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The Project Principle Poster

The Project Principle

Two business owners peel back the ‘filtered online lives’ they present to their audience and discover there is no turning back from what they uncover.


43:22 min.




Business from the outside can make it seem like you've 'got it all'. Especially when it allows you to travel the world and live a life with choice. But what happens when two 'twenty something' businessmen accidentally peel back the layers of the 'filtered' lives they present to the world?

Steve Claydon and Darcy J Smyth are Australian business owners and sales consultants that have been practicing the art of appearing successful online for years - as we all know, the business world is a ‘clique’ one where image is everything. Together, they decide to travel to Germany to co-author a book on successful business practices together. The plan is simple - spend 14 days travelling around the country, soaking in its culture, and pouring that inspiration into their writings - what could go wrong?

What happens when they question things so deeply, they find there's no turning back from what they eventually discover about themselves?

Upon arrival to Frankfurt, we discover that all is not as it seems. The intrusion of a camera amongst the creative writing process begins to take its toll on the boys. Self-doubt and the worries of revealing any other side of themselves to the world begins to creep in. Where they were once seen as confident, successful, and daring they may now come across as weak, unfocused, or worse - Unprofessional.

This is the side of business no one was meant to see.

The pair proceed to make their way around the country while questioning everything: themselves, their businesses, and existence. Reaching Hamburg, these conversations ultimately culminate in a defining question from Steve’s mouth - “Am I doing this right?” The biggest source of insecurity amongst us all. This pivotal moment changes their perspective indefinitely. Emotions boil over, tears stream out, and a phoenix rises from the ashes.

This is the side of 'success' we often try to hide.

After arriving in Berlin, the conversations then start to shift from inward self-centred reflection to a humbler view on things. Life isn’t about picking which void to superficially fill next, but more about picking which abyss is the correct one for you to jump into next. Steve takes this knowledge forward and finishes the journey by exploring his past - visiting the town that his 5th Great Grandfather used to live in. A trip that turns out to be representative of the pairs entire journey - that cathartic experiences and releases are one of the most valuable experiences you can spend your time doing. Continually figuring out new ways to process emotions - that’s the key.

Dare to enter the void?

What’s the one question you don’t want to be asked? What’s the rock you don’t want to look under? You can’t keep playing at the surface, because all the best parts of life start to happen when you begin to ask those questions about yourself. As Steve says during the close of the film, “Everything will be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, it’s just not the end yet”.


Producer : Steve Claydon
Director/Writer/Editor : Matt Gall