Friday, April 22, 2011

Matt Answered Some Questions

Before Facebook or the Roloff World Blog, Matt created a forum on his website to provide a place where fans of Little People Big World could gather and where he could have a conduit to talk and interact with them. He remains loyal to his forum and to the equally loyal fans there. They compiled some interesting questions for him and the moderator called him up to get some answers. Below is the transcription of the interview he did with her. Subscribe to RoloffWorld or at least be sure to keep your eyes peeled because in upcoming posts we are going to dig in deeper on a few of his answers.

1. I was wondering about your latest dirt project, filling in an 80 acre swampland near the farm to create a pumpkin field.......how is it that the DEQ allowed the filling in of a wetland? Did you have to jump through any hoops to be able to do that? Or are the laws less strict in Oregon concerning wetlands?

Matt's Answer:

Well first off, our project is not a ‘wetland’. It's just a very soggy flat field. There is a huge difference. A wetland has a very, very specific protected status. What we're working on is simply a very flat farm field. Which means it doesn't drain well. You can only farm it about two months out of the year because it absorbs so much water from the rain and the neighboring properties and all the water just kind of sits there. So by putting in a "belly" you raise the ground up about 4-6 feet in the middle and then you taper it off on the sides and create ditches so that you basically can extend your farming season from maybe 2 months to maybe 5 months out of the year. This also allows you to grow additional variety of crops. So you're actually improving this farm field.

As for jumping through hoops, there were about 8 or 9 agencies involved and every one of them had to approve our project. It was what we call a type II permit application. Agencies such as the county, ODOT, clean water service, conservation, DEQ, Sewer line , Gas line etc etc. They All had to give us their blessing.

Matt


2. How are you enjoying your time away from cameras? Do you think the family will ever be interested in doing another series similar to LPBW?

Matt's Answer:

We are enjoying it immensely. However, it's never a black and white thing. People think you either love the cameras around or you hate them. But the truth is, it's very much a love hate relationship. It’s sometimes very gray. We have good days and bad days like any job, sometimes you like going to work some days you don’t.

Even though we've done a few projects with cameras, such as the little documentary about the dirt project, they've been around on a limited basis which is very different than having them there almost 24/7 for such a long period of time like we have in the past.

The types of projects we’re exploring now will have a much different “invasive” factor if we proceed. Even the LPBW proposals that we’re currently evaluating are being structured in a much different way, more like an 8-5 type of responsibility.

Matt


3. We know you are still finishing up the final editing for the pumpkin movie. When will you release it for public viewing? How do you plan to release it? Youtube? iTunes?

Matt's Answer:

I'm very pleased to announce that the pumpkin movie is officially finished as of about a week ago. The movie score, credits corrections, etc. have all been added and everything is now complete. I'm not overly proud of the movie. It was my first attempt and there's a million things I would do differently. In fact I am already working on other projects and hope to take my experiences and greatly improve the final results, I am a very quick learner.

I will be trying to enter the Pumpkin movie into some film festivals. However, with film festivals they usually like to be the first to show it before you play it to a broad audience so I need to go through that process for the next 6 months to a year and then I will release it probably on like iTunes or maybe Youtube. When this happens we will definitely let our fans know. I’m excited to show you all and I think you’re all going to like it.

Matt


4. Is there anything we don't know about you that you think most people would find surprising or out of character?

Matt's Answer:

Hmmm, I don't know if I've covered this before but I don't like mushrooms and onions. When I was young and in the hospital they used to shove mushrooms down my throat and force me to eat them. So ever since then I've just had a real distaste for them. Mushrooms are offensive to me. I don't even want them in the same room. Of course Amy loves them and loves to cook with them.

Other than that, I think people for the most part have a good sense of me. But there are people who are surprised to know how much experience I have in the software field and how successful I was in software because that wasn't ever really covered on the show. So that's one thing people (who only know us from TV) may be surprised about with me.

Matt


5. Matt do you have any lost episodes hiding anywhere? We'd loved to see them.

Matt's Answer:


Yes, I'm sure that there are. But I don't know whether the timing will work out to show them or if the content is too old now to be good. Last season there was quite a bit of content that was picked over and never used but, there's always a ton of other stuff that doesn't air or doesn't fit in to the storyline and therefor gets cut.

