Entrepreneurship can be a difficult task for anyone starting out. The beginnings of any business can be so overwhelming that many companies don’t get past the drawing board. Starting a business in entertainment or the creative arts arena often adds another layer of challenges. Creatives leave a piece of themselves in their work, and harsh criticism can dash dreams quickly, but encouragement can bring forth masterpieces. Being a young entrepreneur in the arts, well, that’s the trifecta; often, our youth can be considered inexperienced and naïve. Many think that because they’re young, they lack focus and follow through and that they’ll most likely get bored and move on to something else. However, our young generations keep surprising us with bright, tenacious, creative young minds who are determined to prove that passion and elbow grease anything is possible. This month, Up & Coming Online sat down with entrepreneurs Carson Bennett, Carrington Bennett, and Cameron Davis; the three young men behind C&C Teen Hollywood Film Festival.
Now going on its fourth year, C&C Teen Hollywood Film Festival is a Los Angeles based festival which provides teens an opportunity to showcase their work in film, allowing young entrepreneurs opportunities to hone their skills as aspiring businessmen and women.” Twin brothers Carson and Carrington Bennett founded the film festival at the age of 14 when they were encouraged by their parents to start their own business. Cameron’s involvement in the festival began as a team member. However, his dedicated work ethic drove the boys to bring him on as a partner.
This hard-working trio all started out in the creative arts at a very young age. Carrington worked as a child actor, and though he enjoyed being in front of the camera, he found that he wanted a little more control over his work hours. The transition to owning his own company and film festival allowed that. Carson’s first love was photography, and he envisioned a future as a cinematographer. Cameron started by creating comic books where he would draw the characters and create their stories. Though all their artistic endeavors were different, they set the scene for being successful in the film industry. “The three of us have been friends since 5th grade and by doing Youtube, and having fun with our channels, would eventually find our way into creating skits together, then on to film.”
What these three have accomplished is admirable, and their passion for their careers show. Their film festival gives young filmmakers a platform to showcase their writing, producing, directing and editing skills. When approaching their profession, they explained to us the importance of remaining open, driven and maintaining the quality of quality work. Through the creation of this festival, they’ve not only begun a business they can grow but have also found a way to help other like-minded creatives. “It’s exciting to see people feel joy when they watch their films or be acknowledged for a job well done. Creating this film festival gives us an opportunity to be a part of something that allows others, and us a chance to express ourselves. Having a short film viewed on a big screen and nominated for an award is just a dream for many. In creating this festival, it gives teens the opportunity to experience a fun night to share their hard work, and night about films by teens, designed for them to celebrate their efforts.
To take on an undertaking such as beginning a film festival and production company it takes inspiration and support. When asked where they find their motivation to continue in their work, all three credit their parents. Carrington and Carson mentioned the values their parents have instilled in them that help to keep them on the right path. They’ve encouraged them every step of the way with words like “How you do anything, is how you do everything, so always aim to be your best version of yourself.” Cameron mentioned how his parents back him in everything he does and how they “even make sacrifices to make sure I have what is needed to bring my dream to reality.”
Like all business owners, there have been roadblocks to work around. These young men have found the importance in listening to the advice of others while maintaining control of their vision and their end goal. Their suggestions to others who may come across difficulties in pursuit of their goals are to “Do your research, see how others who are doing what you are setting out to have done it. Continue to work hard and don’t give up as soon as you hit a challenge or roadblock. Do your best to make smart moves. People always say that if you keep working, good things will come. But working smart has benefited us, and we believe it will do so in the long run.”
What’s up and coming for Carson, Carrington, and Cameron? They’re preparing for the Fourth Annual C&C Teen Hollywood Film Festival held at Raleigh Studios on November 11th. Their production company, Cloud Cinematics is also a primary goal to continue productions that will follow and exceed their current accolades under their Cloud Cinematics umbrella. Their short films are selections at the “Los Angeles Film Festival,” “HollyShorts, Albany Film Festival just to name a few. With the next big project, shooting a full-length feature film on the launching pad. These gentlemen have taken great strides in a few short years in business. We can only imagine what their drive, energy, and creativity will bring to the screen next.
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