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Christopher Ming Ryan
Video Producer, Blogger, Creative Social Marketer
Interests: film, new media, theater, social networks, video, tennis and pizza.
Recent Activity
A still from the film I shot, 'Pop Up Men.' I've been dipping my toe in the director of photography pool. It's a whole new experience for me. Here's what happened. My company, Wheelhouse Communications, started investing in equipment. We purchased a brand new Sony FS700/OdysseyQ7 combo and then picked up a SONY PMW-F3. After handling these cameras and dealing with lenses (some we bought and still some we rent), it became pretty clear that I knew how to set up these cameras quicker than the DPs we hire. Also, I knew their quirks. F3s tend to moiré without ND.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2015 at The Way We Watch
Jacob, There's nobody like Bob Ross. Think what a YOUTUBE star he could have been!
1 reply
My undergraduate film professor, Jeanine Basinger, had a theory that Hitchcock was an experimental filmmaker. It's agreed that Hitchcock was a master stylist and famous for the subjective camera that with editing made viewers feel suspense. His style was based on the audience aligning with the motivations of his characters. When obstacles get in the way - the audience more times than not- becomes a helpless voyeur. Viewers of Hitchcock are constantly feeling suspense because they are trapped when they know more than the characters. We constantly want to say, "Hey, watch out!" to the lead characters. I was just... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2014 at The Way We Watch
Jacob, thanks for your comment. There are many times when you might want to shoot without audio. Let's say you have a completely narrated piece and you want to show or demonstrate what is being said. We call that footage of just the images, B-roll. For our purposes, the ambient sound of those images is not important. We recently did a story for RHCB where the audio on the B-roll was not a main driver. Every cutaway you see here - audio was not important so we didn't record audio. Or let's say you're doing a green shoot where the audio is not needed: When we recorded the hands we did not need audio there either.
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I loved this post over at raindance about the 15 Things Everyone Does on A Film Set. So to continue the meme, I thought I would tell you about the 10 things everyone does on my set... Congratulate ourselves on packing the cart tight. Yeah, it's the simple things in life that are most satisfying. When a grip, PA or I pack up the cart like a veteran bricklayer, we're all very proud of ourselves. Chatter about the latest technology. "Hey, did you see the new Sony FS7?" "I saw some 6K footage last night." "I worked with a Octocopter... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2014 at The Way We Watch
My Facebook feed is a lot cleaner these days without those ubiqutous ALS Ice Bucket Videos. Ok, maybe that's the wrong perspective. This do-good form of charitabe giving raised millions of dollars for a good cause. It was also the first video meme that I can remember that all age demographics wanted to particpate. From a video making and marketing perspective, what is the takeaway from this social media phenomenon? Big media started it (the first challenges were on Golf Channel and the Today Show).* Narrative matters. Suspense played a role (How will this teenager/celebrity/grandmother handle being doused with bone... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2014 at The Way We Watch
A New York Times obituary by Bruce Weber for Sheldon Patinkin (a major force in the Chicago theater scene) ended with a perfect description of Patinkin's note giving style. Written by Jeff Perry of Steppenwolf fame and delivered at a recent awards ceremony that honored Patinkin: “As most of you know and have benefited from, Sheldon is a world champion note giver. His process is gorgeous; like movements in a symphony or rules of comedy, it comes in threes. “First are the Socratic questions that lead you to this pleasantly shocked re-understanding of your intent. Then he continues with a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2014 at The Way We Watch
Do we love gifs because we know life repeats itself? We can all empathize with Sisyphus thinking he's going to get that rock up the hill. We know he won't. Endless repitition is what our days are like (sometimes). The loop of the gif reminds us that it's all a cycle. Or do we love gifs because we like to be in the position of all-knowing. If we can still be entertained, shocked, amazed, and charmed - even when we know what's going to happen - that's a strange magic that is addictive. Twitter allows gifs now. Make one. Make... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2014 at The Way We Watch
A couple weeks ago, Libba asked me to produce and direct a video to accompany her opening monologue at this year's Audie Awards (honoring the best in the audio book world). Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2014 at The Way We Watch
Mediapalera, Teleprompt+ is a dandy little app and very well thought out. I just need to make one of those DIY iPad teleprompter cages!
Toggle Commented Feb 15, 2014 on iPhone Apps For Video Production at The Way We Watch
1 reply
Andre, thanks for letting me know about Soundbeam.
Toggle Commented Feb 15, 2014 on iPhone Apps For Video Production at The Way We Watch
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That's rewarding to hear. Thanks for the note, Crysta.
