Matt McLindon, the Lowell High School interactive media and television production teacher, was born in Chicago, but grew up in Merrillville where he attended high school. Ever since McLindon was a child, he dreamed of being in the FBI. During his last year of high school, he applied and was accepted to Valparaiso University where he planned on studying criminal justice.
However, during his last year of high school, he took a television production course and completely fell in love with it.
“I got really big into television production when I was in high school. There was a television production class called Pirate’s News Network where we would put together a weekly television show and it was so much fun,” he said.
Months before graduation, McLindon changed his original college plans and applied to Columbia College Chicago to pursue his passion in television production.
“I really loved the television production class I took, so I changed my career direction right before high school graduation and ended up going to Columbia College Chicago where I obtained a bachelor’s degree in television directing and producing.”
McLindon did a lot of freelancing work while in college, but one of his first jobs was with Ideas In Motion Media, where he was a video producer for some time.
“I was only with the company for a few months while I was still in school, but I learned so much during that time,” he said. “I shot and edited a lot of videos and covered stories and events around Valparaiso, as well.”.
He left Ideas In Motion Media once he was given the opportunity to serve as an intern for the Chicago television show, Windy City Live. He learned about the opportunity in a very unique and coincidental way.
“I was actually on the train home from school one day and was sitting next to David Plummer, the producer for Windy City Live and I overheard him talking on the phone about a segment that he was producing that following day,” he recalled. “One of my college professors had also worked on the set of Windy City Live before, so I started up a conversation with him by mentioning my professor’s name and we talked the whole train ride home, which opened the door for the internship I was offered.”
McLindon graduated from Columbia College Chicago on a Saturday and started his internship at Windy City Live the following Monday. During his first few weeks, he was promoted to directors intern, which allowed him to work personally with the director and assistant director of the show.
While interning, he helped out with studio setup and display for segments, show scripting, and he even got to learn about the software that is used to build the show. Once the internship concluded, McLindon received a call from Windy City Live not even a week after he left with a job offer.
“I was offered a position as a production assistant for the show, so I accepted that and did that for a couple months before I was promoted to associate producer of the show.”
As the associate producer, he was more involved with coming up with ideas for segments and the show. He was also given the opportunity to start filming out in the field, as well, which allowed him to do some editing for the show, too.
However, his ultimate goal was to get into education and be able to teach others about television and video production. That opportunity arose last year when Lowell High School was looking for someone who could teach and freshen up a course called interactive media and overlook their radio and television program.
“It was really hard to walk away from Windy City Live because I really enjoyed doing that, but the position at Lowell High School really grabbed my attention,” he said. “So I applied and was offered the position.”
McLindon’s goal is to teach his students how to produce and edit videos in a way where they can use it in the real world.
“How I really like to shape my class is in a way that reflects the real world. Before I started college, I did a lot of videography at weddings and with commercials, and that is all stuff I learned how to do in high school,” he explained. “So I wanted to model my class in a project-based setting because we live in a project-based world.”
McLindon’s favorite part of teaching is being able to see how the students apply what they learn in class to their real-world final projects.
“With this being my first year of teaching, I would lecture and wonder if the students were learning and obtaining what I was teaching them. Then, a few weeks ago, when final projects started rolling around, I began seeing students’ white balance correctly, or grabbing the perfect angle in an interview, and using the right microphone for different aspects of recording, and that confirmed that the students were learning what I had taught them,” he said. “Seeing that and having the students apply what they learned to real-world projects is such a rewarding feeling.”
McLindon is not married yet, but he and his girlfriend, Liz, who have been dating for six years, just bought a house together in the Lakes of the Four Seasons. They are the parents of two cats, Prince and Bubba, and are looking at adding a dog to their family in the very near future.
Outside of teaching, McLindon enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, family and friends, and running a videography business on the side with his business partner, Josh Harboth.
“Josh and I have launched our own business, Harvoth/McLindon Video, which specializes in commercials, weddings, events, parties, and tape conversion,” he said. “Josh is a television production teacher at Merrillville High School and is one of my mentors. I really enjoy partnering this business with him and we hope to grow in the coming years.”
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