After Irma there was a bevy of online videos; the ones that resonated loudly with Keys’ residents were created by Matthew Dockery, a young and talented Key West filmmaker who founded Docklight Productions in 2015. One video of his journey back down the Keys was viewed by more than 200,000 people worldwide. Then he posted “We Are Here-Key West Florida” soon after, just to show the world Key West was still Key West — a powerful video and message. 

“I enjoy creating little ‘love stories’ about Key West. These videos have garnished close to a million views when added up across all the different platforms,” said Dockery. “The videos after the storm were made to help bring awareness to the many people and organizations that really need the help during that time. I’m proud to say that they did do their job.”

An army kid from Lakeland, Florida, Dockery literally quit his job in finance and moved to Key West. Photography and filmmaking were a VHS camcorder hobby as a child, but once here his passion found a purpose, making video productions for locals, mini documentaries and even for powerhouses such as the Washington Post, National Kidney Foundation, House Hunters for HGTV, Flaunt Magazine, and Reelin’ in the Keys fishing show just to name a few. His latest creation has been documenting Tom Flip’s Heads Up Key West as a mini documentary that PBS and other networks are interested in taking national. It will premiere at the Studios of Key West Thursday night, Oct. 4. Dockery’s vision and love of the Keys is beautiful in cinematic form and clearly an influential record of the way of life down here.

After Irma there was a bevy of online videos; the ones that resonated loudly with Keys’ residents were created by Matthew Dockery, a young and talented Key West filmmaker who founded Docklight Productions in 2015. One video of his journey back down the Keys was viewed by more than 200,000 people worldwide. Then he posted “We Are Here-Key West Florida” soon after, just to show the world Key West was still Key West — a powerful video and message. 

“I enjoy creating little ‘love stories’ about Key West. These videos have garnished close to a million views when added up across all the different platforms,” said Dockery. “The videos after the storm were made to help bring awareness to the many people and organizations that really need the help during that time. I’m proud to say that they did do their job.”

An army kid from Lakeland, Florida, Dockery literally quit his job in finance and moved to Key West. Photography and filmmaking were a VHS camcorder hobby as a child, but once here his passion found a purpose, making video productions for locals, mini documentaries and even for powerhouses such as the Washington PostNational Kidney Foundation, House Hunters for HGTV, Flaunt Magazine, and Reelin’ in the Keys fishing show just to name a few. His latest creation has been documenting Tom Flip’s Heads Up Key West as a mini documentary that PBS and other networks are interested in taking national. It will premiere at the Studios of Key West Thursday night, Oct. 4. Dockery’s vision and love of the Keys is beautiful in cinematic form and clearly an influential record of the way of life down here. 

Full Name?

Matthew Rion Dockery.

Do you have a life credo or motto? Gratitude is key. 

What’s drawn you to photography? I’ve always been really interested to watch how photographs and moving images have an effect on the human emotion. Right in front of your eyes, you can watch one’s expression, attitude and demeanor change by the simple visual presented to them, almost instantly.

Making videos about the Keys, what do you want to capture the most? Very simply, I just want to capture and share the beauty of this place and the joy it brings to those of us who have a genuine appreciation for what this place is. 

Filming Tom Flip’s Heads Up Key West, what did you learn about all of us? We’re all a bunch of crazy people and I love that so much.

What’s your next project? Ross Pipkin and I have been producing audiobooks for local author Reef Perkins that get published on audible.com and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed that experience. We have a bunch more to work on and those will be rolling out in the coming months. Also, I’ll be finishing up the documentary I’ve been working on for years with the University of Maine.

What movies or filmmakers most influence your work? That’s a really hard question. I have a very diverse taste in movies. Some of my favorite pieces of work are from John Landis but a couple of my favorite movies were “Belly,” “Four Rooms,” “Stranger than Fiction,” and a bunch of old skateboarding videos that literally no one reading this would know. “Transworld’s Transmission 7,” for example, or “Caught Clean.” Google that wild stuff. 

What did you think you would grow out of but haven’t? Finding laughter and happiness through being playfully silly and goofy sometimes. I’m 34 now and I’ve been known to do some silly things even recently. I’d probably better not go into too much detail on this one.

Which TV, movie or superhero character is your alter ego? Anything giraffe related. 

What job would you be terrible at? Anything mundane and repetitive, or inside of a cubicle. Too much routine makes me an insane person. I’ve tried that. I was terrible at it. 

If invisible in Key West, what would you do? I was actually invisible for a long time here. Y’all just didn’t know. It sucked because I couldn’t catch a sweet tan but it also ruled because I just drank a bunch of free beer all the time.

What question can you ask to find out the most about a person? What’s your favorite color?

Favorite guilty pleasure? Belly laughing at all the snapchats my sister sends me of my baby niece. God I love her so much, but I’d never let a grown man watch me do this. 

What job would you secretly love to have? Oh I’d love to be a charter boat captain. Fishing is my religion. I guess that’s not much of a secret.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? TRAVEL. I can’t express this enough. Doesn’t matter where, just leave your comfort zone. One of my favorite destinations out of the MANY that I’ve traveled too, was Campobello Island in Canada, right on the Bay of Fundy. I came back completely transformed from that trip.

Lunch with one famous person, whom would you choose? Bill Nye the Science Guy, or even Neil deGrasse Tyson. When I was a kid, these people were massively influential to the way I perceived the world. They presented me with many possibilities in the way I can choose to perceive this universe.

Finish these sentences:

My friends and family would describe me as … well hopefully, fun-loving, supportive, motivated, nerdy, addicted to fishing. 

My autobiography would be titled … “Boiled Peanuts.” Anyone who knows me will get this.  

I can never refuse … a good bottle (or two) of pinot noir. With friends is a huge added bonus. Wine is meant to be shared.

When I go, I will go …. when I’m damn well ready. 

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