If you do not already know Grim Film, at some point you would have come across this guy with long(er) hair who never fails to make people laugh on YouTube. His name is Jared Lee, the founder of Grim Film. And this is his story.
Jared is the boy who was raised by a single mom, (and his loving step dad came into their lives when he was 7). 4 of them (his mom, step dad, brother and Jared) lived in a cozy hair salon called Geena Salon in Subang Jaya. Jared’s mom is a hairdresser and the salon is hers, which explains them living in there. They were not very well off but they had enough and they were happy as a family.
Jared was the boy who got bullied in school and no one believed in what he does but that never stopped him from the dream chase. He almost failed SPM. And his mom wanted him to take over the hair business. He gave it a try for 1 year but he really (REALLY) did not like it. Jared and his mom were not on talking terms when he told her that he wanted to do something else. They argued, and they were disconnected for about 3 months. Jared gathered funds from a relative to do Mass Comm and it was in college he discovered his love for film making.
The Birth of Grim Film
After graduated, Jared worked full time in an event company while juggling between a rock band and freelancing as a storyboard artist. He has always loved making films/concept videos and one day he wrote a script titled “The Long Distance Relationship”. It was one of those scripts which he knew he had to make happen no matter what. Thus, in between work and all, he got a few friends together to make the short film in which he sent in for a short film competition.
After the short film was produced, Jared also uploaded it on YouTube JUST for feedback. The next day, the short film went up to 10,000 views and then 70,000 views within the week. It now has 2 million views on YouTube. When the views started climbing, calls started coming in, whether it was interviews, video jobs or feature film opportunities. He saw it as a door to start something of his own. To start doing what he loves as his full time job. That’s when he took a leap of faith and Grim Film happened.
The Journey of Grim Film
After Grim Film was founded in 2011, it wasn’t easy at all despite getting calls for video jobs. There were many times when he thought they had to close down. According to Jared, the first 2 years were the hardest.
“I wished I had someone to speak to about running a company especially a production house and how to go about running a YouTube channel. We also did not have the experience in dealing with people in the industry.” Jared told TallyPress.
During the journey of starting up, Jared had to constantly come up with ideas and produce videos with no budget weekly for the channel while handling client jobs or commercials. As time went by, all these efforts proved salient when subscribers on its YouTube channel grew.
Grim Film Today
Today, Grim Film has grown beyond just Jared himself. With the support from its team later on, Grim Film now has garnered more than 110,000 subscribers on its YouTube channel and the number is growing. Its audiences are mainly 18 - 35 years old and besides from Malaysia, it has subscribers from Philippines, Singapore & United States too.
Beyond YouTube channel, Grim Film is also an award-winning production house that makes films, commercials and anything video related from event coverage to travel videos and animation. Some of Grim Film’s achievements so far are:
- -Top 10 finalist of BMW Shorties 2011 (The Long Distance Relationship)
- -Invited to screen 'The Long Distance Relationship' at Germany's 58th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.
- -Top 10 finalist of BMW Shorties 2012 (Sincerely, The End.)
- - 'You Are Loved' Top 10 in Palo Alto International Film Festival California, US.
- -Invited to screen 'The Long Distance Relationship' at America's Soul 4 Reel International Film Festival 2013.
- -'The Long Distance Relationship' won Best Drama at America's Soul 4 Reel International Film Festival 2013.
- - Prestige's Malaysia Top 40 Under 40 award
- - Nominated for NewMan's Creative Pioneer Awards 2014
- - 1st Runner Up for the Astro Sundance 2014 Film Competition
- - Bronze Kancil Award under Film Craft category for Digi's World's Best Referee web film.
- - Awarded YouTube Silver Play button for hitting the 100K subscribers mark.
“It was alot of learning from mistakes and experiences which cost me too much. I am very thankful that now I have nice people on the team and the company is in a much better place.” Jared told TallyPress.
Moving forward, Jared would like to have the company run on its own and to be able to make their own content which will provide the main income instead of relying too much on commercials. Next up, Jared would like to produce a feature film in which concept was ready since 4 years ago. And eventually more, Jared is planning to continue studying in a film school (as he never had proper film study before).
When asked what else he would like to share, Jared said he would like to express his sincere gratitude to those who have supported him along the way and those who still does. Grim Film would not be where it is today without the opportunity given, said Jared.
Besides awesome short films such as “The Long Distance Relationship”, “You Are Loved”, “B Mine, Would You”, to name a few, Grim Film still continues to cheer you up with many interesting and #velinai videos on its YouTube channel every week. You'll not regret subscribing to its channel at www.youtube.com/TheGrimFilm. Do not forget to check out its Facebook page at GRIM FILM too.