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Sweet FA 2020 Winner: Matt Keen

Matt has worked tirelessly to get equal government financial support for freelancers who work as Ltd companies, and have been totally excluded by the government for the last 8 months. He set up #WeAreLtd and joined forces with #ForgottenLtd and other organisations to lobby MPs, journalists and anyone who would listen.

Juggling looking after his family whilst creating a number of online films for #WeAreLtd, he has used every connection he can to raise awareness of the plight of limited company directors. His finest hour was pulling together a remake of the famous 1997 Blackcurrant Tango ad, turning it into a tirade aimed at the UK government. The film was seen by Martin Lewis, Piers Morgan, over 100,000 others, and RT'd by Armando Ianucci and James O Brien.

We met with Matt to see how he feels about being a Sweet FA 2020 winner and to learn a little more about him.

How does it feel to be a Sweet FA 2020 winner?

It feels strange to win an award for being a freelancer in a year where there's been so little work for so many. However, I'm very grateful that the effort I've put in to #WeAreLtd has been recognised.

I'm very grateful that the effort I've put in to #WeAreLtd has been recognised.
Why did you create #WeAreLtd?

I didn't set out to create it, it was born out of a situation where the government are effectively ignoring 3 million people who have received no financial support since the pandemic started. #WeAreLtd? in work, our savings, our patience, and our ability to pay our bills.

Let's learn some more about you:

What do you do?

I’m a producer. I help make stuff happen.

How did you become a Producer?

Like most of us, working hard as a PA to 3 great producers until I was given a chance.

I love Matt, any producer with his innate creativity, energy, love for the job and can-do spirit is alright by me. Matt freelanced at RKCR between between November 2009 and May 2010. He worked on the Home Office, BBC, Bacardi, Virgin Media, Bank of Scotland and Bombay Sapphire and various pitches. On each of the above Matt added masses of value, built strong relationships with both agency and client personell and was an invaluable member of the project team. Matt has a strong sense of what’s right and wrong both creatively and morally and frequently offered up ideas proactively for the agency’s Corporate Social Responsibility program. Matt would be a valuable addition to any business in which he could use his skills.
Damon Collins, Founder, Joint London
How long have you been freelancing?

16 years.

Why did you decide to go freelance?

I didn't really. At the time, there was no other option but to go it alone.

What's the best thing about freelancing?

The variety of agencies, colleagues, and projects.

What's the hardest thing about freelancing?

You're either working, or looking for work. That can be tiring. Being the new biz person, account manager, IT helpdesk, finance dept and producer on top of all those roles.

What's one thing no one ever told you about freelancing you wished you'd known at the beginning?

Set up a PAYE scheme if you're registered as a LTD Co. Otherwise the government will ignore you for 9 months when yo need them most in a global pandemic.

How has YJ helped you as a freelancer?

It just makes invoicing and being paid so simple.

Can you tell me about a project you're proud to have worked on?

I don't think anything I've worked on professionally has come close to the work I've done on #WeAreLtd. I've spoken to people I never thought I'd speak to, made friends with people I've never met, and had the hardest conversations with people who have been hit by this situation. I know several people in their late 30s who have had to move back with their parents, or in to a friend's spare room. The impact on mental health cannot be underestimated.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to become a Producer?

Be honest, fair and organised. Ask questions. Be a sponge and absorb as much film, music and art as you can.

If a client was reading this, why should they hire you?

Track record. References. Experience.

Mr Matt Keen is a one-off. To badge this bloke a 'TV Producer' or 'Advertising Creative' wouldn't begin to do justice to his abilities. Matt has hurled ideas around all corners of TBWA for 5 years now. He's organised monthly reel screenings for the creative department, directed promos, single handedly steered the good ship News International and orchestrated a 17 minute shoot day with myself and David Beckham in Madrid. You can rely on Matt. Not just to have ideas, but to GET THINGS DONE. If he says it will happen, it will happen. It will be on budget and it will look terrific. Snap him up now. Before some undeserving bastard does.
Trevor Beattie, Founder, BMB

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Meet Matt

Having worked for 30+ agencies at home and abroad, most of Matt’s work is ‘Moving Image'. He’s worked on most types of projects in his career: Live action, animation, DOOH, Online films, Building Projections, Events, Stills, Motion Graphics, Digital banners and Sponsorship bumpers. On top of that he has also done loads of radio, music production and negotiation, as well as audio production.

Although most of my work is ‘Moving Image' I’ve worked on most types of projects in my career: Live action, animation, DOOH, Online films, Building Projections, Events, Stills, Motion Graphics, Digital banners and Sponsorship bumpers. On top of that I’ve also done loads of radio, music production and negotiation, audio production. Budgets and schedules both ‘challenging' and more generous. Have worked for 30+ agencies at home and abroad.

Matt Keen, Freelance Producer
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