Cinevo Podcast - Ryan Schultz

In this episode, Cinevo speaks with Los Angeles camera operator, Ryan Schultz. Ryan has been working on commercials and live productions in LA for several years, most recently with the Super Bowl 57 Halftime Show. Join us as we discuss his coast-to-coast career journey.


Cinevo Host: We are super, super excited to have a fantastic guest today. Ryan Schultz has been working in LA for several years now, doing live production. Uh, we’re gonna get all into some of his recent adventures, including the Super Bowl halftime show. We’re gonna talk all about his time at Revzilla and his experiences doing, uh, live action, motion based photography, and, uh, it’s gonna be a great talk. First things first, gotta make sure all of our fantastic listeners are aware of the Cinevo grant contest in 2023. It is gonna be a great opportunity whether you are an independent filmmaker, whether you are an experienced filmmaker looking to get a personal project off of the ground. And I do wanna make a special point today. We are especially looking for non-fiction material, and that can be anything from branded content, commercial style content, music, videos, documentary, uh, films, exploring, you know, academic topics, anything like that.

We especially would love to have those submitted. We have two categories that are exclusive to non-fiction. Two $3,000 grants that we’re gonna give one to a student non-fiction submission, one to a professional non-fiction submission. And of course, our $8,000 grand prize is open to everyone. So any independent creators or content creators looking to get a leg up and some financing for a project that you’re working on, please check out our website, You can submit your proof of concept directly to us. We’re gonna be taken submissions until July 1st, and we’re gonna have a screening and festival later on in the year. It’s gonna be a great opportunity and we hope that you can be, uh, a part of that. Also on the Cinevo calendar, if you are in the Los Angeles Culver City area, uh, on Thursday, March the second from three to 7:00 PM and you want to engage in some technical conversations, we are gonna be hosting the team from Zeiss lenses.

They’re gonna show off the Prime Radiance, the Supreme Prime Radiant Series. We’re gonna have some q and a, uh, with their team. We’re gonna have some product demonstrations you can get hands on, you can network with other people in the Cinevo community. Great opportunity, uh, with regards to all of that. So again, that’s gonna be Thursday, March the second from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM at our location here at 5760 Hannum, Culver City. Would love to have you in attendance if you can make it, uh, check out our website and, uh, our social media platforms for all of the details on that as well. Well, let’s get rocking and rolling. It is the high noon hour, and we are so pleased. Ryan, thank you for, for joining us today.

Ryan Schultz: Thanks for having me.

Cinevo Host: Yeah. So you are, uh, the kind of quintessential east coast to west coast, uh, transplant.

You started out at SUNY, uh, and doing, you know, working after graduating, working in videography with, uh, with the school there doing, you know, the typical weddings and, and typical side gigs that many startup videographers do. Let’s talk first, uh, about that journey and, and what got you from there to the West Coast.

Ryan Schultz: Lego guys…

Cinevo Host: *Laughs* Indeed.

Ryan Schultz: It was Lego guys. *Laughs* Uh, yeah. I think the, the first time I really discovered that I had a passion for, for video was making stop motion with Lego guys and for some school project and like, uh, throughout school, middle school, high school, whenever I was given an opportunity to like, make a video instead of write an essay or something, I took it. Right. Um, and, and then it was, yeah, shortly after that that I realized like, oh, people do this for a career. And so, um, uh, from there, uh, I, I discovered, uh, SUNY Oswego’s Broadcasting Program originally from upstate New York.

And, um, they have a great in-house television station that’s student run and great broadcasting program. They have a film program as well.

Cinevo Host: Awesome.

Ryan Schultz: Uh, but I went there for broadcasting and graphic design and, um, I, I had a total blast. I had some really good mentors there. Uh, a professor who I’m still close with today, Jane Winslow, she spent a lot of time with me fine tuning at its projects that I was working on. Let me bring projects outside school, into school, um, and using those for, uh, for in-school projects. Um, and, uh, in my time there, I just, I just kind of shot a, as you do, you explore, you shoot whatever you wanna shoot in school and developed a demo reel, which, uh, brought me to another SUNY school, SUNY Binghamton. Um, and so when I graduated from Oswego, I had the opportunity to go work there as their video producer for their marketing content.

And I’m originally from that area, so it allowed me to live at home with my folks and just focus on paying off student loans and stuff. Um, and, uh, and I spent about a year working there.

