When NO means yes!

In this special segment with STW, we meet some incredible dreamers, who decided they did not just want to sit around and wait for something to happen to them, but took matters into their own hands. It’s not easy following a passion, it comes with a lot of risk and sacrifice. We hear from some folks, about what makes this all worth it. We speak to young entrepreneurs and seasoned professionals, who made a brave decision to solve a problem. Read on for this ‘Ode to Entrepreneurs’.

In conversation with Matthew Johny, a 20 year old, Bangalore bred, management student, not unlike you and me. He’s a travel and movie buff among other things. He also founded and runs Sleepwalkers –  a visual media firm primarily also involved in brand development and social media marketing. Again, he’s only 20.

How’d this all start Matthew?

From as far long back I can remember I wanted to make movies, because I honestly think our mainstream sensibilities are unintentionally funny. Movies are more than entertainment, they’re stories. Stories that inspire and liberate us. Stories like the one’s that I grew up on; that made me want to be more! Stories that I hope, to bring to the cinemas one day.

So it all started almost a year and a half back. Over old monk and smokes.

Placements had just started coming in and with a summer internship, I looked forward to having a pretty screwed up life ahead of me. I sat with a friend; who was kind enough to light another one.We were the few who were always restless. Very restless. The middle class.

We had tried a few times, together and otherwise to start something on our own. Lets just say the corporate rat race wasn’t for us.

So as we sat there, a little buzzed. I told them about how I wanted to be a film maker, not something I’m usually vocal about.

*Alex’s reaction stunned me, he always had tremendous faith in me, now when I look back I might have never taken the plunge if it weren’t for him.

He said, ‘go for it, don’t think; just go for it.’

And that’s exactly what I did.

There was no business plan. no planning, no strategy.

I worked at an event management company, worked at 13th floor for a bit, a few more odd jobs and an investment from another friend and that was it.

I bought a good camera, other equipment, gathered a few friends and made my first short movie.

The day we put it up on YouTube, we decided to celebrate with the entire crew. More old monk and smokes later, I got a call.

It was an old friend, he said his brother wanted to talk to me. It was our first job offer! It hadn’t even been 24 hours since we put up our first video.

Till then I was just a boy living out a childhood fantasy but now we all realized it was something more.

The next day the 6 of us took oath in a small office we set ourselves up with and started work. We haven’t looked back since.

We’ve worked with schools, colleges and even corporates, recently working for emudra and Puma India. We put all the money back in, to make two more shorts and are keen on making a full fledged indie soon.

All of this between college, assignments and the occasional club hopping.

This might not be a great story or this might not be a million dollar business but when I graduate in 3 months, I’ll turn down a corporate house (much to the dismay of my parents, they still don’t know much of the story)  to work with my best friends, doing what we love the most. Making movies.

About Sleepwalkers– a visual media firm recently involved with brand development and social media marketing. In less than a year, they have considerable amount of experience with documentaries, B2B product videos, full fledged marketing campaigns, advertisements and  a T.V commercial. All of the people on the team are still undergrads, which makes it even more harder to rope in clients, but once they do, they try to do the best work at almost half the price normal production houses do.

The team – Varun kumar is the director of photography and the visual effects go-to-guy. Aditya Shanmugham is the production manger, the ‘yes’ man and always helps fine tune all the scripts, concepts and doesn’t hesitate to rip them apart if they are no good. *Alex is the HR person. He helps find them the additional hands a. Alex is also a model and a familiar face in most of the ads they shoot.

STW wishes team Sleepwalkers the best on their journey ahead! You’re doing a great job! A real inspiration for someone so young!


About Shruti Bharath

Social entrepreneur and developmental writer, passionate about creating workable solutions in the areas of improving employability of youth and women through skill enhancement/training and generation of productive and sustainable employment opportunities.

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