY14-15.

Develop sustainable funding plan for community programs.

Develop a measurement system to assess organizational effectiveness.

Strengthen the business model

Develop set of risk management policies and procedures.

Phase 2 Productions to be a viable and sustainable earned-income revenue stream for Spy Hop.

PROVIDE HIGH QUALITY, HIGH IMPACT, YOUTH-DRIVEN PROGRAMS. Develop an active Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) of Peer


Mentors that has established goals and responsibilities.

Define purpose and goals for all organizational events.

Increase the enrollment of students who are traditionally underserved in media arts fields.

Distribute Spy Hop student work is distributed with external communities, both locally and nationally.

Support high-quality mentors who posses the skills necessary for their programs to succeed.

Create consistent and effective messaging and use of Spy Hop brand, across all programs.

Conduct a Needs Assessment to identify the needs of the students and communities we serve. Engage parents more formally in their kids’ experience at Spy Hop.



Clearly define and build “next steps” for all Spy Hop students into program structure.


Film Apprenticeship Audio Apprenticeship Design Apprenticeship





Develop a sustainable, fully-funded Community Programs plan.

PitchNic Documentary PitchNic Narrative Reel Stories Write-Shoot-Ride

Loud & Clear Youth Radio Watch This!

Musicology Spy Hop Records Open Mic

3 WEEK WORKSHOPS Film Design Audio/Music


Sending Messages - Youth-in-Custody Horizonte Salt Lake Early Intervention Salt Lake County Boys & Girls Home Odyssey House Title 1 Junior High Schools: Matheson, West Lake, Kearns, and Granite

PITCHNIC Spy Hop’s award winning yearlong film class is the next step in creative and technical film pursuits. Spend a year with other passionate, experienced, creative teens to write, shoot and edit short films that screen at an always sold out public event. Films from this program have screened at over 30 festivals internationally, including the Sundance Film Festival, Los Angeles International Film Festival, Westport Youth Film Festival, and CineYouth Film Festival.


This four-month program lets you get paid doing what you love and gives students fundamental knowledge and hands-on experience with professional gear and professional mentors. This program gives students experience, personal vision, and technical ability to produce documentary or fiction films. As part of the class, students collaborate with local businesses to produce short films, commercials and more.

REEL STORIES Spy Hop's longest running film class, REEL Stories, gives students the chance to tell your story to the world. Twelve high school students are selected to write, direct and edit their own 5-minute documentary using professional gear with the guidance of award-winning filmmakers.

WATCH THIS! WATCH THIS! is a grassroots, civic-minded, youth produced TV show. An innovative approach to youth produced media and civic journalism, WATCH THIS! helps students produce video-podcasts on community relevant topics of their choice. Podcasts will be distributed online as well as on local outlets such as the Utah Education Network and Comcast.

WRITE-SHOOT-RIDE In this 2-month intensive documentary workshop, students brainstorm a theme of regional, state, or national importance and take their idea on the road in a 4-day road trip. We've covered global warming, made a music video for Spy Hop's musicology band, and documented what a technology free week looks like. WRITE-SHOOT-RIDE explores all elements of the documentary process, from story to screen.

WORKSHOPS These three-week workshops give students the opportunity to try new things, learn new skills and be able to jump in to Spy Hop programs more quickly. An example of workshops: MONTAGE: Editing with Final Cut Studio - An immersive look at the editing tools that working ​professionals use. THE

ILLUSTRATED SONG - Work with a local band to create a music video for their hit single.

LOUD AND CLEAR YOUTH RADIO Loud and Clear Youth Radio and KRCL have been teaming up since 2003 to produce Utah’s only weekly youth produced radio show. Airing each Saturday night, the Loud & Clear crew learns how to work the boards at the station and run an hour-long show. During the 10-month program, Loud and Clear Youth Radio teaches students to produce radio shows, DJ, and host live bands. The show reaches over 2,000 listeners every week and creates a forum of youth listeners. Spy Hop aims to activate youth power through self-expression; what better way to make yourself heard than on the radio?

