Entrepreneurial fireside chat
Jadon Gauthier’s path to film gave him vocational wisdom and a close relationship with God. | Caitlin Blackmon/THE CHIMES
How much purpose and intention goes into a six second video? With the Zach King Team, a great deal apparently. What may seem like a short moment of entertainment came from diligent, dedicated work, a bit of fun and prayer.
Alum Jadon Gauthier, independent film producer and director and producer of the Zach King Team, came to campus for a Fireside Chat hosted by the Crowell School of Business and business students to speak on his work, his life journey and advice for young entrepreneurs and filmmakers.
The Zach King Team produces short “magic” videos, using a great deal of special effects. During Vine’s glory days, King began using special effects in six-second Vines, and his videos went viral. As he runs his own studio, he focuses on bringing joy to others with short “magic” videos.
“We have the funnest team. Like Zach, he has truly selected just an awesome team,” Gauthier said. “We just had this really healthy competitive friendship, but our hearts and our minds align with how to be Christians and be entertainers.”
Gauthier and King met during their time at Biola when they both lived in Hart Hall. Gauthier would work for months on short films but see King reach one million views on YouTube for Jedi kitten videos. Though Gauthier had different ambitions for film, he eventually felt God’s call to join King’s studio and fulfill his calling to bring healing to people through film.
“We impact 25 million people daily and God wants us to be the palet cleanser. He wants us to be a positive source of media that kids and families and everybody can go to to be uplifted,” Gauthier said. “We want to edify. We want to uplift, and we want to entertain in the best way possible.”
His early years
Film has always held Gauthier's interest. From his early teenage years into his time at Biola, he dreamed of becoming the producer of a major motion picture, so much so that he became consumed with his dream. Then late in his Biola career, he had what he refers to as his “Road to Damascus” moment. With rain pouring down, God challenged him to review his priorities and have God come first rather than film. Gauthier became disgusted with film as his idol, but after seeking God, he felt his mission become revived.
“My passion for [film] came back, but all of the sudden God came first, film came second,” Gauthier said. “Then as I pursue his heart and I draw near to him, it just floods me with creativity because he floods it with love.”
Gauthier enjoys film and his work, but he claims God as his main motivation. During his time at Biola and shortly after, he dealt with obsessive compulsive disorder and depression, but experiencing God’s aid in those trials gave him hope and a purpose to bring healing to those around him through entertainment.
“I remember I was actually prophesied over once and somebody said as they were praying and prophesying over me, they saw doctor’s hands, and a friend of mine came up and he interpreted it. He was like, ‘Dude, you’re supposed to provide healing to people,’” Gauthier said. “And film is my tool, my doctors tool, in order to do that, hopefully get people through rough times.”
Gauthier continues to produce new content independently and with King, and the Zach King Team continues to make short videos and partner with various companies for video projects. They even wrote children’s books to which Steven Spielberg's company auctioned the film rights.
“I love dreaming up new projects. I love getting things done,” Gauthier said. “I just love that I can go to work in the morning, and what I’m doing is actually impacting culture.”
After reaching such success, Gauthier has learned about how to reach success and how to pursue faith in his career. Philippians 4:8 has always helped him to dwell on good things and honor God in the way he makes his films. He encourages students to look at their natural gifts in order to find their calling, and then to follow their calling with excellence.
“What are your natural desires? What sets you ablaze? What makes you excited? And just ask, ‘Can you do something with that that will open up doors for God’s beauty to be seen?’” Gauthier said. “And just pursue it recklessly.”