Cinevo Host: Fantastic. And you had mentioned that you got involved, uh, doing video production with like, with like weddings and, and like personal events and things like that too. Did that, was that an experience that you felt like kind of trained you well as far as, uh, event management, the event management aspect of these roles that you took on in the future?

Ryan Schultz: Totally. My, my, uh, mentor and professor there, Jane, um, she introduced me to one of her former students, Marybeth Longo. And she was doing, uh, weddings for a number of years, long time in upstate New York. So I started shooting weddings and I probably in, in the, the time that I was in college, and even right up to before I moved to la, uh, for her, I, I probably shot 50, 60, 70 weddings, lots of weddings, which allowed me to, you know, everything at weddings only happens once.

And so it can be kind of a high pressure situation. You don’t wanna totally botch somebody’s special day.

Cinevo Host: Sure. Um, you don’t get a reshoot. Exactly. Yeah. Can you do the first kiss again?

Ryan Schultz: Uh, but then it’s the second kiss, right? So it taught me how to work fast and, um, just be very nimble and, um, especially when conditions aren’t ideal and you don’t have all the best lighting and that sort of thing. So, um, yeah, I I took that with me for sure. Onto other jobs, no doubt.

Cinevo Host: And so you eventually start moving into camera operation and doing product reviews with a company called Revzilla, focused on the motorcycle industry. You were doing a lot of B roll decision making. You were doing studio set up in a pretty sizable venue space. Can you talk a little bit, uh, uh, you know, about that role?

Ryan Schultz: Yeah. Um, man, I, I planned to stay longer, but I only ended up spending about a year at SUNY Binghamton. I had a great boss, great people, but I just, I was kind of keeping an eye out to move to a little bit larger market. I had a couple close friends in Philly. And, um, this job popped up just on Google, uh, for a full-time camera operator. And that was also when I was finding out that that’s really the role that I was most interested in is just camera operating. So, um, I, and I had also just finished building, uh, an old motorcycle, uh, into a cafe racer, which around that time was very popular, very popular style. It was 81′ Honda CB 750.

Cinevo Host: Okay. And, um, got, and can you give, give us an idea for those of us that don’t know a, a cafe racer, what would, what would that be?

Ryan Schultz: Oh, man. Like, kind of l lower handle bars, uh, more of  a naked bike, not a lot of fairings. Um, a unnecessary parts are moved to make the bike lighter and faster . Yeah, it was kind of a craze, uh, back in like the early 2000s, 2010 ish area. And, um, so I, I was shooting like a beauty feature of that bike after I finished it. And this job popped up at Revzilla. And so I didn’t even finish the video I was making for the bike. I just recut my demo reel with that footage right at the beginning. And within two weeks, I was moving to Philly. Um, so yeah, they were looking for a full-time camera operator, um, who would be shooting in-house product review videos, and then eventually other original content to like, how two videos, motorcycle review videos.

But yeah, in-house – it was kind of unique. The company was about, when I started there, I think I was employee number 97. There were just a few of us on the production team, and we shot a thousand product review videos a year in their in-house studio that they put a lot of money into, which is weird of a private company. But the owner really believed in, uh, putting free content out there on YouTube so that, uh, you know, just to bring in more customers.

Cinevo Host: What, uh, and obviously commercial work is where a very large portion of, you know, students end up taking their careers, be it, you know, branded content, which is the new thing now, or just classic commercial style. What are the elements of creativity that you’re able to kind of keep incorporated in your process and what are some of the key tenets of marketing and having and, you know, putting the brand at the forefront? Can you talk a little bit about like keeping that balance there and keeping those windows open for you to, to have that creative edge that can, you know, result in a better, in a better product and, you know, ultimately more sales possibly for whatever it is you’re advertising, but where does the balance lie there between that and, you know, whatever directives you’re getting from superiors saying, you know, this is, this is the piece that we need to emphasize.

Ryan Schultz: Yeah, that’s a really good question. Um, at, at Revzilla we had my, my boss, my creative director, the CEO, they were very much involved in the, what does it take to, uh, what are the, what are the bigger pieces we want to put together, um, that the customer will appreciate, right? And so the, the customer for us, it was like, how do we bring people in at the ground level? It’s like, you make a how to ride a motorcycle video and you hope that maybe that person will come by a helmet or a jacket. And, and so they were taking care of like the hot, that higher level stuff. And then for me it was just the creative aspect of like, how well, like what do we want it to look like? And they gave me a lot of creative freedom around that. And I, and I had a lot of time, you know, we had timelines for videos and how much time we should be spending per video, but really I felt that I had a lot of flexibility there to kind of experiment with different camera movement and, um, kind of make something look however I wanted it to look, whether we were in the studio and we had to light some stuff or we were just shooting out in the open road.

