My career started at a young age when I quit my job as a receptionist for an independent entertainment lawyer in Cleveland, OH, to take a chance at video production in Washington, D.C. Everyone thought I was crazy, but I packed my car anyway and headed south.
Because of these amazing places, I’ve been introduced to new industries, big ideas and global concepts, all of which shaped the person I am today. I brought it all home to 522 Productions, where I have been serving since 2009 as our Senior Producer and Project Manager.
I’ve learned that, from initial concept and budgeting all the way through post-production, success or failure depends largely on the producer properly managing the project. Experience in this field does not come overnight. It is born out of long years of creative and technical know-how, and above all, a love for the job. I am happy to say I still have the same joy balancing casting calls, Excel spreadsheets, and production schedules as I did when I started my journey in 2001. At 522, every day is a new journey, and I will continue to grow individually and with each of our clients by focusing on what matters to them.
Oh, and if you’re interested – on a personal note, I am a proud mom of two [insert superlative here] daughters; a devoted wife; a wanna-be yogi; a lover of wine, chocolate, cooking; and a huge fan of Notre Dame football.
Relevancy: Connecting with your audience is vital. But if the story is not relevant or relatable, then the video will be lost in the ether of the Internet. The finer, more focused details matter if you want to communicate your story effectively.
Inspiration: Inspiration can come from anywhere. Listen to the birds. Talk to people. Go for a walk. Take a nap. There are countless sources of inspiration; you just need to turn on your receptors and let life guide you. As a working mother of two, I lose sight of this all the time. It takes effort and a lifetime of practice to tune in and find inspirations. The main point is to always think outside the box.
Impact: Everyone has a story to tell, but have you ever thought about how your story impacts the viewer? Impactful videos build relationships and create community collaboration, which acts like an online referral system.
The King and I, Bill Cosby Himself and Brave (my favorite Disney movie so far)
Martha Stewart, Maya Angelou, Change.org
Playing with my kids, cooking and learning
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
– Benjamin Franklin
I was born in a log cabin in a forest in Illinois. But by forest in Illinois I mean New Jersey, and by log cabin I mean hospital. I started making videos when I was 10 years old and quickly realized it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. By the time I graduated high school I had a whole crop of videos that critics hailed as “a little too quirky for my taste.” Things got a little more serious when I enrolled in film school at George Mason University (go patriots!) where I got to learn the value of thoughtful storytelling and great collaboration.
I was so excited to put those skills to work at 522 and really get my hands dirty in all the awesome projects we get to create. Being a part of this team has made me more focused, more curious, and just an all-around better filmmaker. When I’m not collaborating with my pals at 522, I’m out exploring the world with a camera not far out of reach.
Collaboration: The best thing about my role on this team is that I get to play a part in every project and work with every team member. I feel inspired by all the people I get to work with and have done some of my best work by collaborating with them
Keeping An Open Mind: The world’s a pretty big place, and we’ve only got two eyes to see it. Lucky for us, there’s video to give us another perspective. Being open to new ideas, voices, and visions is so crucial to good storytelling and it’s something I’m thinking about everyday.
O Brother Where Art Thou, Stories We Tell, Tokyo Drifter, Tabloid, Vertigo
Robert Frank, Kelley Dixon, Anthony Bourdain, Annie Leibovitz, Wes Anderson
Baseball, Photography, Cooking, Hiking
“The power of imagination makes us infinite”
It’s been an unlikely path from environmental science major to video editor. But one that I would choose every time if given the opportunity. While working on my senior thesis at Colorado College, I realized that the hypothesis I was most interested in testing involved why humans interact with the environment the way they do. I quickly found that the best experiment would involve digging up stories not soil samples.
And what better tool for excavation than video. Video allowed me to combine my love of still photography, spoken word, visual art, and music all into one medium that can be at once subtle and powerful. It also took me to new landscapes and introduced me to new people, all the while molding who I am.
Since then, I’ve taken every opportunity I can to continue to tell meaningful stories that hopefully change the way people see not just the environment but their fellow humans. The most recent opportunity has landed me here at 522 Productions where as the Creative Video Editor, I get to tell some of the most emotional and human stories that come through.