Matt

6. Can you tell us a little about the author of www.roloffworld.blogspot.com? Why did you agree to let her write it when you could have easily just promoted this forum more?

Matt's Answer:


Dallah is a friend (never been employed by us), who works in Hillsboro who has been encouraging me for several years to try and do a blog. She helped me get up and going with my Facebook and her company works with us on our t-shirt and stuff. She convinced me that there is a difference between what she does on the blog, what you do on the forum and what I do with my facebook. Her blog is more for story telling and the forum is more for this type of conversation. So we’re giving it a whirl.

Matt


7. Matt your favorite poster (Cute) is asking "When" or "IF" your family are ever going to be able to post on your board freely? That includes Sven, woohoo hey Sven. As well as Pop and Honey.

Matt's Answer:


Well technically we were free for about 6 weeks, based on our contractual obligations. But now, maybe not so much. However as social networking has taken hold. TLC has gotten a lot better over the years with allowing us to speak more freely to and with our fans. Mostly everyone in the family pretty much leaves it up to me to keep our fans informed of what's going on with the family because I have the facebook, the forum and whatnot. Amy keeps her facebook updated as well.

What people don't realize is, it's can be a very slippery slope when we get involved so personally and directly like we do. Someone may ask a question and we answer it. But then someone else asks another, but we miss it for whatever reason, and don't answer it. Then that person may get angry or feel slighted and get their feeling hurt. Or people may interpret your words differently than you intended. Try as we might, we just can't answer everyone's question and what we say is not going to please everyone. But we do appreciate our fans and wish we had more time to devote to everyone.

Matt


8. Have you ever really given us your honest opinion of what you think of those "silly bloggers"? Let's not pull any punches either. Also, have you ever been contacted by or have you tried to contact that blog writer who seems to be so critical of your family?

Matt's Answer:

It seems that most of the blogs or blogging about the show has faded away. As far as the “Silly” bloggers used to go, I only referred to them as that because often anonymous people would conjure up the silliest (stupidest) stuff and they would write it like it was true. Some people make assumptions and then would write about it so much that they start to actually believe it themselves. We learned to laugh at it when it was brought to our attention and take it in stride, but mostly we learned to ignore it. Worrying about what a few people say is far too time consuming.

It takes all kinds to make the world go-around and we tried to appreciate everybody's opinion. TLC certainly told us many times that the “crazier the chatter” the more interesting we are for filming.

I think that Amy and I have always been up to an interview with any news source on the internet or not, we done hundreds of interviews. The only requirement that (and this was recommended by TLC since day 1) we don’t conduct interviews with anonymous sources. The reason for that should go without saying, it’s just common sense.

Matt


9. Do you think that WE are a bunch of whack jobs?! (Thanks to Northern Neighbour for the suggestion.) Seriously though, do we scare you?

Matt's Answer:

No! I don't think that at all. I wish I could get on there more. The few times I did go on I was a little confused as to where I should jump in because there didn't seem to be any one topic people were talking about.

I'm not so much of a chit chatter. I more or less like to contribute to certain subjects. So, if there is ever a subject matter you guys are discussing and you'd like my input, definitely let me know and I will see what I can do about weighing in on it.

Matt

10. If you were a tree, what kind would you be? And why?

Matt's Answer:


An Oak tree because there's so much you can do with it. You can build a tree house. You can build a swing. You can climb them. They can stand alone or in groups. They're very versatile. They've got great wood.

Matt


11. Would you be able to share any details about your stalker issues?

Matt's Answer:

I'll give a little bit of detail, but it will be covered soon in greater detail over at www.roloffworld.blogspot.com. We have multiple stalkers and we take them all extremely serious. The FBI is involved and multiple agencies. Don't get me wrong, we don't call the police for every little thing we get, but there are just some things that go beyond the norm and need to be taken seriously and addressed. But we do have about 5 open cases right now.

Matt

12. Since some of us don't stalk, I mean, keep up with you and the family on facebook (lol), can you tell us a little about what Jeremy, Zach, Molly and Amy have been up to lately?

Matt's Answer:


Amy has been working her charity very hard and continues to work on that. She's also been busy with her speaking engagements.