Cinevo Host: And talking about movement and placement on a moving motorcycle, that’s, and it’s, you know, it’s something maybe a, a step above a classic, you know, car mount because these are smaller vehicles, they’re vehicles that you’re trying in some cases to emphasize their off-road capability, their ability to make quick turns and things like that. What were some of the strategies that you would incorporate it on your camera mounts and things like that, that you can share with, uh, with those aspiring motorcycle videographers?

Ryan Schultz: Yeah, I feel looking back that Revzilla was, was kind of the building blocks of what it is that I do now. Because around the same time that we decided to start shooting, uh, motorcycle reviews and because we wanted to make something with a little more production value, there were a lot of motor motive vloggers on YouTube at the time, but nobody was making like, like really refined, nicely shot, nicely edited motorcycle review videos. And so I’m like, I feel like we need some sort of, like, the main shot has to look really good, like the a camera shot. And I had this glide cam sitting around that I wasn’t using much. And I’m like, what if I use that shooting off a motorcycle to shoot a guy on the motorcycle reviewing the bike like in real time as we’re riding.

And so my boss and I jumped on a Ducati Multistrada and I put my rig on and kind of shot off the side and we rode around and it was awesome. Like it looked, it wasn’t perfect by any means. I was pretty terrible. But, it just like seeing smooth shots like that, that I feel like we typically didn’t see in the motorcycle video world, um, was really cool. And it totally wrecked my back at the same time because the bike is leaning and we’re going like 30, 40 miles an hour or whatever, but, and it was a lightweight rig, like C 100 on a glide cam, uh, and, but it just like, it just wrecked me. I’m like, there’s gotta be a better way to do this. And so I started researching it around the same time Freefly had released their M5, M10, M15, the MOVI.

And I’m like, this is exact, looks exactly like what would make this so much easier to do and not just like, destroy my body as I do it. And so we rented, uh, one a couple times and it seemed like it was the right tool. And then, and then we bought one in-house, which is crazy looking back cause like the M10, I think it was like $10,000 or $12,000, or something. Like something that an individual might not buy, but like a company would buy. So it was, it was great having Revzilla as that resource and they were willing to invest in that, in that tool. And then we, we really, uh, narrowed down what our setup was, which was a, a Harley Davidson Street Glide, uh, which is a big cruiser touring bike, big faring, uh, and with a nice comfy passenger seat.

And we would bolt a, uh, a seatbelt underneath the back passenger pegs. And I would sit backwards holding the MOVI and shooting our on camera personality, riding the bike we were reviewing right. As he talked about the bike in different components. And we would move around each other and we were able to get all these different angles and like, it was so cool. It was, and it was so much fun and it was definitely stupid. Like it was probably not what I would recommend nowadays maybe for someone to go get footage, but I’m sure there’s people out there that have similar crazy stories.

Cinevo Host: No doubt. And capturing audio there to sync up as well. I mean, I guess if he’s wearing a helmet, you don’t have to, it’s a little bit easier. Was was he helmeted where his face was like covered?

Ryan Schultz: Oh man. I spent so many hours trying to figure that out. And, uh, in the motorcycle world, Bluetooth communicators are really big. Yeah. Which is an attachment. You can helmet, a helmet might have it built in or they’ve got helmets just with like cell phones built in basically.

And, and those have a microphone in ’em and the whatever algorithms they run for noise cancellation and wind, uh, deduction reduction, uh, works really well. And so there is this little back, uh, made by Sena or Cena, um, that you would plug right into a GoPro and it would Bluetooth record audio and it sounded so good. And then I’d have a backup, uh, TASCAM little, little TASCAM, I think it was a DR-10C, um, with like a nice countryman microphone mounted on the back of their helmet so you couldn’t see it. And then run the microphone in.

And that was a great, those record at a couple different levels. Um, so you kind of had a backup track on a backup track between the Bluetooth recorder and then the TASCAM.

