April Matson didn’t realize her life was about to change when she went with friend Katie Preston to a Tuesday matinee at The Flicks in Downtown Boise.
But as she watched the trailers before the screening of “Their Finest,” something was off.
“All the other previews had played, then I hear the song from ‘La La Land,’ then I notice all these Boise locations, and I’m like, ‘What kind of weird local commercial is this?’ Then I saw my parents, and I didn’t know what to think,” Matson said.
It wasn’t a commercial. The short film was the prequel for a marriage proposal from Scott Grady, her filmmaker boyfriend.
The film followed Grady as he met with Matson’s parents, got a ring box and then ran through Downtown Boise and into the Flicks. Grady then actually ran into the theater, got down on one knee and asked Matson, “Will you choose this life with me? Will you marry me?”
She cried, the audience applauded, and the answer was “yes!”
“I totally tricked her,” Grady said. “She kept saying, ‘What’s happening?’ ”
Matson said she was stunned.
“I had no inkling that this was going to happen. We had talked about getting married a long time ago, but this was a total surprise,” she said. “Even after when we went home, I wanted to see it again. I couldn’t believe it happened.”
How he did it
Grady made the short film with his friends Tom Sanford (director), Travis Wright (sound and grip) and Julien McGregor (cinematographer) using the song “City of Stars” from Matson’s favorite movie, “La La Land.” (Grady’s three buddies own Ravenous Schnitzel, a Boise-based film company.)
Sanford and Wright worked with Flicks manager Josie Pusl to add the clip to the Tuesday previews.
“We’ve had proposals here in the past, but nothing like this,” Pusl said.
Grady asked Preston to get Matson to the theater, and then he waited in the projection room before his cue. Sanford was standing by with a camera to capture that moment on video, too.
How it started
Matson and Grady, both 36, met in 2015 when they competed for Boise’s Funniest Person title. Grady won and Matson came in second.
She had a boyfriend at the time so nothing happened until almost a year later, when Matson opened her acting studio Platform. Grady, who is a drafter for a local construction company, signed up for a class, and the rest is history.
They’re both filmmakers and actors. As their relationship deepened, they started writing and producing films together with their Apricott Films.
Their first effort was a short comedy called “Swipe” that won Best of the Fest at Idaho Laugh Fest’s 2017 short comedy film competition. Their most recent project, a short screenplay titled “Sage Venom,” was one of five finalists in March for the Sun Valley Film Festival’s One Potato competition. (The winner gets money and a professional filmmaker mentor to make a movie in Idaho. Boise’s Samantha Silva won the contest with her screenplay, “The Big Burn.”)
Grady and Matson plan to shoot their film this summer in Boise. They don’t have a date set for the wedding.