Jared Lee, Director and Executive Producer of Grim Film

It’s easy to take for granted the amazing technology that sits at our fingertips these days, but occasionally you hear stories like Jarad’s that show just what can happen when you combine creativity with technology.
What’s your story?
Raised by a single mom in a hair salon. Never realized my love for filmmaking till I was 22. When I graduated, I entered an event company and worked as a storyboard artist on the side. There was this one script which I wrote back in 2011 and I really wanted to see it made into a short film so I gathered a team to make it happen. Without much thought, we uploaded it on YouTube under the channel called “Grim Film” and it went viral, it currently has 1.6 million views. From there, calls started pouring in, and I saw it as an opportunity to do what I love. I took a leap of faith, left my full time job and started a production house which turned 3 this year. We’ve been truly blessed throughout this journey.
What excites you most about your industry?
The exciting part is that despite the many production houses around, everyone is not selfish as to keep information and knowledge to themselves, we help each other when we can and I think that’s amazing because we grow faster this way too.
What’s your connection to Asia?
We’ve traveled around to shoot client based and non client based videos, besides that we have friends out of Malaysia who does the same thing which we stay connected with. Our primary viewers on our YouTube channel are mainly from the Philippines, Malaysia & Singapore.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Tokyo. The structure of their buildings, their culture and food is amazing. Not to mention the Japanese are perfectionists when it comes to what they do which is a big plus point in our industry.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Set a target every year of many jobs to take in. Because if we constantly take in jobs, we’ll have less time to do what we love and that’ll kill the passion for filmmaking. So a good balance between clients and non clients will do the trick.
Who inspires you?
My mom. She single handedly raised 2 kids, my brother and I. Plus her life itself is an inspiration. Not many had it as tough I believe and one day I’ll show her story to the world through the big screen.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Christopher Nolan’s latest movie: Interstellar blew me away. I learn that there’s never a limit to scriptwriting and storytelling.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would’ve managed my staff, co-workers and clients better. The tough part was entering the industry with no knowledge at all so we had to make a lot of mistakes to learn.
How do you unwind?
Jamming with the band, travel and if time does not permit, just some time alone with a hot cup of tea in a quiet place.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali. Amazing villas, food, breath taking views and massages.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.
Shameless plug for your business:
You can watch our short films at www.WeAreGrimFilm.com
How can people connect with you?
They can reach me via email: Jared@WeAreGrimFilm.com

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing has started, built, bought and sold half a dozen businesses in a range of industries across two continents. He is the owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 11 countries and he is also the CEO of Entrevo Asia, a company that runs 40 week Growth Accelerator programs.
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