OPEN MIC - One of Spy Hop’s first audio programs, Open Mic is unique in Salt Lake City. Teens can

drop by every Friday night and sign up for free studio time to record their own song. Using our computers and software while waiting for your turn, fine tune your track and leave with a CD at the end of the session.

AUDIO APPRENTICESHIP - This five-month program lets you get paid doing what you love.

The Audio Apprenticeship gives students gain fundamental knowledge and hands on experience in a professional studio, with professional mentors. Audio Apprentices run the Open Mic sessions every Friday night and collaborate with Film and Design Apprentices for all of their audio needs. Audio Apprentices also create the sound design for all of Spy Hop’s PithcNic movies.

SENDING MESSAGES - A unique, award-winning program, Sending Messages is a podcast created by youth in a Salt Lake City secure care facility. Since 2009, teens at Decker Lake Youth Center have worked with a mentor to write, record, edit and broadcast hour-long podcasts each month. Sending Messages won City Weekly’s ARTY Award for best podcast and has gained an audience of thousands around the world.

WORKSHOPS - Launching in 2011, these three-week workshops gives students the opportunity to try new things, learn new skills and be able to jump in to Spy Hop more quickly.

DIY Music Studio – Take audio recording out of the studio and onto the road. Whether you own your own gear, or are just interested in what it takes, this class will walk you through the process of setting up a studio in your bedroom, living room, or garage.

In the Mix – From sampling to synthesis and everything in between - this class will give you a strong foundation in beatmaking. Using professional systems and software, you'll tighten your skills and leave with a CD of your tracks.

DESIGN APPRENTICESHIP This five-month program lets you get paid doing what you love. Students gain fundamental knowledge from professional mentors and get hands-on experience with professional software. Apprentices work together to create video games, websites, and graphic design using Flash, Illustrator, Unity 3D and Photoshop. They also create a project for a local nonprofit, collaborate with audio engineers on game design projects and work on personal projects along the way. Previous Design Apprenticeship projects have included Motion Graphics Animation for Park City TV, a video game for the Salt Lake County Division of Youth Services and stickers, posters, and t-shirts for Spy Hop Productions.

WORKSHOPS These three-week workshops gives students the opportunity to try new things, learn new skills and be able to jump in to Spy Hop programs more quickly. Some examples of workshops: VIRTUAL WORLDS: 3D Game Design – Do you lose yourself in your imagination? Work as a team to create a 3D video game and create your own world. Learn the secret details of Unity3D to create your own adventures. DIGITAL PRESS: Poster Design – Create a poster for an upcoming Salt Lake City concert or movie. Collaborate with the local screen-printing pros at Copperplate Press for professional screen-printing lessons and create your own signed limited edition collection.

MUSICOLOGY Musicology gives young musicians a one-of-a-kind opportunity to write, record, and produce their own original music. From songwriting to recording in Spy Hop’s state of the art recording studio to a public CD release party, Spy Hop will give you the full experience of what it’s like to work within the music industry. Students audition for one for the eight openings in the ten-month Musicology program. Emphasizing the creative process of music, students learn to write original music and contribute to the recording process. The band then works with Spy Hop Records to produce the album, promote it, and perform at local venues. SPY HOP RECORDS One of the country’s only youth-produced record labels, Spy Hop records has released 12 albums since its inception in 2008. Widely respected by indie musicians and critics alike, Spy Hop Records has earned a much-deserved reputation for finding and recording great young, local talent. Spy Hop Records focuses on a variety of business and creative skills including recording production, retail management, and art design. Over the course of a year, interns and apprentices working for the label will find and record talent, produce music videos & recording sessions, design album art and event posters and book gigs at local venues. OPEN MIC One of Spy Hop’s first audio programs, Open Mic is unique in Salt Lake City. Teens can drop by every Friday night and sign up for free studio time to record their own song. Open Mic is run by the Audio Apprentices and is a truly collaborative atmosphere where students get inspiration, share beats, and work on their songs while waiting their turn in the studio.

