Mathias owns a digital media company called Edopro and enjoys the variety of work it gives him
How did you become self-employed?
Before embarking on my MA in moving image: film, video and interactive arts, I was self-employed producing corporate videos and designing website and graphics for educational use, charities, and small businesses. I also taught a variety of digital media courses like website design, 3D modeling and video production.
After graduation I felt I needed to work for myself again but this time as a limited company. I developed a business plan from which I set up my company.
Research and talk to people in the field, develop a plan and set clear goals and objectives
Is your degree relevant to your work?
I knew how to film and edit before taking the MA course but during the training I realized that it's not just the technical skills that are needed to fully equip myself for a great future career. I have learnt a lot of skills that I currently use in my business.
Apart from my degree I took other training courses in areas like website development, graphic design, 3D modeling and business.
What are your main work activities?
My work is varied; some days I'm filming or teaching, while on other days I work from home, meet clients or work onsite. I usually start early and check through emails and if anything needs an immediate response I do that otherwise I'll leave it for later.
I make a list of jobs that I need to do in the day focusing on the priorities first than work down the list. I get to do everything from start to delivery. I collect and edit pictures for websites, plan and design websites for new clients, code an application, script a video or plan a shoot. Sometimes I only work on video editing and some days I do only website design.
How do you use your film degree on a daily basis?
I have learnt how to critically analyse and critique my own work and that of others, and how to create work that pushes against the conventional boundaries. I have developed advanced production and research skills. The degree has boosted my confidence enormously.
What do you enjoy about running your own business?
I like the variety of work I do and having the freedom to explore new areas. I enjoy being able to teach in a college or carry out private tuition in areas such as website design, animation, graphic design, digital imaging, video production or 3D modelling. I like being able to move from this to shooting a video or editing/creating a website or app.
What are the most challenging parts of having your own business?
You have to do everything when you are running a business and it requires a lot of energy and determination. This affects the amount of time you can spend with your family and friends. As I do a variety of jobs, sometimes it can be difficult to fit them all together. From time to time I will receive a call to come and teach but at the same time I have a conference to film and I have to make tough decisions.
Where do you hope to be in five years?
I'd like to have an office in London and hire staff. In the future I'm planning to open a film school and a digital media training centre in Togo (West Africa) where I'm from.
Any advice for someone wanting to start their own business?
I truly believe that you have to be 100% passionate with what it is you want to start because there are going to be issues, some big and some small and you have to be prepared to face them.
Research and talk to people in the field, develop a plan and set clear goals and objectives. What has kept me going is knowing that my business deserves to exist and there are lots of services I can offer. If taking a job will help you finance yourself to start with go for it. Believe in yourself and then go ahead and make it happen.