The Badge of an Original: Q&A with Will Sutton

The Badge of an Original: Q&A with Will Sutton

badge of an original - will sutton
ss19

In celebration of our spring summer 19 Barbour International collection, our black and yellow roundel, and everything it represents, we will be meeting a series of originals who are pushing the boundaries in their lives; whether that’s through carving their own path in their respective careers, or following their passions, despite the odds. Next up, we meet Will Sutton, known for filmmaking and free-running.

His journey...

I have always been interested in cameras as I grew up. Then at the age of 13 (14 years ago) I found free running with a friend. Since day 1 of training I was filming everything, I started uploading our videos onto Youtube when that first came around and after a while I started to get some attention. People and companies started asking me to make videos for them. At the age of 22, I decided to put all my gear in my car and travel to England to further my career in what I loved, free running and film making. After years of hard work I eventually made enough contacts around London that I can now do what I love. At first I was training hard to be an athlete, then when I got an injury I was training hard to be a camera operator. Eventually I connected both of these passions together and began a team called Stunt Camera Crew. 

Creative process...

I have always wanted to push boundaries that no one has entered before. This drives me to keep pushing for creating new ideas. Also, making it my career I get to spend most of my days pushing it further. Since the beginning I was inspired by tons of people but as of now, I don’t really have any inspirations.

Work experience...

The first commercial work (non paid) I did was probably around 13 years ago where me and some friends in the Wirral, done some content for Converse and a magazine. Also another was when Channel 4 recorded me and some friends teaching some celebrities Parkour for a new challenge they were doing called Red Bull Rivals. 

The first paid commercial work I did was probably at the age of 19 or so when I was in a free running commercial for a new Nokia phone, all shot on the phone itself.


Achievements...

One of my proudest personal achievements is the video I created of myself to get my name out there to find work called ‘Will Sutton Reel 2010’. Now looking back on this video, I realised how dedicated and passionate I was. I had a very specific goal of landing certain moves and creating this showreel of my highest level tricks all in one video. I worked hard every single day and whenever there was sun outside, I would make the most of it. I cant believe how much I pushed for it and made it happen and never let anything get in the way. Also, this video is what got me noticed at first and I began to get invited to all sorts around the world like Red Bull competitions, Flown in for free running events and even work as an athlete and film maker.


Inspirations...

The one thing that drove me to create was hanging around with the right people. All my friends I grew up with all had the same drive as me and all wanted to do the same thing. So this really pushed us all to do what we wanted. Now I am older I realise how precious it is the have like minded people around you as its the biggest motivation for me.

Forging his path...

Ever since I began free running and camera work, I knew I wanted to live my whole life doing both of these as my career. It was hard at first but I was determined this is what will make me happy. I had no choice but to push for it and work hard otherwise I would feel I failed.

 



You have quite a unique lifestyle as opposed to a more traditional job or way of making a living – why did you choose to forge a path in something different?
I love the freedom to be creative in any way that I want – to have the control over a story, and to choose what is important for me and my team to work on. I also love being able to work so closely with a team, some of whom have become really close friends. My path developed so naturally and slowly over a decade – it would feel strange not to have a space where I could explore my own ideas.

Did any elements of your upbringing or later cultural moments, communities, travel – drive you to create. Do any of these things inspire you now?
My mother is an incredibly creative women, and she always encouraged me being creative in absolutely any way. She taught me that expressing yourself through art, and exploring your creativity is just as important as being book smart. I hold onto that message now, and it taught me how a story (real or fictional) can touch someone, and help them.

You have quite a unique lifestyle as opposed to a more traditional job or way of making a living – why did you choose to forge a path in something different?
I love the freedom to be creative in any way that I want – to have the control over a story, and to choose what is important for me and my team to work on. I also love being able to work so closely with a team, some of whom have become really close friends. My path developed so naturally and slowly over a decade – it would feel strange not to have a space where I could explore my own ideas.



Being an original...

It used to be I was creating pretty much every day when I was younger, I was able to do that then. But as you get older and you need to work, it gets a bit harder to do every day. I was still pushing to create as much as I possibly could as I knew this would eventually send me through the right path where I needed to go. I keep my work original by experimenting with new ideas not seen before and bringing my two passions together. 

How he works...

Follow the trends of the disciplines. Whenever a new bit of kit is released, ideas flow to mind instantly and I try hard to get hold of it. This keeps me at the forefront of new ideas and pushes for opportunites.

Pioneers in the discipline...

Some of the pioneers in free running for me when I started were Cyril Raffielli and David Belle (one of the founders of parkour). There were some others too in other disciplines like Tony Jaa who is a fighter and Director Danny Boyle as I loved his films. Today there aren’t many people who inspire me like they used to when I was younger. It’s more now that I appreciate a lot of hard work that goes into passions. I get inspired by the dedication and motivation some people can hold as I know how difficult it is to keep motivated sometimes as I get older. 

Staying motivated...

I get motivation from my work when I progress. If I feel I am progressing and learning, it keeps pushing me. If I feel I am not progressing, it destroys my motivation and I have to take a break and think.

Advice to someone starting out...

Surround yourself with like-minded people as this is one of the MOST important things for me. Don’t let anyone bring you down and say you can’t achieve because you definitely can, people tend to bring others down because they don’t see the path you have already seen to each the goal. Motivation is key to creating, do what it takes to keep you motivated as you will need to keep creating to achieve your goals. Never give up on it even if you feel like you are failing, just take a step back and think what is killing your creativity and how you can fix it. I have seen so many incredible people with potential, stop doing what they love because something got in the way. Don’t let anything get in the way of your goals.

Remaining original...

Don’t copy others. Take inspiration instead and do it in YOUR own way. This will keep you original and innovate new paths for yourself. It will also inspire other people to take their own path rather than follow another.

Discover more from the SS19 Badge of an Original campaign here.


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