Spy Hop in the Community takes its innovative, outcome-based programs to organizations across Utah to reach young people who are at risk of reaching their full potential. We focus our outreach on youth who are failing academically, living in low-income neighborhoods, have limited access to quality after-school programming or have limited access to technology. Spy Hop’s programs • • • •

bridge the digital divide promote positive relationships increase civic awareness and engagement teach 21st century life skills, creativity and self-awareness

In 2010-2011, Spy Hop in the Community worked with over 550 youth through the following organizations. Salt Lake County Division of Youth Services Kearns Junior High Decker Lake Youth Center Salt Lake Early Intervention Granite Park Junior High

Horizonte Training Center Iron County School District Salt Lake City School District – Title 1 Elementary schools

About Spy Hop Productions Spy Hop Productions is a nonprofit youth media arts center located in downtown Salt Lake City. Since 1999 Spy Hop has been empowering youth to express their voice and create positive change in their lives, their community, and the world. Through film, radio, music and animation, we encourage selfdiscovery and inventive thinking. Spy Hop provides a dynamic afterschool environment where young people of all backgrounds work with mentors on a wide array of media arts. Our youth produced media includes record label SPY HOP RECORDS, KRCL radio show LOUD & CLEAR, award-winning film program PITCHNIC and incarcerated youth-produced podcast -- SENDING MESSAGES. Spy Hop began evaluating our programs in 2004 and through surveys, journals and focus groups, youth participants consistently report: -

An atmosphere that encourages trust and respect Learning responsible behavior and real world activities Supportive adult role models who foster a supportive learning environment A greater sense of community and belonging.

Spy Hop’s award winning year-long film class is the next step in your creative and technical film pursuits. Spend a year with 5 other passionate, experienced, creative teens to write, shoot and edit a 20 minute film. Broken into two groups, documentary and narrative, each student spends time working on story ideas and then pitches them to a panel of film professionals. The winning six pitches advance to the final round and are narrowed down to four final films by the class. Each film is created by a team of three; A director, producer and cinematographer. The rest of the class is spent learning first-hand how to create a professional-caliber film. PitchNic films have screened at over 30 festivals internationally, including the Sundance Film Festival, Los Angeles International Film Festival, Westport Youth Film Festival, and CineYouth Film Festival. “The youth produced films you will see at PitchNic are original, authentic, illuminating and inspiring. Anyone who cares about film, is a member of the industry or has a teenage child should come. It is an invitation for conversation, inspiration and look at what is possible when young people come together to collaborate and narrate their future” - Geralyn Dreyfous, Founder of the Utah Film Center and Impact Partners, and longtime supporter of Spy Hop Productions.

PitchNic 2012 Films are currently in production. Don't miss the films screening at the PitchNic World Premiere on November 8th, 2012.

In The Night A Film by: Mallory McDaniel, Laura Delaney, and Phil Vernon. Lily, a beautiful young girl, awakes in a dream world, only to find it is also a nightmare. She travels through beautiful landscapes all the while being chased by her greatest fear, the dark. The wall of shadow pushes Lily across the ever changing environment and its unique inhabitants. But Lily can only run so far and in the end must face her fear one way or another

Resonance A Film by: Jon Tatum, Jonah Katz, and Maura Coursey. After a severe fever, Grace is left deaf and has her dreams of a life as a professional dancer crushed. No matter how badly she wants to continue dancing, she always seems to fail. She continues to live retrospectively until her best friend shows her that all it takes is a little resonance and pushes Grace to her limit to help her overcome her sorrow and continue dancing.

Judas A Film by: Grace Haley and Colton Bybee. Teenage heroin use has dramatically increased since its prime with adults in the 1990s, and is now one of the most popular illicit drugs among youth. Two teen filmmakers explore the effects that heroin has on Salt Lake City teens and their relationships. Their friends and families have chosen to speak out and share their stories about heroin and how it ruins the relationships with those closest to them.

One Note at a Time A Film by: Alisha Ann Archibald, Morgan Pratt, and William Smiley Jones. Music therapy is the use of music and singing to express feelings, improve body image, develop language and movement skills. One Note at a Time is a documentary that examines music therapy as a treatment for spectrum disorders, such as autism, as well as other mental disorders. It will follow the lives of children affected by spectrum disorders and their families and showcase the positive effect music therapy can have. It also will follow a college senior who is graduating from Utah State University’s music therapy program to show the dedication required to become a music therapist.