Cinevo Host: Yeah. Probably very worth having though, because you’re not gonna be, you might have some little piece of the audio that goes out and you don’t really know it till you’re in the post-production process.

Ryan Schultz: Absolutely.

Cinevo Host: Right. So having that backup of a backup and it’s clean on that one.

Ryan Schultz: Yep. It can, it can really make a difference. Then you put a little fuzzy on there and like, it worked great.

Cinevo Host: Awesome. Great. Yeah. So you, you were with Revzilla for, uh, about three or four years and then you, I get what, what was the impetus for you to say West Coast – here I come?

Ryan Schultz: Yeah. At about the three year mark, uh, I, I felt my position, like we, we weren’t traveling quite as much to shoot motorcycle reviews. 

Um, I might be sending the on camera personalities out with like a GoPro package and um, so I want, I felt, I kept feeling the need to do something more. And started to think about for the first time ever really moving out to LA, and it was either that or New York for me and the weather was much more preferable out in LA. Which is tough cuz all my family’s still on the east coast. But, um, yeah, I started networking. I spent about a year networking out here, seeing who I knew. I had a couple friends that had moved out here and were living out here. And um, and then after a year, uh, I made the jump and, and moved out to LA and, uh, it, I, I felt it was at a good time. I remember grabbing coffee with a friend of a friend back in Philly who was the first AC and I’m like, what does the first AC like, what does, what does that person do?

And I did one or two jobs, uh, small jobs in Philly before I left and then went out to LA and people seemed to be in need of first ACs that knew Gimbals and remote heads. And I was really comfortable with the MOVI Pro at that point and the Ronin II. And so I just kind of like learned how to pull focus along the way and I felt like that served me pretty well. Cause I’d meet these DPs that like had a Gimbal and, or they owned it, but they didn’t necessarily know how to use it. And so it just took some pressure off of them for to have a tech on their side in addition to Focus Puller.

Cinevo Host: And since we’re kind of on that subject, well, and it kind of leads into a conversation you and I had getting ready, uh, for today where we spoke a lot about if you’re gonna make that jump, you have to be ready to make sacrifices.

You’re not gonna be able to afford a a one bedroom and to go out every Saturday night. And you have to be willing to scale back other aspects of your life. But as it relates to purchasing items for you to be available in a certain freelance capacity in the 2023 mindset, is there any play advice that you would give to somebody in that position right now making the jump? Is it a gimbal, is it a steady cam? You know, what is the piece of equipment that they can have on hand that is gonna give them opportunities, uh, you know, once they’re trained in that role?

Ryan Schultz: Yeah. I feel like this varies so much depending on what world you work in. If you’re on like, big union gigs where there’s a lot of really expensive remote heads, or if you’re just, uh, uh, starting out at doing, uh, small commercials like one man band type stuff.

So it, I will say that I feel that I used to get really caught up in the latest and greatest equipment, which is still important and still has its place, but really starting small. Um, I don’t buy equipment unless it’s something that I know will either make my life way easier or it is an item that I could potentially rent on a job.

Cinevo Host: That’s right. Great place – like Cinevo to rent your gear can, exactly: save you a lot of trouble.

Ryan Schultz: Yeah, and, also with how, with how expensive it all is too. I mean, I, and anything I purchase, I try to just buy it upfront because I don’t like, I, I’m so afraid of like having monthly payments on stuff and I don’t, I don’t want to have to have that added stress when there’s so many other bills in life and everything.

So yeah. Whenever I needed something that I, that I couldn’t afford, I would, I would go rent it, uh, as an alternative to like taking out a huge loan or something.

Cinevo Host: So I wanna make sure that we, uh, have plenty of time to talk about some cool stuff here. Let’s fast forward a little bit. You did some great freelance work and you got brought into the live performance space. Let’s talk a little bit about kind of your first experiences with that. And then let’s talk about what you did most recently, the Super Bowl halftime show with Rihanna. What were your experiences like on the show that everybody in America watched?

Ryan Schultz: Sure. Where, where, where do you want me to start?

Cinevo Host: Let’s talk a little bit about how you first got involved and then, but Okay. We’ll save the meat and potatoes for the big show.

