“My Truro School education and the people I met, certainly shaped me into who I am today. It was not just the academic learning but the wider experiences which helped determine my career path. I definitely wouldn’t be doing what I love and the career I have chosen without the experiences provided by the school.”
Matt attended Truro School with his younger sister Cerys Pitman CO18. His real passion while at Truro School was the time spent in the Burrell Theatre with Swen Kearey CO02 (TS Technical Resources Manager) and the tech team.
“Whether it was working on the charity concerts, drama productions, or my GCSE interactive art piece, it was always a great experience learning skills from Swen and the team. I spent countless hours (more than I care to admit) in the Burrell and in the outside broadcast truck. Their guidance and creativity are something I’ll always remember and be grateful for.”
The skills and experiences Matt gained from working alongside the Burrell crew solidified his desire to become a Videographer. His love of photography became his passion, and he knew for certain this would be his career focus. Whilst in Sixth Form, Matt became familiar with the work of a leading global marketing agency ‘Social Chain’ and approached them about job opportunities. Social Chain offered Matt a job and the day after his final A-level exam, he moved to Manchester, starting work just two days later.
“I feel incredibly lucky, as the things I enjoy most, photography, video and eating! etc, have become my ‘work.’ One of my first jobs, when I moved to Manchester, was filming food for restaurant PR agencies. I was introduced to a lot of the best restaurants and fortunate enough to be able to try their great food. “
His next job was with an agency called Clokkemaker where he became, Head of Video, splitting his time between Manchester, London and travelling to exotic places for film shoots before going freelance at the start of 2020.
As the effects of the pandemic impacted early in 2020, Matt found himself returning from a documentary shoot in the Maldives. Having been away from the news, he was unprepared for the sudden changes which had been implemented in the UK. As the rest of the UK’s creative industry came to a virtual standstill, Matt naturally had huge concerns about how this would affect his own operation. Fortunately, due to some returning clients and retainers he managed to keep going through lockdown. Then in September of 2020 Matt was approached by a couple of his old team members from his earlier days at Social Chain. This presented him with an exciting opportunity, and they travelled to Iceland to join a team of four other creatives, working on a live DJ set with Grammy nominated artist ‘Meduza.’
During the four years since leaving Truro School Matt devoted his time to perfecting his art as a videographer and photographer with the aspiration of one day starting his own creative agency. So, when the Iceland project came to an end and the five-strong team of friends returned to the UK, they realised they had bonded well as a creative team and began to explore the idea of starting their own agency. It was an opportunity Matt felt ‘too good to miss’ and a new creative production agency; JAMZ was born. Together the group have experience in producing award-winning campaigns in over 31 countries around the world.
Within a month of launching, the team Matt, Josh, Jodie, Alex and Zac, boarded a flight to Italy to work on Meduza’s latest music video ‘Paradise’ before creating a live broadcast for ‘Live Nation,’ ‘Twitch’ and ‘Universal Music’ from the heart of San Marino – all this whilst Europe was in the midst of a pandemic.
“After the devastating effects and uncertainty of 2020, it has been so great that the end of the year brought this fantastic opportunity. Co-founding an agency with four of my best mates is such a wonderful opportunity for us all and to land some of the biggest names in music and entertainment for our first client bodes well for us. We have had some great feedback and potential clients have been in contact since so, overall, it is shaping up to be an extremely exciting year! All members of the team are familiar with world travel and work is still readily available, so we have been fortunate that we have still been able to still travel for work purposes under the current governments COVID guidelines”.
Over the last few years Matt regularly visited Cornwall often to visit family or for friends’ weddings.
“I always look forward to coming back and whenever time allows, I drop by to see my old friends in the Burrell Theatre. I have also been part of the Truro School Connected initiative, giving a few ‘Industry Talks’ to Sixth Form students for Mrs Kenward!”
Matt had planned to visit Truro School in March 2020, specifically giving up his time to deliver a break-out session at the Truro School Connected Careers Convention. Sadly, the event was cancelled due to the first COVID lockdown. But we very much look forward to welcoming Matt back in 2022 when we reschedule the Careers Convention.
Matts projects are now taking him all over the world yet his found he still had a yearning to return to Cornwall and the familiar ‘home’ comforts it provides. At the beginning of 2021 he made the decision to make his base back in Cornwall as it means a great deal to be close to friends and family.
“Maintaining contacts with my roots is important to me. My time at Truro School and the experiences afforded me, helped to build a career from my passions. Social skills and other life lessons learnt during my time at school have all helped me progress in life. If I had not spent all that time in the Burrell, I may have never picked up a camera and not ended up where I am now.
Having a solid network to call upon is really important. When I worked in Manchester and London, I managed to connect with fellow Old Truronians, people I wasn’t necessarily close with during my time at school, but sharing a common bond is always helpful and it meant I have a ‘ready-made’ group of friends to hang out with whenever we find ourselves in the same area.”
Matt explains that although the last few years since leaving Truro School have flown by, there is one occasion in his career which will remain with him for many years to come, when he attended and worked on the Gumball 3000 rally in 2019. (The Gumball 3000 founded in 1999 by British entrepreneur Maximillion Cooper, is a collection of companies that includes an apparel brand, a registered charity, and is best known for an annual 3,000-mile international celebrity motor rally, which takes place on public roads. The name comes from the 1976 movie The Gumball Rally.)
“As a child I had Top Trumps cards, so I had always dreamed of going on the rally, but to get to spend 10 days working alongside some incredibly talented creators, filming one of the maddest things ever, was just a surreal experience. Also, with David Hasselhoff reposting some of the content we made on that trip, was the icing on the cake!”
Career advice for anyone considering a similar path.
“Networking is really important. A lot of my work comes from recommendations and referrals from restaurants I worked with over two years ago. Qualifications are important but putting yourself and your creations out into the world and speaking to people will give you far more value than any piece of paper. No one’s ever asked for my GCSE’s, A-Levels or DofE, but naturally I am glad to have them to fall back on should I ever need them. Having said that things like DofE undoubtedly helped to develop my social skills. Never underestimate the value of networking and contacts”.
What is the attraction of your industry?
I have had the pleasure of working on a wide variety of projects, from, social content production through to music videos and broadcast journalism, with some of the world’s largest brands, including Nokia and Superdry. I am passionate about my work. For some clients it will be going away for a week and shooting a whole plethora of things while other clients may just want a couple of images for a product release. That variation is what helps keep it interesting – there is always something new on the horizon”.
And what does the future hold for Matt Pitman?
“Immediate plans are to enjoy the team I am working with to continue to grow JAMZ, bringing in some exciting clients. Continuing to innovate and push the boundaries within our creative industry. The first few months since we launched JAMZ have been great, now it’s all about keeping the momentum going, with COVID starting to lift and the world reopening we have some exciting projects coming up and we cannot wait!”
Everyone at Truro School wishes Matt and his colleagues great success with their new venture and we look forward to regular updates.
If you or your business need the help of a creative agency, why not try JAMZ: www.jamzcreative.com (And please let them know you learnt about them here!)