OUT OF SCHOOL AND IN THE STUDIO: Spy Hop Records Empowers a New Generation of Musicians By Mary Enge

If the term ‘teen musician’ makes you want to rip out your own eardrums, I understand. Or at least, I did. Listening to the over-hyped, massproduced, cookie-cutter drivel from the likes of Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus is enough to turn even the most optimistic of music fans into jaded cynics whining about the future of the music industry. It’s no wonder, then, that when I got a hold of a free CD sampler of local youth artists produced by a local youth record label, I was time I popped the CD into my stereo, I did a double take. I checked the CD and the sleeve to make sure that this was, in fact, the music of teen musicians as produced by other teens. It’s not just that the musicians themselves are talented and original, but the production quality itself is so good that I couldn’t help but wonder if some mistake had been made. My apologies to the talented folks over at Spy Hop Records. Spy Hop Records is a youthrun record label, housed within Spy Hop Productions, responsible for invigorating and empowering youth artists from the Salt Lake City area. Some of those youth artists are the product of Spy Hop Records’ sister program, Musicology. The musical arts instructor and mentor over both programs is SLC-born musician Jeremy Chatelain. Chatelain describes Musicology as a ten-month program made up of teen musicians. “This year, I decided to make it one big project. So over the course of 10 months, these kids come in here––there’s seven of them–– and they all play different instruments. We work on writing songs and being in a band and rehearsing,” says Chatelain.

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dedicated to “empowering youth through multimedia.” Students from around the Salt Lake City area come to Spy Hop to learn various skills: how to make documentaries, make video games, run a youth radio program, etc. Students become designers, editors, audio engineers and cinematographers. Spy Hop Records and Musicology are two of Spy Hop’s newest programs, both only in their second year. Students of the Spy Hop Records program are generally recruited from other Spy Hop classes. As instructor/mentor for Spy Hop Records and writers, audio engineers and publicists for the Spy Hop Records team. As a result, the Spy Hop Records class is the most diverse group of students at Spy Hop—hailing from high schools all over the Salt Lake valley and from all walks of life. Essentially, the class is an actual record label experience. The students determine which local acts to sign and then offer contracts to those chosen. “trying to disseminate music to the public,” says Chatelain. “That class, for myself and the students is a constant learning experience … Some things we try totally fail, but some things we do totally take off. I think that’s the state of the music industry at large. They’re struggling, so we are a little micro look at their struggles––How do you sell CDs? I don’t know. This year, Spy Hop Records has signed six different acts: Sam Burton, The Direction, Eliza Shearon, Malevolent MC, Joel Brown and Idyll Rigamarole (the Musicology band). All of the artists on the Spy Hop Records label are young people––none over 21 years old. SHR is one of just a small handful of youth-run record labels, and both students and artists at the label are proud of it. Gabriella Huggins is a driven 16-year-old who co-manages the Spy Hop Records class with Chatelain. She speaks for most of her fellow students when she says “Spy Hop Records is such a cool thing because we’re youth, we sign

youth artists for free and we give them a chance to put their art out there. That’s not an opportunity that [teens] get very often, and if we get those opportunities it’s because we’re under the control of other people, not because we have artistic freedom. Spy Hop Records gives [our artists] the freedom to do what they want to do, to make their records on their own time. We’re just there for support. We’re there to help them … We empower people.” The students in Musicology are automatically signed with Spy Hop Records, giving the new artists the unique opportunity to form a band and record an actual album in only 10 months. This year, the work of Musicology and Spy Hop Records students will be showcased on July 21 at 6pm at Kilby Court. There, the students’ 10 months of hard work culminate in a concert featuring all six artists on the Spy Hop Records label and the CD releases for The Direction, Eliza Shearon, and Idyll Rigamorole’s new albums. This year’s Musicology class consists of seven students in the band Idyll Rigamarole. The group, who had not met or played together before the class, became fast friends. They have already played several live shows and radio spots. Though referred to as a “class,” Musicology is not a typical music class. Students who join Musicology already know how to play their instruments, but don’t have much experience playing in a band. Since they play only original songs, no covers, class discussions explore what makes music “good.” Much of Musicology’s class time is spent writing songs and rehearsing music. According to Chatelain, “It’s a band experience in a condensed version…I don’t teach music lessons.” In fact, Chatelain doesn’t feel much like a traditional “teacher” at all, calling himself a “mentor” or “guide,” instead.

