Sometimes, the best way to learn something new is to simply talk to someone. Recently, our own Paul Dreblow interviewed Ryan Gates, the Chief Creative at Moving Edge Media. Ryan had some great insights for us, and we want to pass them on to you.
PD: Describe yourself in 2-3 sentences: tell us who you are and what’s important about you?
RG: First and foremost, I love stories and people, telling stories about employees and customers in a documentary manner. I love getting to know people and their story. On the personal side I am very close with my immediate family. I’m currently single but I enjoy getting together with my Dad 3-4 times a week. Both parents run their own companies, so I have been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, it runs in the family. I am actively involved in River Valley Church and in the summer time, I enjoy long boarding and slacklining.
PD: You work in the video industry, part of the larger social media arena. How long have you been doing this? What got you into this industry and why do you remain in it?
RG: I have been freelancing for 11 yrs since I was 14 years old. I was homeschooled and wrote an essay on why my parents should get me a Mac Mini, a camera, and software. At 16 I worked at TV station and then later on did some web development. I went on to Taylor University and studied media communication. While in college I won some awards and did not even know at the time how prestigious or important they were. I then graduated and worked as editor at a local studio then went on to a web design shop and did front end web development. After a period of time I decided to jump ship and get into corporate video production. Soon thereafter I started the company. It does help to be single at this point, as last summer I was only in town about four weekends, the rest being on the road.
PD: I noted the word, “obsession” in relationship to what you do on your website. That’s a powerfully descriptive word. What is behind that?
RG: When I was younger I watched the movie “Its a Wonderful Life” and I remember after one time watching it laying in bed crying and wanting to know how or if my life would make a difference. I find that telling stories gives great meaning to life. For example I once did a film about a WWII veteran and the impact his life had on a small community. Fundamentally, its about opening eyes of people and showing people they matter to the world.
PD: Ok, that makes sense as you relate it to telling a story, please elaborate on that.
RG: There is a unique bond that is instantly created between a storyteller and an audience. The audience learns from the storyteller, and the storyteller lives for the audience. An almost symbiotic relationship. At the end of the day, people desire to connect and to understand. Humanity wants to know and to be known. We realize that all businesses, causes, and demographics boil down to one simple thing. Some might think it would be hard to make a company that sells auto parts to make it personal and to connect with people.
PD: Can you explain that more?
RG: This is a key challenge. Most companies will do a story or a testimonial that focuses on them. Where we take an approach that is a more personal and holistic approach, shows the personal side of things. We like to show case the client stories and highlight the people that have been changed because they used someone’s product or service. Like the people that were helped because they visited a certain Doctor. We film this and share it and everyone pushes the piece on their own platforms. We call it “sacrificial marketing.”
PD: So what might be your direct involvement on any given project?
RG: It can vary depending on the client. Most often I fall into the role of a producer and Director. Actually my title is Chief Creative. I do a lot of producing and directing.
PD: How has this industry changed since you started in it?
RG: Oh my gosh yes it has changed drastically and still is changing. There was the DSR revolution that brought about so many technological changes. The technology has made it easier to do things for less. A camera that 10 yrs. cost 120K today costs 3K. and the software maybe 50/mo. Technology has drastically adapted and increased the accessibility of various software. Some companies have not been able to keep up or were not able to adapt and they have gone bankrupt. These days people expect more video to be done for less cost.
PD: So do people think “I can do that for little cost. I don’t need a pro.”?
RG: Yes, I have faced the challenge in the past so I am more intentional about who I approach. Our company is very competitive and one of the least expensive around. Most people don’t realize the complexity and all that goes into a video, so often it’s more about teaching the complexity behind a video.
PD: Your industry interfaces directly with ours, the larger world of inbound or content marketing. Do you see any challenges or issues in working with those in the larger inbound marketing world? Does everyone appreciate what you do?
RG: A lot of people value video only for the SEO side but not the value of production video. This is always a hot topic. Some people don’t realize that video needs to be built, viewed and shared. Instead of focusing on what the video is of, people focus too much on the SEO side of things. The content is important above all else.
PD: Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 20 yrs?
RG: Oh, that is a challenging question. I got the entrepreneurial bug long ago. I intend to grow moving edge media to 5-10 people. I would like to become the seal team six of telling stories. I am highly passionate about telling the human side of companies. This is my whole push and point.
Thank you Ryan for sharing with us!
To learn more about Moving Edge Media, check out their website at http://movingedgemedia.com/