By Kyle Naber
Rob Mattison can’t remember a time he was ever afraid of monsters. Even as a child, he found monsters fascinating.
“Ever since the late 60s, I started building these monster models, like Dracula or Frankenstein’s monster,” Mattison said. “I loved it. All my life I’ve loved to build monster models.”
Mattison, currently works for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the Learning and Technologies Service (LTS) department. By day, he checks to make sure all classroom computers work properly, including the sound. He also records campus events and edit videos. Almost every
campus video goes through him. He also has a passion for working with students and will always make time to help them. But when the sun sets, Mattison spends time with his other passion -making videos and monster models.
Growing up, Mattison’s hero was Willis O’Brien, best known for creating the movie monster King Kong (1933). His first love was stop motion video. Later, the dream shifted to comic book writing, before settling in on video when he attended Chippewa Valley Technical College.
Along the way, Mattison met his wife, owned a comic book store and raised three children, but never lost his passion for making videos and monster models.
“Even though I’ve had all my jobs and I’ve worked full time and I raised three kids and did all that stuff I’ve been producing videos of monster model shows since 1995,“ Mattison said. “Only for promotions, I don’t make any money off this stuff and only when I do ask for money it’s to buy that piece of hardware I need to continue my show or to put it in HD, which I did last year.”
Mattison found that to run his comic book store, he needed more capital so he began working in Chippewa Valley Community Television. There he started a show with Kurt Wiegel, a chemistry professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, called Game Geeks RPG. In 2007, Mattison decided that it was not reaching its full audience and put it on YouTube. Shortly after, their fan base skyrocketed and continues to grow. Today, Game Geeks RPG has produced more than 250 videos and has over nine thousand subscribers.
“I’ve met a lot of videographers by chance in my life,” Wiegel said. “Rob is the most laid back, non-arrogant videographer I know.”
In November of 2011, Mattison came to UW-Eau Claire to work for LTS, where he has been ever since.
“Ironically, we shoot less now that we are both at the university,” Wiegel said. “But Rob is the unfortunate best kept secret at this university.”
Working at a university, editing videos, and building monster models, may seem like a strange combination for most, but Mattison, would not have it another way.
“Here everyone’s trying to be positive, and everyone’s trying to teach, and it’s a really cool environment,” Mattison said. “The cool thing about here is you guys.”
In his office, located in the old library of UW-Eau Claire, Mattison sits next to Glen Mabie, of Integrated Marketing and Communications at the university. Mabie started just two months before Mattison.
“It works really well, were in separate departments technically, he’s in LTS, I’m in Integrated Marketing and Communications (IMC),” Mabie said. “But it’s nice for me to be down here with him because we do somewhat similar things.”
Despite being in different departments, they are able to help each other out, as Mattison calls himself more of a shooter and views Mabie as the journalist.
“It’s great to work with him, because it allows us to bounce ideas off each other,”
Mabie said. “He’s about the most easygoing guy you are ever going to meet.”
In the future, Mattison wants to work more with the on-campus TV station, TV-10, to continue to help students learn about video production. He is especially excited about TV-10 after the station won the 48-hour film festival, a festival Mattison helped start in Eau Claire.
“Honestly I love working with students,” Mattison said. “I think it’s the coolest thing to know that I can hopefully help you guys. I want you to end your career here running.”
All photos of past events were provided by Rob Mattison ©2015