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Matt Belknap, Founder of

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Matt Belknap is changing the way people experience comedy. As founder of , Matt's created a place where comedy nerds, whether they be fans or the artists themselves, can discuss the art form they love so much. But Belknap isn't only a comedy fan. He runs See You Next Tuesday at the UCB Theater, is producer of and panelist on Never Not Funny, one of the I-Tunes picks for best Podcasts of '06 and '07, and founder of Aspecialthing Records, which in 2007 put out comedy albums by comedians Jen Kirkman, Paul F. Tompkins, Jonah Ray, and The Sklar Brothers. LAist got a hold of Matt's email and sent him a few questions about his plans for AST, his thoughts on comedy, and got some details on what new AST releases are planned for 08.

What is it that brought you to LA?
I decided when I was in high school that I wanted to make movies, and I read a Spike Lee book that said writing was the best way to break into the business, so I started writing screenplays. I majored in film in college, then moved to Los Angeles as soon as I graduated -- actually before I graduated: my first job was a summer internship that represented my final credits to get my degree.

What made you decide that you wanted to make movies?
I loved them as a kid, and I was always making little camcorder videos. But seeing "Do The Right Thing" when I was 15 is what made me want to be a filmmaker. Corny as it sounds, that was the film that made me realize movies could be more than entertainment -- they could be art, they could be thought-provoking, they could move people. That totally spun my head around, and I started to put that together with my love of playing with my video camera. And honestly, it was the first time I really cared about something passionately -- I played sports but wasn't that into them, I was an underachiever academically since pretty much every subject bored me, I didn't understand or care about what my parents did for a living... So when I realized that making movies could be a career, I thought it sounded like the greatest thing in the world. It was all I ever wanted to do.