For Ryan Hanlon, his love for directing backyard movies just grew into a career of making films for the Web and loving every second of it.
“I can still remember directing scenes at an early age with my friend, Ben (Alford), while my dad wrenched on some old hot rod and probably wondered what in the world we were doing on the hill in the back yard,” said Hanlon, of Alton.
After graduating from Webster University, Hanlon started the task of finding a job in video production. That same summer, as a gift from his older brother, he traveled around Ireland with his brother and a few months later, on a whim, moved there for six months. When he returned home from his European adventure, he quickly found a local company that specialized in live event production.
Hanlon then went to work for Swank Audio Visuals, where he produced live events at a hotel in St. Louis. After two years, he needed more of a challenge and moved to California. Swank provided him with the opportunity to continue live event production at the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla, Calif., where he spent five years.
“It was five wonderful years of great events, friends, weather, surfing, mountain biking, Mexico, wineries, getting married and the birth of our son, Connor,” he said.
But at the urging of his wife, Laura, it was time for the “beach party” to be over and move closer to their families. Back in St. Louis, Hanlon continued to work for Swank Audio Visuals at the new Four Seasons Hotel.
“I had two great years directing amazing events there, but I was feeling the tug of family, and I just wanted to do more with my talents,” he said.
About this time in 2010, he hired Michael Gebben of Gebbs Total Video for a documentary about the Ozark Trail Association. The two became fast friends, and Hanlon decided to make a change and leave his 10-year career to start a new chapter with Gebbs. Together, they restructured the company and created GebbsTV.com.
“We have created some amazing films together,” he said. “Michael is 10 years younger than me, but he has taught me that there is nothing more valuable than time — making time for the things that matter in life. I am blessed to know him and work with him.”
Together, the two have created films featuring personalities such as best-selling author Tim Ferriss; MTV’s “The Buried Life”; Carl Richards; St. Louis natives, actor Jon Hamm and Ellie Kemper; and motivational speaker Tony Robbins.
“We have been blessed to work with many great clients, but the biggest project to date was the promo we made for Tony Robbins and his Unleash the Power Within event in New Jersey this past spring,” Hanlon said. “Words cannot express the weight of this experience. Everyone should just watch the film.”
With the help of a few other friends, the team headed to New Jersey to make the film in one weekend for Robbins. After shooting hours of footage and editing for almost 20 hours straight, the team delivered an edited version of the film to Robbins in time to show his audience of 5,000 people by Sunday.
“It was a life-changing moment for all of us, and we only hope we can continue to make great films for and with great people,” Hanlon said.
For more information about GebbsTV, go to www.gebbstv.com.
When Hanlon is not behind a camera, he enjoys many hobbies, including volunteering and building trails with the Ozark Trail Association, mountain biking, camping, and enjoying the outdoors with his family — wife Laura, son Connor, 5, and daughter Audrey, 3 — and friends.
“There is a great power to the wilderness, and it inspires me, calms me and helps me re-focus on what is special in life,” Hanlon said.
After suffering a horrible bike accident last October, Hanlon said it gave him the opportunity to step back and look at his life.
“It really reinforced how little time we have, and no matter how good or bad things are, we need to look around and enjoy all that we have and live in the moment,” he said.
Read more: http://www.thetelegraph.com/articles/career-70698-directing-web.html#ixzz1wGrzB5Jz