Narrative Media Team Profiles: Ryan Savage, Associate Producer and Editor
If you were to ask a typical film major when their interest in the industry began, they might tell you a story about growing up watching feature films and thinking, “I could do that!” Ryan Savage’s love for filmmaking, however, stemmed from an immediate and technical preoccupation with the camera itself. “Ever since I was a kid,” says Ryan, “I always loved picking up the camera. I noticed my parents’ camcorder and fell in love with recording everything I possibly could. It always felt natural to me.” He recalls weekends spent capturing footage with friends, who he enlisted as actors and gaffers for spontaneous short film projects.
When it came time for Ryan to decide on a major in college, the choice was obvious. From there, he spent years gaining experience in all aspects of film production, working in various assistant roles before arriving at Narrative Media, where his wide-ranging expertise makes him an indispensable team leader. To this day, Ryan maintains his passion for the technical side of things: “I can’t always recognize famous actors and I can’t list tons of directors, but I can watch a film and tell you how they got that shot or pulled off that effect.”
“I’ve always been very flexible. If you ask me to use the B-Cam on set—that’s totally fine. You want me to hold the boom because I’m tall? Sure!”
Ryan Savage is a true jack of all trades—and then some. His extensive industry background spans from post-production skills, like color grading and editing, to pre-production necessities such as client communication, assistant direction, and camera operation. His taste for variety allows him to truly shine in his role as Associate Producer and Editor at Narrative Media, where you might find him coordinating with the crew, problem solving behind the camera, or at his desk, cutting B-roll clips to the beat of a song.
Ryan attributes much of his positive experience at Narrative Media to the leadership of Andrew Poag, the company’s multi-talented founder (and producer/director/editor). “Andrew has been great about giving me the freedom to make my own creative decisions,” Ryan says. “I have a wide range of responsibilities and it feels good to have that trust to try new things. We’ve already talked about taking on projects and clients on my own so if something comes up and Andrew’s already got a lot on his plate, he can say, ‘Here’s Ryan. He’ll take it from here.’”
Ryan, far right, operating camera during a shoot for Wills Eye Hospital.
Ryan speaks highly of his experience working with the rest of the team at Narrative Media. Everyone’s an absolute specialist in what they do, whether it’s Mike Gallagher’s smooth drone operation, Clay Hereth’s resourceful cinematography, or Ioana Chiorean’s enchanting makeup, hair, and set design. “The people we work with are awesome,” says Ryan. “I’ve learned a lot from working with each one of them. I’m usually brought on as a generalist, so it’s been really cool to pick up specific tips and techniques from the members of our incredible team.”
“I’m always looking for new ways to make our projects stand out, both for my own creative fulfillment and to elevate the product.”
By nature, promotional videos can sometimes have a cookie cutter feel: talking heads cut to B-roll footage over a standard, unassuming soundtrack. While there is a time and place for traditional visual storytelling, Ryan also likes to think outside the box. “It’s important to keep things subtle, and to understand that you’re working within a specific budget and timeframe, but there are still so many opportunities for creative fulfillment,” he explains. Before each shoot—and even during the editing phase—he brainstorms ideas and techniques to give each project an immersive, unforgettable appeal. Whether it’s through his eye-catching match cuts or meticulous color grading, Ryan knows exactly how to bring his footage to life.
Ryan likes to present clients with a variety of potential options, sometimes creating several alternate versions of a project in order to anticipate potential feedback and make sure clients are happy with the results. Although he makes every effort to plan for smooth, straightforward shoots, he also gets a strong sense of satisfaction from solving the inevitable on-set and post-production challenges: “If I ever run into a problem either at work or in my personal life, I’m more interested in solving it than I am frustrated about the problem.” Unsurprisingly, Ryan’s limitless patience and ingenuity have made him a vital asset and point of contact in all stages of production.