OGDEN -- When Matt Goff was in eighth grade he became fascinated with movie making and editing in his publications class at Mount Ogden Junior High School.
He recently finished ninth grade and has taken that fascination to a whole new level.
Goff and classmates Rachelle Florence and Sarah Heiner took second place in the state Future Business Leaders of America digital video production category and can compete in the national tournament this summer in Florida.
While the honor is big for Goff, he is getting much more out of it than winning contests; he is feeding a love for something he hopes he can carry into his adult life.
Goff has become the go-to guy in his family and with classmates and teachers at Mount Ogden this year because of his video production and editing skills.
"He has taken a big burden off of me," said teacher Betsy Galbraith. She teaches the publications class in which students produce weekly newscasts for the school, as well as an acting class where students spend the semester making a movie for the student body.
"He's taught me a ton of stuff," Galbraith said as she pointed to new video-editing programs she received through grants this past year. Goff has worked with her, and they have learned how to use the programs together and do amazing things with them.
She noticed things really clicked for Goff when, in the fall, she asked him and another student, Riley Jones, to help make a video for the Ogden School Foundation. Galbraith said she has received a grant for the video-making equipment from the foundation.
"I thought it would be a great way to show the foundation thanks if the students actually did the video," Galbraith said. She was amazed at Goff and Jones' final result. The video was so good, it was shown at the foundation's huge fall author event in November.
Goff said that experience gave him a taste for what he wants to do more of in the future. He and some friends have started a small production company called EMMMNAK Productions.
"Every weekend we would get together and make movies, and they have actually been pretty hilarious," Goff said. He started playing around with the software and then started getting more high-end software at Christmastime. He admits he has always loved watching special-effect movies, and when he realized he might be able to bring some of those things to life on his own, he was hooked.
"I love the illusion -- is it really there or isn't it?" Goff said as he worked at the junior high's end-of-year video, clicking from several different windows and splicing things together as he talked.
He does like using one camera and using raw footage with some of the special effects that can be created. Galbraith admires Goff's ability to teach other students.
"He is able to teach them things I wouldn't have time to do," Galbraith said. She has noticed the students really listen to what he has to say and take his advice, because they see him as an expert.
"If you look at this generation and the videos on YouTube, they listen because they want to do it," Galbraith said.
She said Goff spends hours in and outside of class working on projects for different students and things going on in the school.
That has extended to his home life as well. His mom, Carlin, said he is called on often by friends and family to help with video and any computer-related questions.
"We like to think we know what we're doing, but Matt really does," Carlin said. He is one of five children and the only boy in his family, and Carlin laughs as she thinks of all the help he has given to his sisters in college and his younger sister. Matt's brother-in-law recently moved to California to work for Apple, and she said the two never run out of things to talk about in the technology world.
Matt would like to take his talent into his future endeavors and would like to be a producer.
"I like to have my hands in everything, so I think producing would be good for me," he said.
Carlin would love for Matt to do anything he wants, adding, "I want him to do what makes him most happy."
For now it is working with video editing, and she is fine with that.
Matt hopes to do video internships with local media outlets while in high school, but also plans to continue with his friends and weekend movie-making endeavors, because, "That's just a lot of fun."