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CONNECT WITH Craig Kolesky
Photographer BIO:
A decade ago Bryan Smith bought his first camera at WalMart and started calling himself a filmmaker. Armed with a $500 handicam, he embarked on a kayaking expedition to the far reaches of Arunachal Pradesh, India. While his imagery barely cracked amateur status on that first expedition, his passion and persistence would carry him through the ranks of the industry in the span of just 10 years.
His first film, 49 Megawatts, documented a community’s struggle with a hydroelectric project on the Ashlu River and eventually led him to the hallways of National Geographic. He received an Expedition Council grant to lead a team of kayakers into the wilds of Kamchatka and went on to direct The Man Who Can Fly for the National Geographic Channel. After several years as a freelance director of photography for National Geographic, Bryan founded Reel Water Productions. A boutique production company based in Squamish, British Columbia specializing in documentary, expedition and commercial content.
Bryan currently leads a team of like minded creatives in the pursuit of authentic storytelling. Their award-winning films have graced festival circuits, television networks and the online community. Bryan believes the best projects are those with a healthy chance of failure and pass a 60/40 rule. Stories with a 60% chance of succeeding and a 40% chance of failing seem to produce the elements of unknown, emotion and challenge that audiences crave.
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