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WHY I GIVE - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires; I've written about Haiku Deck before. The app originated on the iPad and now it's available to anyone on the internet. It works the same way as before, but because you don't have to type on your iPad, it's a whole lot easier to compose your decks. I made the above deck online in about 15 minutes from pictures from a video I produced and directed. It's a converstation starter to other parents on why I give to my kids' school Annual Fund. The advantages of Haiku Deck... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2014 at The Way We Watch
If you don't know Maria Popova's brilliant blog, Brain Pickings, get to know it. Her blog is filled with what she finds interesting and most of what she finds interesting is the creative mind. She recently posted a short video by the New York Times best-selling YA author, John Green, on the advice he gives people when they ask him how to be a writer. He says, "Every single day, I get emails from aspiring writers asking my advice about how to become a writer, and here is the only advice I can give: Don’t make stuff because you want... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2014 at The Way We Watch
Cool, Jeremy! Thanks for stopping by.
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I'm an iPhone sucker. They've got me. I can't imagine anything making me switch to an Android unless the price of the contract really becomes a no brainer. Even then, I wouldn't. The apps that are available now help me day in and day out. I wanted share some apps that have really helped my productivity in what I do for a living -- that is -- producing and directing video. Artemis Director's Viewfinder (see pic above) Instead of putting my fingers up in a rectangle (though I do look cool doing that) simulating the aspect ratio of a camera... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2014 at The Way We Watch
I just plunked down $650 for four tickets to a Broadway show. Insane. I had read the NY Times review for The Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder and thought it would be a cool holiday treat for me and my family. At those prices, I don't see much Broadway theater. We tie it to an event; we save it for the holiday weekend, the birthday, or the anniversary. I hate that. Right after graduating from college, I spent a few months working and living in London. The first thing I noticed was how easy and accessible it was to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2013 at The Way We Watch
I love my phone more than anyone but the proliferation of mobile devices on production sets is hurting the production and the job prospects of the crew members who are burried in swiping and typing. Waiting. That's what you do on set. Shots take time to prepare and even more time to execute. Clients always say, "How can you stand this? Nothing's happening." So the urge to tune out is strong. However, one thing leads to another and sometimes directions change instantly; setups shift on the fly. I've seen wonderfully skilled intelligent production people turn into mobile device zombies after... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2013 at The Way We Watch
Eye Direct, a neat little gizmo that attaches to your camera and tripod, achieves this result with a few less moving parts. You can find them here at
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More best practices! Read past posts on The Audio Engineer You Never Want To Let Go and the Editor You Never Want to Let Go. But today, let's talk about being a PA or Production Assistant. Good PA's don't stay being a PA for very long. They start climbing the ladder pretty quickly. I've seen PA's go into Location Scouting, Propping, Directing, and Producing. Here's what I look for in a great PA: Arrives 15 minutes early. A dynamite PA doesn't slouch onto set with a with a cup of coffee in hand. Nope. She shows up early and is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2013 at The Way We Watch
September 17th, 2013 is the second anniversary of the start of the Occupy movement. Where did all that rage go? It feels longer than two years since OWS. Check out the video to remember. Backstory: here in New York City where I live, OWS camped out in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan and Mayor Michael Bloomberg was patient at first but sent the police in after roughly 8 weeks to break it up. While OWS was going on even Mister-Corporate-Video-Producer-Chris Ryan had to check it out. I don't need to tell you what it was like -- there have been... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2013 at The Way We Watch
Esquire magazine boasts its "Women We Love" profiles but here at the The Way We Watch we're a little more practical and boring... I've joined the ranks of digital HD super 35 mm CMOS sensor camera owners since the beginning of the year. Wheelhouse purchased a brand new Sony FS 700 with some fantasitic Zeiss Lenses. In the course of working with the equipment for the last 5 months there are a few pieces of gear that make the day go by more efficiently. This is not a Philip Bloom/Vincent Laforet-type exhaustive list; these items just make me a little... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2013 at The Way We Watch
When I was a staff producer at AT&T headquarters in the mid-nineties, I was executive producing and producing/directing about 20 shows a year. One of my oldest friends, Karl Schurman, was a seasoned DP back then and I would frequently hire him. We were working on a job and on a second day of a two-day shoot I asked him if he could just re-shoot something quick that needed a new line added to the dialogue. "It won't take too long. Could you just do it?" I repeated. "You used the J word," he then answered. "What do you mean,"... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2013 at The Way We Watch
Glad someone 'got it'.
Toggle Commented Oct 29, 2012 on Snackable, Emotive and Sharable at The Way We Watch
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"Show, don’t just tell. In a world of increasingly limited attention spans, we need to harness the power of video and photos because they are more snackable, emotive and sharable. We must also provide deeper, more informative visuals, such as infographics, as well. Aim to have the dominant creative idea. The stranglehold of advertising on the marketer is now loosened." From The History (and Future) of PR by Richard Edelman. The original post is here. Watch a snackable video with (info)graphics I produced that originally appeared in The Daily. Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2012 at The Way We Watch