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30 UNDER 30: Matt Dennison, filmmaker
High School: J.N. Burnett
The first time Matt Dennison and fellow YouTube star Jason Lucas were featured in The Richmond Review they had 300 subscribers. Now they have 130,000.
The comedy pair behind IFHT (I F*cking Hate That) started their YouTube channel out of boredom, and never expected to be taking it seriously. They do now.
Their online sketches, parodies and music videos have attracted 26.2 million views, including 10.2 million videos for a single video that plays off a video game.
A lifelong Richmond resident, Dennison always knew he wanted to have a job that allowed him to express his “addiction to creativity.” He was drawn to photography and film in his late teens and a year out of high school was able to call himself a professional filmmaker.
Dennison is a videographer for the North Shore Mountain Biking website, and also does freelance work. But he has the most fun shooting YouTube projects, where he and Lucas let their knack for comedy and creativity run wild while entertaining millions of viewers.
The Burnett grad aims to get involved in other video projects, and make another 10-million-plus-hit YouTube video. It should be funny.
Inspiration? “Anything and everything inspires me. Even knowing that I have the potential to inspire others inspires me. I remember one day while looking in the fridge, my girlfriend joked about putting a food item down my pants, which led me to create a video two months later.”
Most proud of? “I am proud of having success in both fields of my filmmaking career. On the freelance side, I have managed to make a name for myself, travel to cool places, have my work featured on national TV and meet fantastic people who I continue to work with on a regular basis. On the YouTube side of things we have managed to build a large audience and acquire unexpected amounts of attention...”
Advice? “For any aspiring young filmmakers my advice is always to pick up whatever camera you own and shoot a video… For the aspiring YouTubers out there, I advise you to be original, stay persistent and take risks. It’s not an easy task to build a successful YouTube audience. It has taken us four years to get where we are… If none of those things are working for you, try being nice to people.”