Ryan Schultz: Yeah. I, well, I was pulling focus, uh, on a gig for, uh, an artist for Coachella years ago. And, uh, we had two weeks of rehearsal before the show and I, I was pulling focus for Steadicam, so my job was like pretty relaxed during the rehearsals, but next to me there were these guys sitting at a desk. I didn’t know what they were doing, but then a little ways away from them, there was this, this like thing driving around by itself on a track that had, uh, a tower on it that would telescope and then it had a remote head on top of that. And I’m like, what is that? And I went over and introduced myself and they’re like, yeah, you wanna like check the thing out. And they dumbed all the settings down and they had me sit down and play around with this thing.

And those guys were this company RailCam based out of New Jersey. Um, and I was just blown away. I had never seen anything like this. You have for your right hand, you have a joystick for the head control. Um, and then on your left hand you have a Zoom rocker and then if you’re not pulling your own focus, there’s a focus wheel for your left hand as well. Um, and then you have four foot pedals and two foot pedals for your right foot. Drive the rig left and right. Two foot pedals for your left foot, uh, tower the camera up and down. And I was just like, this is what I want to do. And I wasn’t like, I wasn’t like, oh, please give me work, please hire me. You know, or anything like that.

Cinevo Host: You just knew that that was the way wanted.

Ryan Schultz: Yeah. I just, you know, got, got to know them a little bit, expressed some interest, and then a year later they reached out to me and asked if I wanted to do a music tour with them. Um, and I was interested, but I had already committed to some other work, so I, I turned it down, but then COVID hit and that tour went away And just about everything went away. Sure. And, um, towards the, uh, end of the first year of COVID, um, they, all the music people were trying to figure out something to do in the meantime before they could go on tour again. And so, uh, this company did a semi-permanent installation on a stage with LED walls in LA and they asked if I wanted to be there for the install, like an unpaid day and just learn the equipment.

And I said, absolutely. So I went and took a bunch of notes and, uh, just learned what I could and that ended up resulting in a number of jobs on that stage during COVID, which was kind of like a saving grace for me. Because I didn’t have a whole lot else going on. Um, but, uh, yeah, that’s how I got first involved with RailCam and doing more like moving robotic camera systems.

Cinevo Host: And, and before we jump into the Supers Bowl, I do wanna ask you a little bit about this, not necessarily technical advice, but these types of roles as you and I had talked about, are can be very time consuming, a lot of time on the road, a lot of days worked, concordedly. How does someone, uh, personally prepare for a role that’s going to, to take you out of your normal daily life for days, weeks, sometimes months at a time?

Ryan Schultz: Sure. Um, for me, I mean, one of the most important things is, is a partner that understands and is okay with me doing that kind of work. My wife, Jasmine is she has never given me a hard time about going on the road. And, you know, as we start a family and stuff, I’m sure that that will get, uh, harder down the road. But, um, in the five years we’ve been together, like she’s never given me any grief, which is awesome. And if I ever have an opportunity to take her with me, I will. Um, but, uh, it really, yeah. So, so having, having a supportive partner who, who, whoever that is, and if you’re a single person, then like, as long as you’re okay not spending a whole lot of time at home. You know, like music tours, especially if you’re gonna be gone for a long time, uh, you know, that’s just on you to build relationships on the road and still make sure you’re getting what you need.

Cinevo Host: Right.

Ryan Schultz: Everybody needs, needs relationships in their life. So you just, you have to build those friendships on the road. It’s not like, uh, growing up where I’d call my best friend and we’d go hang out at each other’s house, you know? I, when I see my friends, it’s, it’s really at work.

Cinevo Host: I would imagine that in a lot of cases those do become family environments though, because you’re all working under the same goals and the, the same, you know, operational structure and so you’re spending a lot of time together. You’re kind of unified under your collective, uh, practices and passions for doing this. So, you know, if you extend yourself, I’m sure that the opportunities are there to, to build those relationships also.

Ryan Schultz: Yeah. We use that word a lot, uh, among the RailCam guys. It’s like I, I’ve, I’ve heard other guys say to each other and to me, like, you know, we’re family and we, we take care of each other and, um, you know, we support each other and, uh, it’s just, it’s great to tho those are the best kind of working relationships and it has allowed me to have so much more fun, uh, just enjoying who I work with in, in addition to enjoying what it is that I do.

