They’re the unlikely sketch comedy team that’s stormed Instagram feeds across Australia. Now, The Inspired Unemployed have kicked off their most ambitious project yet – serving as guest choreographers for The Iconic’s virtual Runway Everywhere show.
“We’re still like, ‘When are we going to wake up?’” said Jack Steele, one half of the on-screen duo.
“We’re still just trying to wrap our heads around what’s going on,” added Matt Ford. “It’s fun, but.”
Ahead of the show, which will see their high-energy Australiana collide with modelling talent like Georgia Fowler, Charlee Fraser and Samantha Harris, PEDESTRIAN.TV spoke with The Inspired Unemployed to find out how they even got here – and how you can learn from their journey to social media megastardom.
Just go for it
Don’t wait for a sign. Don’t hold off until you have any kind of technical mastery. For the Inspired Unemployed, the first step is to just take the first step.
“Just do it and keep doing it,” Ford said. “We didn’t know what we were doing and it worked out. We just started making videos because we liked doing it, and we kept doing it.”
The former tradie said the pair haven’t been to film school and had no prior experience in editing. These days, viewers want to know who’s behind the slick cuts and all of those smooth iPhone zooms (hint: it’s them).
“Just be persistent about it,” Steele said. “Very persistent about it.”
Steele said their electrician mate – a member of the broader Inspired Unemployed family – decided to give camerawork a crack over the past few months. Smash cut to today, and he’s filming pro videos for companies around town.
“It was like a side hustle that’s fallen into a proper career,” Steele said.
“You’ve just got to fail a heap, that’s how we got good – just by being shit,” he added.
Nearly 750,000 Instagram followers would disagree with the idea their videos are shit, but the point stands: take the shot, no matter how farfetched it might seem.
Get ready to work
To paraphrase the great British poet Chris Martin, nobody said it was easy. Chasing your creative dreams doesn’t necessarily mean you get to put the tools down – only that the tools look a little bit different.
“We’re just so busy, hey?” Steele said.
“We work way harder than what we used to, a lot of editing and stuff. [Writing scripts] is like building a house in your head. We do one-minute videos that take half a day to film and editing takes forever… It’s very different getting in that kind of groove.”
“It’s like a three-day process, and then you need to do two or three a week,” Ford said.
And when your profile is finally big enough to attract collaborators and creative partners? Get ready to work even harder, baby.
“Then there’s brand stuff that’s coming in that you’re trying to work out,” Ford said. “Shooting so many edits, back and forward.”
Be willing to give anything a crack, but hold on to your goals
The fellas are open about their enthusiasm to give anything a crack, hence their team-up with The Iconic – and earlier work with brands like Fendi and Louis Vuitton.
“It’s insane, how do you fall into a fashion role when you’re a tradie?” Steele asked. “We’re filming skits, and all of the sudden we’re falling into the fashion world,” Ford added.
That doesn’t mean you should stick with any and everything that comes your way, though.
While countless creatives are forming podcasts to boost their reach, the pair only dabbled with the medium before realising on-camera work was more their speed.
“We are trying to be smart and strategic about the long term and longevity,” Steele said.
If only there were some way to combine the visual bliss of sketch comedy with the episodic nature of podcasts…
“We’ve had little talks with different production companies [about a TV project]”, Ford said.
Steele said there are no solid plans yet, and the pair remain pretty grounded about the odds of it developing any further.
“But that would be the kind of goal,” Ford said.
Know when to say ‘yeah, nah’
Let’s say the dream has come true, and you’re the proud owner of a thriving creative endeavour. A brand comes knocking at your DMs, asking for a collaboration on some sweet, sweet content.
But there’s a catch. They’re asking for a lot. Their vision is entirely different. Put simply, the vibes are entirely off. What do you do?
“You always need to keep pulling yourself back into line, to stay true to yourself,” Steele said.
“It’s very hard when you’re working with a brand because you can easily get persuaded about guidelines and mandatories and it changes your vision, and that’s kind of your authenticity going,” he added.
It’s a candid admission from a duo, who occupy a space most real-deal influencers can only dream of. Still, Ford reckons pushing back is often the best policy.
“We do heaps of stuff then we just pull the pin, like, ‘We’re not happy with it, let’s not post it,’” he said.
“They’re only minor things, but it still changes the entire piece of content, and you’re just like, ‘we’re not happy enough to post it, so let’s call it.’”
Are the guys stoked on The Iconic project, then?
“They were literally one of the funnest teams, probably the best campaign we’ve done, I reckon,” Steele said.
“Probably one of our favourite videos, not even kidding.”
You can check out The Inspired Unemployed’s work on The Iconic’s Runway Everywhere right here, kicking off at 8pm tonight.
If that doesn’t convince you to take a punt at your big creative project, I’m not sure what will.