Known for his razor sharp casting, and dry, understated comedic performances, Ryan is an internationally award-winning writer/director who “just needs to make things.” He’s originally from Fargo, ND, where he got his first job in an ad agency at age 16. From there, he’s worked at a who’s who of elite creative shops, like Butler, Shine & Stern, Wieden & Kennedy, Chiat/Day, BBH, BBDO and 180, crafting ideas that stand out and get noticed.
Since making the move to directing, Ryan has kept his quirky storytelling sensibility and drive for award-winning work. His work has been lauded in every show from D&AD to The One Show to Communication Arts. His extensive years on the agency side has been crucial in his ability to attract projects from big brands like Ford, P&G, Slim Jim, Sour Patch Kids, AT&T, Verizon, Reebok. & Snickers and Fox Sports. But his short film “Meanomorphosis,” which garnered him a Silver Lion at the Cannes Film Festival, cemented his evolution from 30 second TV ads to long-format branded content and put him on the map as one of today’s comedic talents to watch.
Ryan’s often asked to write on scripts he’s tapped to direct. This collaboration with clients and agencies is cited as one of the major reasons he gets so much repeat business. Being “part of the team” gives him a special view into the project and allows him to solve problems traditional agencies face in today’s industry. It’s also made him a prime source for direct-to-client projects from companies like Apple, Fitbit and Activision’s Call of Duty franchise.
The Light Side is his first non-branded short film, and culminated in a year-long journey from conception to completion. “The process was totally different than my commercial shoots. Not only was I the director, but I was also the caterer, the wardrobe stylist and the principal financier. The shoot week was grueling and relentless. I loved every second of it.” Ryan is currently developing two new film projects in between his busy commercial career, and is writing a short-length webisodic for mobile platforms.
His biggest passions are music, dogs, jiu jitsu, and of course, film.
His pet peeves are sidewalk joggers, people who eat on the subway, and the word “moist.”
Ryan currently lives in New York City.