We met up with Ryan Green of Ryan Green Films just before he planned on heading out for a few days recharging and working in the outdoors. Ryan is a solo operation filmmaker who has a busy schedule shooting weddings, corporate branding and nature & hiking shorts.
We sat at the dining table in the 16-foot 2011 Airstream Scamp he has been working on renovating into his new mobile office. He’ll be pulling the Scamp behind a 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara. The mobile office will enable him to focus his energies on video editing while keeping him close to the hiking trails and wilderness areas of Southern California and beyond.
SoCal Sessions: What’s the name of this Scamp we’re sitting in?
Ryan Green: You know what, I don’t have a name for it yet. I figured, just like hiking, you’d probably get a trail name given by someone else, so once I have it out enough and someone names it, I’ll probably take that name.
I feel like I can’t pick it myself. It won’t do it justice.
SoCal Sessions: The reason you bought this is what? You plan to work out of it or adventure out of it?
Ryan Green: The reason I bought it…I decided to dive head first into just working with my film company, editing and filming events, corporate events and weddings as of now. And fun nature videos on my own, for my Youtube channel. I wanted something I could edit in, and not have to sit in my dark room for 20 hours a week. That was the main reason for purchasing it.
It took me about a year to find it from a gentleman in Texas who drove it out to me.
SoCal Sessions: What’s the appeal of working outdoors or at least near the outdoors?
Ryan Green: It’s more of a balance for me. I’m just about to leave to go out to Cleveland National Forest for three days. That way I can wake up in the morning. Sit outside. Have a cup of coffee. Go on a run or a hike for an hour, and then dive in. Get back into the Scamp trailer for 6 hours or so, then take a break, go outside, have lunch or dinner, then come back in and edit…or not.
Just get out and get away from all the distractions. Except, well, nature is kind of a distraction. It’s like a double edged sword. I don’t have the distraction of wifi and Instagram and all that, but I do have the distraction of nature.
SoCal Sessions: How will you continue to get work while you’re out there (in the wild) away from WiFi and social media?
Ryan Green: As far as e-mails, my central source for booking gigs, I will be able to have hotspots, and I do have decent internet in most places. Where I’m going today I’ve been before, and the internet is really sucky. But I can drive up an hour if I need too, and get a little internet signal so I can send an e-mail. Generally though, I don’t need to be online for the editing process. Just for when I do the final uploads of my videos. It’s easy to come down the hill for that, but most of the time I have a little bit of signal to get at least an e-mail or two, and I can respond.
SoCal Sessions: Do you have any plans for longer term adventures?
Ryan Green: As of now nothing over a few weeks. But eventually next year, say if a corporate gig falls in my lap that pays for a good amount of the year, and I can afford to take off a month or two, I wouldn’t mind going somewhere crazy. Go up to Alaska or up to Canada or somewhere cool, and spend some real time. Or even looking for work up there. I haven’t really thought about it yet. It’s a short-term, “Get out and edit,” right now [plan], but I’m always open to anything.
SoCal Sessions: With weddings it’s a high pressure “Get it now or you don’t get it” scenario. You pack it all into one day. When we compare it too your nature videos at Yosemite or John Muir Trail, how does that process differ?
Ryan Green: I approach them differently. The wedding ones follow a general template that I’ve figured out over the past two years (since starting Ryan Green Films). So I’ve kind of figured out what works, and what doesn’t. I approach it systematically, as opposed to hiking videos where I have the camera on my shoulder and when something pops up I pull it out. It’s a lot less stress, and I do enjoy it.
I enjoy filming wedding videos. When I get a good shot it gives me the same thrill as when I get a good shot in nature. But just less stress! Nature is a whole different ballgame that I really enjoy.
SoCal Sessions: How did you get started going out into the outdoors?
Ryan Green: Growing up, I think I really liked being in nature, but I kind of got away from it in college. I was concentrating on going to college, and, maybe, drinking too much on the weekends like normal college kids do. I got into working at the bars and forgot about nature pretty much.
What brought me back was a couple hiking trips randomly like Mount Whitney, and I was like, “I forgot how much I love this.” So about five years ago I started gradually going [hiking] more and more every year. I think every year I’ve increased my mileage of hiking exponentially. So this year I’m setting a goal of at least 1000 miles. Maybe do the John Muir Trail again.
SoCal Sessions: You did the entire John Muir Trail?
Ryan Green: Yeah, I did the John Muir. One thing I do want to do is the Pacific Crest Trail, and do the full thing. 2600 miles or whatever, but it just has to line up with work. It sucks because you got to leave in March, and that’s when weddings really take off! March, April and June are my peak times (for filming weddings), and thats really the best time to start the trail.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Do you dig what we do here? Awesome. We’d like to keep doing it and could use your support to keep the computers on, to keep going out exploring and supporting our community, to keep bringing you the best of SoCal’s bike, beard, beer and modern badassery.
Thanks for your support.