Division ofHumanities

Matt Vancil '01

Filmmaker (writer/director) with Zombie Orpheus Entertainment
Writer at Z2 (video game studio)
Seattle Instructor in screenwriting, Seattle Film Institute

Matt Vancil '01
Major: classics, English

"The only constant in my career is flux. The nature of the industries I work in is always changing, always iterating into different forms for different media outlets. But the root needs stay the same, and the one thing all forms of narrative media require—from the feature film to the web series, from the game on your computer or phone to the transmedia ARG—is a good story, well told. That's what's both most challenging and rewarding about my work: making accessible stories that work for any audience, regardless of medium or genre.

"The training in Classics and English (writing emphasis) I received at P.L.U. have proven invaluable. What I learned on the writing side is that the root of all storytelling is emotion, and being in touch with your own, as difficult as that can be, is the key to making any story relatable. Classics directly led to my first job in the video game industry (they were looking for a writer with a history in myth and antiquities), and to getting my first book published: a dictionary and grammar guide for a fictitious language I cooked up for a web series currently in development on its third season. I could never have built a functional conlang without the foundation in Latin and Greek, or the understanding of how and why languages evolve over time, that PLU's Classics program gave me. "