Around 12 years-old, Rupert hurt his back and had a few days off school, so used this time to draw up plans for potential businesses. There’s a computer game called Runescape which had its own in-game currency, which also had value outside of the game, albeit very small. So he started trying to generate as much of this in-game currency as he could, to then sell, but realised he’d never make anything above £8 a day, so started writing e-books for people to follow which would help them generate this in-game money. Rupert had discovered other e-books with similar info, so began consolidating them, before selling them via a website he’d built. He’d run Facebook ads to market the website; someone would buy the e-book and it’d be sent to them automatically, so all he had to concentrate on was the marketing side of things and getting the work out.
Around the same time, he’d make bags of popcorn at home, take them into school and sell them to the kids in the playground because they weren’t allowed sweet snacks. Though Rupert often accept IOUs as payment, which were very rarely followed up with any cash, so he learned some serious lessons about capital and cash-flow during that period!
Rupert admittedly had a disastrous idea around 15 years-old when he tried to launch his own ‘organic’ makeup brand. He made the products himself with ingredients bought online, which didn’t turn out well, so he moved on pretty quickly from that idea!
Rupert eventually discovered Nerf guns and spotted an opportunity to rent them out for kids’ parties. This was his first venture with any real barrier to entry. He and his mum bought a load of these guns and did really well with the business.
Rupert decided a YouTube presence would be important in promoting the Nerf gun business. The idea was to advertise the fact that kids could rent them for parties, so to spread word about what they were doing, he built a channel and would make videos of them in action.
This developed over time and he began to shoot Nerf gun action movies and this really took off. After putting the videos on YouTube they went viral, with some getting millions of views. It was this that made him realise his passion for making films, so he focussed his attention on that side of things and setup Perspective Pictures from his parents' shed with £50 in his bank.
Perspective Pictures is a digital-first video agency, based in Islington, North London. Its aim is to create the most interesting and cinematic stories for brands in the digital and social age.
What started out as a YouTube channel created by a 16 year-old, has since grown into an experienced team, creating digital ads, documentaries, music videos, crowdfunding films, 360 videos, and commercial promos across the UK, Europe, North America, Asia, and North Africa for clients including Rolls Royce, Google, Sony, UFC, Island Records, Red Bull, HSBC, Brewdog, RAF and more.
Brands need to stop posting TV style video content online and expect people to engage with it. Instead they need to start working to produce more narrative-driven, well optimised and creative videos. Stop over-producing, stop ignoring the platforms, and make something rad.