that the students themselves are in control. The technical term for this approach, taken in all Spy Hop Productions classes, is “student-driven curriculum.” It’s what makes Spy Hop Records and Musicology so empowering for students. At Spy Hop, students are given the one thing that all teens crave but that adults are unwilling to give them––independence. Chatelain says, “We let the kids here do what they want in the class and then we facilitate them pursuing those ideas.” The best part about Spy Hop Records is, Gabriella Huggins, 16, and Perry Layne Decker-Tate, 16, say that it’s their independence or “artistic freedom.” The students have even learned to trust each other’s artistic freedom. During one rehearsal, TJ Hunter told his fellow guitar player, Teager Czubak, to improvise a second guitar part, saying encouragingly, “You can come up with something.” And Czubak quickly improvised a new, complimentary piece to Hunter’s original song. Aspen Hinkle, a 17-year-old who returned to Spy Hop Records for her second year says that the independent aspect resonates with her, since schoolwork sometimes can. Decker-Tate says, “They give you the tools to do what you want to do. Jeremy just gave me this [video equipment] and told me to [record this promotional video] the way I wanted to do it, and so I am. And it looks professional, by the way.” Professional work isn’t always the result of this student-initiated approach, however. As Chatelain when the Musicology kids wanted to write a song collectively, as a band. Despite his suspicion

that the experiment might not work, Chatelain encouraged them. The result? After a few minutes of initial inspiration, “I think they sat there for an hour and a half in silence.” Chatelain laughs as he relates these stories, because with his 25 years of experience in bands, “I’ve been there,” he says. “But it’s totally worthwhile. That [frustration] is real. I tell them that all the time, ‘This is what band practice is like––sometimes it sucks.’ But I feel like they’re getting lessons they wouldn’t get elsewhere.” Many of those lessons are practical pieces of advice straight from Chatelain’s experiences playing in and touring with bands since he was a teenager. A native of Salt Lake City, Chatelain is currently working on a new album with his band Cub Country and enjoying two new roles as a father and a musical arts instructor at Spy Hop. Though he never pictured himself working with teens, Chatelain says he has enjoyed the opportunity to “establish trust with students and work on something creative.” He has watched some of his students turn from sullen, disinterested teens to engaged, active students, and “that’s pretty gratifying to see. Though I had no idea that was coming when I took the job here. I just thought, ‘Oh my gosh it’s a job where I can play guitar and record myself on Pro Tools.’” Chatelain sets some curriculum goals and benchmarks for the students at the beginning of it out” on their own—which they eventually do and then excel—some of his broader goals have to do with the students’ larger experience with the program. He wants his Spy Hop Records students “to come away knowing that they can complete a project and see it through. When we release these records at the end of the year, I want them to have ownership of them.”

“One of the most important things [the program] is about is kids collaborating with kids they would possibly never be friends with outside of this class … and collaborating with all kinds of different people. I think it’s a valuable life lesson,” Chatelain says. Musicology student and Idyll Rigamorole drummer Braden Tipton, 15, says “The hardest part is having so many ideas in the same room and trying to get everybody’s ideas heard.” But the reward is well worth the struggle. If nothing else, the group has learned the joys of playing music and being in a band, which are, as Chatelain says, “the best reward.” The hardworking, talented, freethinking students at Spy Hop Records and Musicology have opened my eyes to the amazing potential of youth to make good, original music and to empower each other. Salt Lake is lucky to have these innovative programs for students, and our music scene is continually enhanced by these capable, driven teens. Don’t miss Spy Hop Records’ end-of-the-year show featuring all six artists and three new albums for sale on July 21, 6pm at Kilby Court. To score a free download of the Spy Hop Records 2010 Spring Sampler, go to, and keep up to date with Spy Hop Records on their website,, or their MySpace page, For more information about Spy Hop Productions and the other programs they offer, go to or to Spy Hop’s location at 511 W 200 S, Salt Lake City.

