Ed Phillips, the co-founder and president of Matthews Studio Equipment for nearly 50 years, has passed away at the age of 72.
Ed Phillips died unexpectedly this Saturday on June 22. His legacy is truly monumental to the film industry. His loss is felt everywhere. It is likely that nearly everyone has used a Matthews Studio Equipment product at some point. It isn’t an understatement to say that his career was revolutionary.
How it all started
Phillips started his career in the film industry at Universal Studios. There he pulled cables and operated machines. He eventually co-founded Matthews Studio Equipment with Roy Isaia and eventually teamed up with Carlos DeMattos in 1974 to create Matthews Studio Equipment Group.
He always looked to standardize the gear used on sets. The first product he started with was the folding-leg C-Stand. Then he moved onto the 5/8” baby pin and then the 1-1/8” junior pin.
In the 70s, he created the Combo Head and Combo Stand to unify lighting and rigging standards together. He eventually went on to create products like Cam Remote Head, the Tulip Crane, the Vator Cranking Stands, and the MAX Menace Arm.
Honoring Ed Phillips’ legacy
Ed Phillips and Matthews Studio Equipment were honored with two Presidential “E” Award for outstanding contributions for growing U.S. exports, strengthening the economy, and creating American jobs. Additionally, he was awarded three Scientific and Technical Academy Awards and two Emmy awards for his product innovations.
Even in his later years, Phillips reported to the office every single week. He never left his company. His son Tyler Phillips is the President of MSE, continuing the family-owned business’ legacy.
We mourn the loss of a man and celebrate a career that changed the film industry for the better. He will be truly missed.
Image courtesy Matthews Studio Equipment