Cinevo Host: And speaking of fun, so let’s get, let’s get to the, to the thing we all want to talk about. You’re out in Phoenix, uh, for the last few weeks getting ready for this spectacular event. Tons of red tape involved with the logistical planning, not, I mean, there’s a football game that also happens with this halftime show that some people like to watch. Uh, and then on top of that, you know, of, of coordination with everything else that’s going on with this week, what was that overall experience like for you? What was the experience of prepping for that show, like for you and what was the experience like executing during that performance?

Ryan Schultz: Yeah, I mean, the first thought that comes to mind is, thank God this job came along because I have nothing else in February. And so it was nice to have at least one thing going on, but, uh, yeah, it was a great experience. The, I felt a little more confident going into this one because it is, it is a big show and it’s, um, I mean the same, the process is kind of the same as doing any other live show. But, uh, two years ago I did my first Super Bowl halftime show with RailCam. And we had a much more intricate setup. I think we had like six or seven systems running.

Cinevo Host: And two years ago that was, or let’s see, was two years ago Florida?

Ryan Schultz: Or is that the show years ago? That was, uh, it was The Weekend. It was The Weekend.

Cinevo Host: So The Weekend. Yeah. That was, that was the during COVID Super Bowl. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ryan Schultz: Yep. And at that point I was still early with them and so I was still learning, there are various remote heads and their systems and everything. So I walked onto that job and everything just felt way over my head. And then, um, but we did it and it was awesome and it went great. And, uh, and this year we, we had two systems of the, I think 22 cameras that were shooting the halftime show. So it was a much more manageable setup.

And a couple years in working with them, I felt a little more confident in, in my role. But, uh, um, yeah, I mean my main role is to, uh, in working with them on the Super Bowl is building and maintaining the remote heads. Uh, that’s, that’s, I feel like what my strong suit is. And then we have, um, so the, I mean the two systems we had was, uh, a speed winch, which, and this is only the second time I had worked with it. I don’t really do the rigging. I’m not involved much with that. But we have a guy that specializes in that. Um, so that was just a, a kind of like a car that’s supported by two cables. Right. And it just goes straight up and straight down, has about a 60 foot drop. And then our second system was just a hard round mounted remote head, um, under slung.

So for us, this, this one was kind of chill. Like it was a little challenging getting set up. Um, you always feel like you need more time, it seems in, in live production. But, uh, uh, yeah, I feel like, um, everything all in everything went pretty smoothly. The show was well received, Rihanna freaking killed it, uh, which was incredibly impressive, especially being pregnant, which we had no idea Right. During the rehearsals.

Cinevo Host: So even the staff in and anybody not kind of directly affiliated with her camp, that was all, that was the big surprise for everybody.

Ryan Schultz: I guess. I don’t know about her staff. I imagine the people that she works directly with knew. Right. But we were doing rehearsals and, and like she didn’t show up to many of them or like, oh, what’s like, how’s the show gonna go? Like, is it gonna be you know, everything will go smooth? I don’t know. And then she showed up and just killed it. Because she is just a consummate professional, be honest and Yeah. Um, so that was awesome. But yeah, I’m sure she’s got a lot going on with her, like billion dollar empire, like clothing industry and, and also, uh, working on having another child. It’s a lot.

Cinevo Host: So you’re, you know, you’re getting these heads together. Who, what other team elements are you having to communicate, coordinate with? Do you have to be engaged with like the, the dance choreographers or anything like that to get shot ideas? Or is that all just kind of communicated to another team and, and you’re just setting it up?

Ryan Schultz: I mean, that, that more, that higher level stuff is more on the director. Like they’re looking during rehearsals, they’re looking at all the frames. They have an idea, everything’s like pre-vis, they have an idea of what they’re going for.

Um, and you know, things might change, lenses might change. Camera positions might change a little bit uhhuh , but mostly the show is decided upon before you’re even there because of all the tech that goes into it. Right. And like all the cables and all the wireless and everything. Um, so if I’m ever interacting with those folks, it’s more, uh, like a safety thing, you know. Making sure that nobody’s gonna get run over by a moving camera system or something.

Cinevo Host: Yeah. And did anything like that come up? Any, any uh, you know, adjustments that had to micro adjustments that had to be made to the process or anything like that? Or like you mentioned, I guess it was pretty smooth sailing for the most part.

Ryan Schultz: Yeah. We did have some adjustments with the speed wench because, um, of where they wanted the camera, there wasn’t like a hard mounting point, which normally is ideal.

