Ryan Smith's Bio
Ryan Smith grew up surfing the beaches of San Diego and immersing himself in the underground music scene. As a teenager, he began photographing album covers for unsigned bands in order to fund his true passion of becoming a director. With the money he saved, Ryan self-financed and directed his first low budget music video, which caught the attention of Interscope Records President, Jimmy Iovine.
At age 22, while attending film school at Loyola Marymount University, Ryan directed his first commissioned music video for platinum artist Bone Thugs N’ Harmony. This marked the beginning of what now has become a notable directing career.
Ryan has directed over 100 music videos accumulating an impressive roster of talent ranging from multi-platinum selling artists Eminem, Duran Duran, Good Charlotte, Gavin Degraw, Cypress Hill, Shinedown, 3 Doors Down, and American Idol finalist Bo Bice, to name a few. Smith has helmed fourteen #1 videos on MTV’s TRL, along with over a dozen music videos that earned numerous accolades from Billboard, Much Music and MTV Awards in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Ryan also received the honor of directing MTV’s most requested video of 2003 for Good Charlotte’s “The Anthem”.
More recently, Ryan crossed over his rock & roll style into country music, garnering a handful of #1 videos on CMT and GAC. Ryan’s fresh approach to the country market earned the respect of multi-platinum country superstar Jason Aldean after directing his “Relentless” music video. “Visually, it’s one of the coolest videos I’ve done so far”, Aldean declares. The pair followed up their success when they teamed up on the video for Aldean's hit single, "My Kinda Party". The video was later nominated for Video of the Year at the 2011 CMT Music Video Awards.
Ryan’s distinct visual style combines a unique sense of cinematic drama with the allure of a classic photograph. His devotion to the filmmaking process is evident in every aspect of how he approaches his work as a director and photographer. From the direction of the lighting, the camera, the editing, and his attention to the art direction, Ryan’s work is embedded with rich takes on light, color, and texture.
His strength as a visual storyteller has led to a natural progression into the advertising world. His commercial work showcases a diverse range of visual motifs, each tapping into the trends of today’s popular culture. Whether it is his on-air network promos for TLC's skin art series L.A. Ink, or his southern chic glamour spots for Ashley Judd’s boutique clothing line, Ryan’s commitment to capturing the essence of a brand always remains at the forefront. Other commercial credits include work for Bud Light, Levi's, and Abercrombie & Fitch.
Ryan has built a comprehensive list of clients over the years, including major record labels, advertising agencies and television networks such as Warner Music Group, Atlantic Records, Capital Records, Universal Music Group, Arista Records, Columbia Records, Interscope Records, Sony Music, BBDO, JWT, McCann-Erickson, TLC, Discovery Channel, MTV, VH1 and Turner Network.
With over a decade of experience behind him, Ryan continues to push the boundaries of his most prized obsession; imagery. He currently lives and works between Los Angeles and Nashville.