Purpose: I strive to have an intent for every edit I make. Every thing I do, from story structure to b-roll, all the way to sound design, should not only be aesthetically pleasing but functional. Each element should work in concert with the others to keep the story moving and the audience emotionally invested. If I can’t make the case for why I chose to make an edit, then I don’t make the edit.
Voice: Before there is a story, there are events. People, place and time coalescing into an instance. My role as an editor is to arrange those moments into a narrative using a voice that is authentic, compelling, and honors the person to whom the story belongs.
Nostalgia por la luz, The Fountain, Apocalypse Now, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
George Saunders, California, Aesop Rock, Evan Stephens Hall, Thích Quảng Đức
Travelling, Skateboarding, Being Outside, Making Music, Woodworking
“Life is far more interesting than it needs to be, because the forces that guide it are not merely practical”
– David Rothenburg
Hey! I’m Ray! I have always been interested in all things media. When I was young, I thought I wanted to be a radio personality. So I would record “Newscasts” on cassette tape… and yes… BOTH SIDES… somewhere in my parent’s house exists about 50 hours of 12-year-old me blabbering about, whatever! Later on I acquired a VHS video camera and started making short films, mostly action movies with my friends. Eventually I took a digital art class in school that introduced me to the world of video editing and animation. I stepped up my game, started learning more and more and quickly became obsessed, and realized that this was what I wanted to do with all of my time.
Nowadays, you will be hard pressed to find me not creating… something! Having the opportunity to tell stories every single day is something that keeps me thinking, and keeps me wondering. There is something so satisfying about a good story. Whether experienced through written words, audio waves, moving images on a screen, or all the above, the story is why I love what I do!
Collaboration: “Two heads are better than one”. Great saying, and it lays the foundation for what collaboration is all about. In the world of video production, there is never only one way to tell a story. It is so important to collaborate throughout the entire process because that is when you have those, “Hey, I didn’t think about it that way”, or “Wow, I never would have thought of that” moments.
Understanding: This line of work is constantly putting us in new, and different situations. The story you are trying to tell could be simple, complex, deep, or lighthearted. The challenge that excites me is getting to know and understand the story you have, and translating that onto the screen.
Sin City, Aliens, Leon: The Professional, Cabin in the Woods, any 30 for 30
Greyscale Gorilla, Digital Kitchen, EJ Hassenfratz, Adult Swim
KEYFRAMES! Jamming with friends, Disc Golfing, Delicious Pho Soup, Glitchy Animations
“Do it with passion or not at all”
As a kid, I messed around with videos. As a grown-up kid, it’s my profession.
I’m psyched you’re reading this. Odds are, you either really want to work with us or you really want a job, because there probably aren’t many other reasons why you’d be interested in learning about me. Either way is good for us.
Well, since you’re curious… I’m a former advertising agency Account Director and a graduate of The George Washington University Documentary Center. The combination of documentary film and marketing taught me about the importance of telling stories that focus on connecting our clients with what matters to their audience.
This background has treated me well. It led to cofounding 522 and to you reading this page.
At 522, I serve as our Senior Creative Director. That basically means I oversee all creative elements of the work that we produce. Some of that work has earned Addy, Telly, and Peer awards… but one prestigious award continues to elude me: Super Star of Circle Time. My three-year-old daughter has me there.
Why: Everything in life comes down to choices. What interests me is why people make the decisions that they do. That’s true character. Cut out the fluff and BS. Let me find the reason people do things and make the choices they make in the face of adversity. That’s the story.
Who: Nope. Not the band. I want to understand the intended audience. What do they care about? Where are they consuming the content? Understanding who you’re trying to communicate with and learning what they care about is the only way you can truly connect with them.
What…if?: “What if” is a truly inspiring phrase to me. I love the light in a person’s eyes when they start a sentence with that phrase. It means they are thinking outside the box about the endless possibilities that stories present. I love that enthusiasm.
The Usual Suspects, The Matrix, Star Wars
Errol Morris, Eliot Rausch, Eddie Izzard, Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, George Lucas
Reading, writing, watching videos, complaining about the Mets/Jets/Islanders, and listing interests
“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
– Isaac Newton