Owner of Psychicflyingmonkey Productions, Jason Ryan is a cinematographer and director based in Phoenix, Arizona.
Jason grew up riding BMX freestyle in the blustery White Mountains of eastern Arizona. He joined the US Navy after high school, and after four years of sailing around the world he began pursuing a professional career in BMX back in the US. Jason eventually became a regional pro, and while working his way up the ranks he watched BMX videos incessantly and was heavily influenced by them. At last he decided to self-finance and produce his own full-length action sports video featuring the Arizona BMX scene. His first full-length BMX film The Carnie and Trailer Trash Show was distributed nationally and a few years later his 2nd full-length BMX film The Impetus of Cletus obtained international distribution.
Shooting BMX films whet Jason’s appetite to go deeper into filmmaking, so he began attending the Film School at Scottsdale Community College, focusing on cinematography, still photography and film production. While at SCC he was mentored by 2-time MTV Video Music Award Winner Ryan Smith in music video and commercial film production. Also while in school Jason directed two music videos for country music artist Sarah Darling and wrote and directed photography on a music video for the band Ember.
Awards and Distribution
Jason has since held the roles of director and cinematographer on many music videos, action sports films and commercials, all with his dynamic signature style. In 2009 Jason’s music video for Sarah Darling’s “Whenever it Rains” reached #2 on CMT’s Hot 20 Music Video Countdown. In 2011 his short BMX film, “Solo” won Best Short Film at the world’s largest action sports film festival, X-Dance. His films are distributed in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, and his work has aired on PBS, SPIKE, OLN, FSN, GAC, FOOD, FUEL and CMT.com. His clients include Atlantic Records, VSR Music Group/EMI CMG Music Distribution, Black River Music Group, Rockshrimp Productions and Club Tattoo.
Jason has directed photography on short and feature films, music videos, commercials, pieces for television, promos and documentaries. Films featuring his cinematography have screened in over 45 film festivals internationally, and he was nominated for a Best Cinematography award from the International Academy of Web Television in 2013 for his work on the web series Western X.
The main goal in Jason Ryan’s cinematography is to collaborate with the director to develop a look, compose shots and move the camera in a way that will best inform the subject material. “While the technical aspect of cinematography is very important, the artistic aspect is even more important,” says Jason. “The mark of a true professional is consistency, and my work is consistently artistic and high quality.” He combines his knowledge of art history, life experience, observance of light in nature, many thousands of hours of shooting film, HD video and stills, study of the work and methods of the world’s best cinematographers and his emotional response to what he’s shooting to produce a strong, original visual voice.
As a director, Jason is constantly striving to use talent, locations, production design, lighting, composition and camera movement to produce original, cinematic pieces. An actor’s director, Jason creates an organic atmosphere on his sets in which creativity can thrive, and the cast and crew can fully express themselves in their work.
As a lifetime lover of music, Jason has shot live bands and music videos at every opportunity he gets. A few of the bands he has shot live include Barenaked Ladies, Train, Cee-Lo Green, Tonya Tucker, Jordin Sparks, Junior Prom, Churchill and Vicci Martinez. Jason is also an avid professional still photographer, having applied his soulful lighting skills to shoot stills of live music, fashion, candids, lifestyle and action sports.
Still an avid BMX rider, Jason now rides purely as a creative outlet and for exercise. He credits BMX and especially the old school BMX culture for his love of originality and creativity.