What have you made?
The company I co-own has made 3 documentaries and a feature film. Our first project, #Uncommn, is a documentary about Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) and their head football coach, Ryan Smith. It's available on Amazon Prime by searching #Uncommn. It's spelled wrong on purpose, and the documentary tells the story of that. We filmed and produced a sequel to #Uncommn titled, #Uncommn 2: Road to Redemption. It is currently being edited by Danny Todd. Modern-Day Disciples is our most recent completed work and our first completed feature film. I served as the assistant director, co-lead, and numerous other crew positions.
What are you making next?
I am currently in the very early stages of pre-production for a project that is personal to me titled, I Am Your Son. It tells the story of a young man who is struggling with the absence of his father. Our company is also working on a sequel to Modern Day Disciples and we expect to start production sometime in early 2022.
What do you believe in?
First and foremost, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He was sent here to die on the cross so that we can be forgiven for our sins and have access to eternal life with God. I also believe that God has a divine plan laid out for everyone's life and that right now I am following His divine plan for my life. I believe in hard work, love, and having faith in even the most difficult situations in life.
What inspires you to make?
Seeing souls come to know Jesus and give their life to Him upon accepting the gift of eternal life He offers inspires me to make films. Knowing that a film we made has the power to help people give their life to God makes me want to continue making films. I am also inspired to make movies because I know in my heart that filmmaking is the talent God blessed me with and wants me to serve His Kingdom with. My wife, Nicole, and my son, Braxton, also keep me inspired because I want to be the very best person and filmmaker I can be for them.
Who has mentored you?
My biggest mentor in filmmaking has been my best friend and business partner, Danny Todd. Danny was interested in the filmmaking aspect of film long before I was. I was only focused on being the best actor I can be, and during that process, Danny's love for filmmaking gave birth to my love for filmmaking. Everything Danny learned he taught me. I am still a long way behind him in terms of editing and precision shots, but I'm learning with his help.
How do you make what you make?
We have made all of our past projects on a Sony FS5 camera and Danny has edited them using Final Cut Pro software on his MacBook. We would not be able to make the projects we do without our wonderful cast and crew. We are blessed to have so many people in our corner who believe in us and do whatever they can to help us succeed. We also own our own lights and have just recently purchased our own sound equipment and a dolly.
What creators and creations inspire you most?
I am inspired the most by the Kendrick Brothers and Erwin Brothers. Both pairs of brothers have made astounding faith-based films that have brought millions all over the world to know the love of God. Some of my favorite faith-based films are "Facing the Giants", "Courageous", "Woodlawn", and "I Still Believe". All of those films were made tremendously with great quality, shot sequence, editing, and acting and they inspire me to continue creating in hopes of one-day making projects on the same level as them that reach millions of people and save souls for the Kingdom.
What is your story?
Growing up in Lanett, AL I always dreamt of being in movies. Once I became a teenager we moved to Decatur, MS and a short time later my parents divorced causing my dad to move back to AL. One summer while visiting my dad I heard a radio ad for an acting showcase in Columbus, GA, and decided to attend. From there my love for acting blossomed. Flash forward to a few years ago I had just graduated high school and still felt the passion to act burning in my heart. I asked around to try and find an independent industry within MS and that's when I met my best friend and business partner, Danny Todd. A couple of years later we created Rydan Media, LLC and have been working ever since. I was raised in a church of Christ and shortly after moving to MS, I joined a non-denominational church where I eventually became the youth pastor. I backslid and refused to answer my calling from God. I drank, disobeyed my mother and elders, and continued to run from God. I eventually fell at his feet asking for forgiveness, and now I am here today. It's amazing who God will use to serve His purpose. That's my story.
What is your purpose?
My purpose is to spread the word of God through the power of film and produce movies that families can watch together.
What miracles have you experienced in your life?
The miracles I've experienced in my life all revolve around vehicles. I was involved in multiple wrecks throughout my high school career that should have killed me, especially one in particular. But in each one, I came out with not even a bruise. I firmly believe all of those wrecks were in fact miracles because when I should have been ejected or crushed, I stepped away with not even a scratch. God saved me because of the purpose He has for me, and I truly believe that.
What miracles do you want to perform?
The only miracle I want to be able to perform is producing a movie that changes lives, gives hope to people with doubt, mends broken marriages, reunites fathers and mothers with their children, and introduces people to the never-ending love of God.
What do you need to make miracles happen?
The only thing I need to make miracles happen is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As long as I have him I will be able to continue to produce faith-based films and change lives. I know that my continued faith in His Will will ultimately lead to bigger connections and larger funding that will allow our company to make better quality films and reach more people worldwide.