The Multi-Millionaires of Tomorrow

Photo by Jade Chance
Photo by Jade Chance

I met up with Tom Garrett who, when eighteen, won the award for Best Short Documentary at the 2015 Southhampton International Film Festival; Matt England who began an online video production business at the age of seventeen; and with Jade Chance, an aspiring photographer with an extensive professional portfolio and a large online following, and discussed where their entrepreneurial drive came from, how they achieved what they have, and what their goals are for the future. Here’s what they said. 

Matt, tell me why you started your business.

I realised that if I wanted to be successful I needed to stop working under my own name and instead build a brand with its own image and brand values. So I set up the names, sorted the other necessary pieces in order to make my idea a reality…and now, when people contact and hire me, they hire ‘EdgeProjects’.

When did you decide that you wanted to work for yourself? 

When I found it was the only viable way to get somewhere with little to no experience. I was seventeen.

Would you say that you’re successful? 

I would say I am. I measure my success based on my rate of progress so, for my age, I think I am, yes.

Where would you say your entrepreneurial drive came from? 

I guess it comes from never wanting to be stood still, I always want to be moving up, pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

Do you think you’ll ever get bored of video production? 

I don’t think so, there will be times when I get burnt out or the stress gets to me, but in an industry that’s advancing so fast and has such a diverse range of projects I don’t think it’s possible to get bored. Some tasks within the job may sometimes be boring or repetitive but the industry as a whole won’t.

How would you say you’ve achieved what you have at such a young age?

Perseverance and initiative. Those two things in combination can get you anywhere.

Good answer. What are your goals for the future?

Simply to keep making movies until I am unable to make any more.

Thank you so much for your time, Matt. 

No problem.

Tom, when did you decide that you wanted to work in film? 

Year Ten, I was making sh**ty sketch videos that were getting more and more elaborate; started going over to my friends’ houses and making films, usually action videos. Then one day I just put loads of effort into a film and suddenly loads of people were interested in it.

Where would you say your entrepreneurial drive came from? 

I don’t have any. I’m bad with money. The most I’ve made from doing this is £50 from filming a wedding.

(laughter)

If that’s the case, what is it that makes you want to persevere with film? 

Well, films are very multi-disciplinary and I get excited about that. It means that I get to be involved in all sorts of other artistic mediums and seeing other people making art is very refreshing to me.

Can you see yourself working in film forever? 

I could, but I could also see myself moving into teaching or something.

How would you say that you have achieved all that you have so far?

It was confidence. I just sort of pretended I was professional and it worked.

(laughter)

What are your film-related goals for the future, then?

I would like to be able to work on a feature film in the next five years, even if I had a minor role in it.

Thanks so much for answering my questions, have you any words of advice for any aspiring film makers? 

Just bullsh*t and pretend that you’re very professional and no-one will know the wiser.

Not exactly the answer that I was looking for, but thanks anyway! 

(laughter)

Jade, what would you say it was that sparked your interest in the arts? 

I’ve always had a camera since about the age of seven but I guess I really got into photography in particular when I got interested in vintage stuff and saw the old Hollywood photographs by people like Horst P. Horst and George Hurrell, and saw the photographs of Bettie Page by Bunny Yeager and was like, ‘wow, I really want to be able to do stuff like that’. It kind of snowballed from there.

What was it that made you start posting your work online? 

If I’m completely honest, it started with me procrastinating one night and then it became a place where I could document some of my favourite creations as a kind of back-up.

Keep being honest, I love that! Where would you say that your drive to keep creating content comes from? Is it too a form of procrastination? Or something more than that?

Being creative has always been an emotional outlet for me, I guess. If I’m sad, I’ll draw or make a collage. If I need to let off steam, I’ll go out with the camera and play around. Being creative is incredibly therapeutic for me and, being a permanently stressed and sleep-deprived student, I usually have a lot to vent.

(laughter)

What do you think that you did in order to achieve your online following?

I have no idea what I did to gain my following to be honest. I just posted pretty pictures!

What are your goals for the future? 

My goals for the future include travelling a heck of a lot, documenting it all obviously, and hopefully becoming a curator at an art gallery since art is the other love of my life. Photography will aways be a huge part of my life, though!

And finally, have you any advice for an aspiring photographer? 

I’d say do a lot of research and figure out your style. Also, learn the technical stuff! It can be boring learning it, but it really helps if you can get your head around it and your photography will advance by leaps and bounds. Finally, experiment! Keep pushing yourself!

Thank you so much for answering my questions, Jade. Would it be okay for me to include one of your pieces in my article?

Sure!

 

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