Musicology students during a band practice session

Photo: David Newkirk

During rehearsal, Chatelain may suggest, subtly, “Do you want to run through this song, start to

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Spy Hop director brings love of music to students | The Salt Lake Tribune

1/25/11 1:00 PM

Spy Hop director brings love of music to students By Daisy Blake Special to The Tribune Published: January 2, 2011 08:36PM Updated: January 2, 2011 08:36PM

Utah resident Matt Mateus writes music for film, television and theater. But the Park City native also is inspiring a new generation of artists as the programs director for Spy Hop Productions, a not-for-profit youth media arts education center in Salt Lake City. We talked to him recently about how he got started and what motivates him. How did you get involved in the music business? I joined a band called Search and we recorded our first 7-inch when I was 14. At the time I remember how amazing it was to see so many people my age doing something positive and photo courtesy of Gianni Skolnick Matt Mateus is being taken seriously. After spending a few years studying programs director for Spy Hop Productions, a not-forguitar at the University of Utah, I moved to New York City to profit youth media arts education center. get serious about playing. What I ended up doing was getting really interested in recording. I was lucky to land an internship at a fancy studio with tons of great gear and a talented group of engineers and musicians. How did you become involved with Spy Hop Productions? When I returned to Salt Lake I opened a recording studio with a friend. To make ends meet, I was working as a waiter at Em’s restaurant. Erik Dodd and Rick Wray (the founders of Spy Hop) came in all the time. I didn’t really understand what it was that they did, so they offered to give me a tour. I remember being blown away by the space and the work that they were doing. I also remember they had a small recording setup, but they didn’t offer any formal audio classes at the time. I joined Spy Hop shortly after that (in 2002). It eventually turned into a fulltime teaching position. My desire to focus on big-picture programs led me to the Programs Director position a few years ago. Talk about your teaching experiences. In the beginning, I didn’t necessarily grasp what it meant to be a teacher or mentor. We had these extremely

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Spy Hop director brings love of music to students | The Salt Lake Tribune

1/25/11 1:00 PM

talented people coming through the doors, but they were lacking direction or support. As an artist, it’s really difficult to finish a piece and share it with the world. Who really wants to submit their most personal ideas and feelings to the world for critique? Couple that with the challenges of being a teenager and it becomes even more complicated. Throughout the years I was consistently developing new classes and curriculum, from an apprenticeship program where students get paid to participate to an Open Mic program that allows students to come in and record songs for free. How does it feel to be a mentor to so many young people? It’s strange to think that my actions or opinions have carried weight, or influenced someone else. I always did my best to get my students to see that they had a story to tell, and most importantly, that there was someone there to listen. The key to being a good mentor is listening and honesty. I loved telling my students that I didn’t know the answer to something – it leveled the playing field and gave them more confidence to find their own answers. Do you still write music? After my daughter Mia was born, I took time off from recording and bands and focused my attention on scoring. I’ve stayed consistently busy for the past few years. I’ve started playing music again with my band Hello Amsterdam. I did a song for the Sister Dottie musical, but felt extremely out of place doing it. I also recently wrapped scores for a couple of films, Troy Williams’ “ecognosis” and a feature-length documentary called “One Revolution.” — What is Spy Hop? Spy Hop Productions is a not-for-profit youth media arts education center. It offers after-school classes to high school students in filmmaking, audio recording, radio, graphic and web design, gaming, music and other computer arts. Where • 511 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City More info • or

© 2011 The Salt Lake Tribune

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Utah’s teen Spielbergs show off new films | The Salt Lake Tribune

11/12/10 11:20 AM

Utah’s teen Spielbergs show off new films By Vince Horiuchi The Salt Lake Tribune Published: November 5, 2010 11:12AM Updated: November 5, 2010 03:42PM