So I think they, they had to like build some sort of, uh, um, I don’t even know what, what exactly I want to call it, but, uh, like, like a housing cage. Yeah. They had, they had to build a support system that our rig would hang from. And so because that system was floating in the air, then it affected our system as it went up and down, it kind of like moved and shook in a way that it normally wouldn’t. So they had to further, uh, uh, strap what it was attached to down to try to, uh, stabilize it more. And that helped. But it took, it took a couple days to kind of figure that out. But that’s what rehearsals are for and that’s what, uh, uh, all the like tech, tech stuff is the tech days, uh, installs to, to try to figure that out and work out the kinks.

Cinevo Host: Right. So that come show everything’s good. And I think that really was, for most people, the most impressive part of that show. You know, choreograph choreography wise and costume set wise. It was, it was pretty straightforward. But the things I think that really impressed viewers the most was the, the scale and seeing like the height differentials and things like that of some of this staging. I saw a lot of memes comparing it to like a Super Mario or super special brothers level , where you’ve got these like incredibly raised platforms and you know, at the party I was at, everybody was asking, we were all kind of, there were some technical people there, so we were all kind of trying to guess about like how they set things up. But having those, you know, wide shots from such a high elevation mm-hmm. and then the scale of like the dancers and the performers and being able to encapsulate all of that was just, I think really, really impressive for a lot of people.

Ryan Schultz: So, yeah, I don’t, I don’t wanna go too far out of my wheelhouse, but I think it was, uh, I think TAIT, which is a staging company, they do a lot of big, I think they’re like a premier company that people use for, uh, staging and music tours and live events and they, I believe they were the ones in charge of the SkyCam system. That was all automated with the music and the platforms. Probably for, if I had to guess for safety reasons, but also it was repeatable and like literally wasn’t as far as I understood it, an operator on those heads. Um, which is crazy because yeah, you have all the wires for the platforms, you have the wires for the sky cams. Uh, it’s pretty gnarly. Um, but yeah, that’s stuff, man, it looked, it looked awesome.

Cinevo Host: That is really, that is impressive to think about that all of those shots were kind of preset and executed without a, a human operator there.

Ryan Schultz: So yeah, really just the, the three or four cable systems, I honestly don’t know a whole lot about those systems. Um, but uh, and then everything else, you know, was manned. I don’t, certainly don’t wanna take away from all the amazing operators that were on the halftime show.

Cinevo Host: That’s why we all get to have jobs out here because of specialization.

Ryan Schultz: Don’t automate too much. Don’t automate too much.

Cinevo Host: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Awesome. Well, Ryan, we are so pleased to have you as part of the Cinevo community. Thank you for joining us today. Thank you for sharing your story with our audience. Before we go, any, you know, there are, there is somebody out there that is listening to this thinking they wanna live the life that you’re living right now and they’re still at their local university. So what advice would you give to that, those individuals as they’re getting ready to take their own journey?

Ryan Schultz: Oh man. I mean, so like, if you’re in school, so much is learned outside the classroom, um, which thankfully I had a really good professor that I mentioned that allowed me to kind of marry those two things, bring stuff from outside, bring it inside the classroom. Um, but uh, yeah, I mean there’s so much today, it’s probably been said a million times, but there’s so much more accessibility to various tools to shoot stuff, right? I mean, you can go buy an RS III for a thousand dollars and that didn’t used to be the case, right? Like the MOVI M10, stinking $12,000, whatever. So it’s, everything’s become even less than that. Like everything’s become so much more accessible. So yeah, I mean, just shoot, just get your hands on a camera and just be creating all the time and see where it leads you.

There’s so many, I didn’t even know that what I’m doing now was a job, right, five years ago. And I feel like that is becoming more the case as more technologies around cameras and support systems evolve. There’s so many different ways that you can be, uh, a technician or so many different ways that you can be an operator or a director of photography or a director. There’s just so many genres of work that can be done. And so yeah, just experiment and kind of figure out what it is you’re most interested in and go from there.

Cinevo Host: Awesome. Awesome. Well, again, Ryan, thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you to all of our listeners for tuning in on Clubhouse or Discord or YouTube or wherever you’re listening to us. A reminder, check out our website, for all the information about our upcoming events, including our 2023 grant contest for creators, as well as our March 2nd expo with the Zeiss lens team. Thank you again, Ryan, and we’ll be seeing you soon.

Ryan Schultz: Thank you.

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