Jeremy is preparing to likely transfer to Brookes in the fall. I don't know if it's 100% yet because he still has to work out his living arrangements but it looks promising. Honestly it won’t be easy having him move so far away, he’s a big part of the farm and the work that goes on here. I’m trying not to be selfish, but it is hard.

Zach is still going very strong at the indoor soccer club where he works. He also carries a full load, like Jeremy, at the local community college. He's so involved with his work that he has yet to talk about transferring over to a 4 year college. He just may stay at the community college an additional year before he makes a decision about where he wants to go. He would, however, eventually like to go to a campus that has a girl's soccer team where he could take some sports management courses and possibly coach a women's soccer team.

Molly continues to get straight A's and is looking at various colleges. Everything from local stuff to Stanford to Pepperdine. She's definitely on the fast track to college and will most likely spend a lot of time touring some campuses this coming summer.

Jacob has struggled this last year. He's a very, very smart guy, and always had good grades, but this past year he seems to have lost interest in school. His grades are to the point to where he will very likely not continue in private school. The school has a very strict grade point average standard that has to be met consistently, and if you don't make that average, you no longer qualify to be enrolled. Amy and I are frustrated with the schools lack of flexibility or concern and encouragement for Jacob so close to his eighth grade graduation. It would be very disappointing if Jacob could not continue, but it actually may wind up being for the best. It may be exactly what he needs, AND what we need to yank him out of his rut so he can move on and thrive. We are pleased that as of today his grades are on the rise.

Matt

13. Do auto airbags pose a big safety issue to little people? If so, what can be done to minimize the problem. Can you have the airbags disabled? I thought of this when I saw the episode where the twins rented a car to tour around Germany. You probably can't get around the airbag issue with a rental car can you?

Matt's Answer:


Little people do have a right to turn airbags off. But it's more about the type of Little Person you are. For instance, some are more frail and an airbag could pose a problem. But for someone like Amy, myself or Zach, we could withstand an airbag deploying.

Lot's of Little People have been in auto accidents with airbags and have been ok. It's more about sitting the proper distance away from the airbags and having your peddles professionally installed. You don't want to be sitting right up on the airbags/steering wheel. This is why it's important to have your peddles installed professionally. If they are too short then you tend to sit closer to the steering wheel and that's not good.

But in the end there is a right to disconnect them. I personally don't recommend that but everyone has to make that choice for themselves.

Matt

14. You mentioned possibly buying a train for the farm's pumpkin season. Are there any other projects or new attractions planned for this next season? As any progress been made on the Ark? Will people be able to tour through it in the future?

Matt's Answer:

You won't be able to walk through the Ark because it's just not big enough. It's just there as something to look at. We also have a few other projects that we're looking at doing such as a haunted hayride/house type thing. But we're not sure yet if we're going to do it. We have a few other things in mind but we'll just have to wait and see which ones make sense when we discuss and plan things over the summer. Which is usually the time when we work on projects for the Fall.

Matt

15. Still 2 more years until he's 16 but do you and Jacob have any thoughts yet about a car for him? I thought he'd get the Camaro, but you recently said it was sold. Any plans on restoring an older car like you did for Molly?

Matt's Answer:


Well, right now Jacob needs to get his grades up first and foremost. So there are no discussions about cars right now. But at some point we'll get him a car that's appropriate for him. He talks about maybe wanting and old Volkswagen Rabbit or something. But right now we are shifting his attention away from any notion of getting a car and on to how he needs to get his grades back up to where they were a year ago.

Matt

16. You have inspired so many people with your story, who has inspired you? Do you have any notable heroes or mentors in your life?

Matt's Answer:


Years ago I read a book about a private detective names JJ Arms who had no hands, and that was very inspiring to me. Tom Sawyer was also inspiring. And my father too. He was hard working and has great integrity. That's always been very inspiring to me.

Matt


17. What is your favorite Jelly Belly© jelly bean flavor?

Matt's Answer:


The red. Or the black.

Matt


18. Matt what has Sven been up to lately and when was the last time you guys hung out?

Matt's Answer:


I actually talked to Sven about two days ago. It was a brief thing. But he and I have been working together on this dirt project. He's helped me come up with some of the 3D models and the signage for that project. He's even done the research on the history of the property. And he'd be involved in the haunted hayride/house project.