Homelessness. Mental illness. Hypochondria. These weighty subjects, as explored by burgeoning teenage filmmakers, are explored in four new short films that will be unveiled at Spy Hop’s Pitchnic 2010 on Thursday, Nov. 11. Spy Hop, a non-profit media arts and education center in Salt Lake City, invites students to spend a year of after-school instruction conceiving and producing short films based on their own ideas. Spy Hop provides the camera equipment. The students provide the inspiration. This year’s crop of productions involved 13 students divided into four groups. They produced two documentaries and two narrative works.

Adriana Martinez, producer of the short film "Streeters." Courtesy Image

“Rock Is in the Air,” is a comic mockumentary about an “air band” that plays without instruments. The film follows a band and explores what happens when one of its members rebels. “Rx” is a drama about a hypochondriac going to countless doctor’s appointments and what happens when he meets a woman along the way. Of the documentaries, “Streeters,” focuses on Salt Lake City homeless youth, a subject that prompted some skepticism, said Frank Feldman, Spy Hop’s documentary arts instructor. “There were some doubts that they could work their way into the [homeless] community,” he said. “But it turned out that is what happened, and the kids really opened up to them and really told their story to them. And it’s compelling.” The crew of three on “Streeters,” which included the director, producer and director of photography, spent two months filming kids from a local homeless center to get their stories. “It’s such a sensitive topic,” said the movie’s producer, Adriana Martinez, 17, of Taylorsville. “We just wanted to show it in the truest light, but in a positive light as well.”

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Utah’s teen Spielbergs show off new films | The Salt Lake Tribune

11/12/10 11:20 AM

Meanwhile, the three filmmakers who produced the other documentary, “The Silhouettes,” had a much tougher time putting their movie together. Originally, the film was going to be an exploration of mental illness involving one of the director’s family members. But six months into the class, the movie’s subject pulled out. So at the last minute, the three students on the short had to come up with another idea for their film, though they didn’t stray too far from their original concept involving mental illness. Now “The Silhouettes” focuses on local slam poets, and how some of these performers tap into their own issues with depression and schizophrenia in order to express their art. While the crew had to suddenly shift gears in mid-production, the movie’s producer and cinematographer, Loren Ruiz, said the challenge became a valuable learning experience about the trials of film production. “It was really a dose of reality,” said Ruiz, 18, of West Jordan. “We appreciated that it went wrong, and we got a lesson out of it. You really learn a lot more when you are put into a pressure situation like that.” — PitchNic 2010 When • Thursday, Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m. Where • Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W. 300 South, Broadway, Salt Lake City Tickets • $6.50 at or 801-355-ARTS

© 2010 The Salt Lake Tribune

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YOU August 6th – December 19th, 2012

Spy Hop Productions Media Apprenticeship Program is looking for teens ages 14-19 that are passionate about filmmaking, graphic & gaming design or audio recording & music production, dedicated to investing 10 hours per week to Spy Hop with class time Monday & Wednesday from 4 to 6pm. If interested in getting on the job training and getting paid to do something you love, we want you!


SPY HOP Year-round Classes For 7 – 12 Year Olds! Saturday, Once a Month 9am – 3pm



Get the inside track on story, editing, camera and acting. Work as a team to make your own film.

Ages 7 -9 | January 14


Bring your stories, your favorite characters, your sketchpads to create your own animated film.

Ages 10 – 12 | February 25

Ages 7 -9 | April 28th


Learn the basics of song composition and recording in our state-of-the-art recording studio. No prior songwriting experience is necessary.

Ages 10 -12 | March 31


Create your own world to drive through. Design a 3D racing game with music and sound effects.

Ages 10 -12 | May 19th 5 1 1 W . 2 0 0 S . S A LT L A K E C I T Y | 8 0 1 . 5 3 2 . 7 5 0 0 | W W W . S P Y H O P. O R G


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Spy Hop Productions Press Kit  
Spy Hop Productions Press Kit  

An overview of Spy Hop Productions