Matt


19. You recently mentioned possibly taping more shows for TLC. What exactly does that mean? Were they interested in more LPBW shows or different ones with you guys altogether?

Matt's Answer:


About possibly doing more LPBW episodes. I actually have a conference call coming up in about 20 minutes with TLC. We haven't made any decisions yet, but we listen to the ideas being bounced around. Having said that, we will never go back to having cameras in our house 24/7 as we did before. It was just way too stressful on us. A project that has the cameras around on a very limited basis is way different than having them there all the time.

Matt


20. Matt who's you favorite poster?

Matt's Answer:


I wouldn't wanna pick. I wouldn't want to alienate anyone. That's not fair.

Matt

21. When do you take a break from doing all that you do to have time to yourself, and, with the family?

Matt's Answer:


Well, I try to take Sundays off. And Amy and I go out to dinner together when we can. We try to spend time with Jacob. Like going to the movies or the mall and helping him with his homework and we like Friday nights on the couch watching TV. We try to take time for the whole family and for ourselves.

Matt


22. Could you really leave your beautiful house and land that you've worked so hard on to move to Arizona?

Matt's Answer:


No. Absolutely not. What we may do is have an investment house down there and maybe during the really rainy months we could go spend some time down there. There's also some business opportunities that I'm entertaining down there. With an investment house I could also rent it out during the off season. The housing market down there is very depressed. So it may be a great time to take advantage of the market right now.

There are a few places that were set up for me to look at down there, and I was actually supposed to go there straight from here, but there are more pressing things at home, so I’ll do it later.

Matt


23. WHERE THE $%^# IS MY ENCHILADA RECIPE??????

Matt's Answer:


Hehe, Amy's working on a cookbook and I'm sure it's almost done. She's working on proposals for publishers right now and has some really good contacts. I'm pretty sure that enchilada recipe will be a prime recipe in that book. So, hang on and wait for that. It’ll be worth it!

Matt

Here is a link to the interview on his website forum: http://mattroloff.com/talk/sho
wthread.php?t=6051


4 comments:

  1. Hello Matt! Hi there Roloff Family! Thank you so much for updating us about what`s happening in your life and in your farm, this way we won`t miss you that much. But i`m still hoping and praying that one of these days you`ll be back on tv again. I`m so excited about Amy`s cookbook, she`s a great cook, I even tried some of her recipes and my family loves it, `can`t wait already! please hurry up Amy, i`ll be one of the first one who`ll definitely grab that cook book :))). Good luck on your projects Matt, `wish you all the best, `love you all Roloff Family!!!

    From your no. 1 fan in Chula Vista, CA.

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  2. Wonderful to hear what is going on and this blog is a very nice format to keep in touch.Dallah does a great job with it. I learned a whole lot. I do hope that something good will happen for Jacob, kids go through phases like this.Iyt is true that private schools are sometimes not as lienient as others types of schools are. It must be very frustrating for Amy being a teacher to see him have such a lack of interest in things. I am so happy to hear that Jer and Zack are doing well in College too.Despite all the cameras and goings on, your kids and family have done so well,shows your faith and love for one another being very strong.Sorry to hear you still are dealing with those people who would destroy your privacy..it amazes me what they are capable of. Glad you have a handle on the whole security situation. Continue to have great interest in your projects and family life.. a special here or there would be wonderful and I think TLC would love it too..( Say about the time that Molly or Jacob graduates school.)
    Take care and know we all will be waiting to hear more updates soon..
    YOUR MICHIGAN FRIEND

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  3. California ChristiApril 22, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    Matt, We love reading the blog and hearing what you and the family are up to. Sorry to hear that Jacob is having a hard time. Kid's go through fazes, so don't let it get you too frustrated. Lots of love and structure is my advise, it worked for us. And being consistent, I can't stress that enough. Hope things get better soon. Keep us updated because we care. Give Jacob a big hug from his friends from Anaheim.

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  4. We'll probably look back on this decade and chew over how obsessed people are with reality tv. It surly reflects our society in some unflattering way, but I can't help be hooked watching the Roloffs. Glad that you took the time to share, this is a good place to stay informed.

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