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Meet Ryan J. Bush

Posted on by Adam Garcia

Absolutely honored to have the first intern at The Pressure in his second week here, handlin' biz. Meet Portland-based filmmaker, designer and photographer, boulderer and flying squirrel-protector Ryan J. Bush. I asked him some questions so you can get to know him better...

Where are you from, Ryan, and how has that shaped your viewpoint as a human?

I was born and raised in Beaverton, Oregon, and I am still living there for better or worse. I grew up in a relatively "normal" setting, going through the motions that come along with suburbia - Wanting free time during school, suffering from boredom during summer. I think the main things I have taken away from this environment is an appreciation for city life, and rural life - but I'm at a point where the "in between" of suburbia doesn't work for me anymore. I think in turn, being raised around a lot of cookie cutter homes, strip malls and chain restaurants made me want to look for things that were unique, one-off, or just generally more interesting - in products, people, professions, activities...

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So, you're a trained graphic designer from Portland State University, but you do a lot of photography and video. How do you think design informs your video work, and vice versa?

I think what most people take away from design of any kind is a method for solving problems - this is the foundation of what design is, and always will be. Fortunately, this way of thinking can be applied to nearly anything, so it's relatively easy to use that methodology in different mediums, like photography and video. Personally, It's hard for me to draw a line and separate different mediums and disciplines within the creative industry because they are all very similar when broken down - I would say the main difference is learning the tools - software, hardware, vocabulary. 

Specifically, I have taken the attention to detail required in design and applied that to my photography/ video. Because of this way of thinking, I can't watch a film now without breaking it down by paying attention to details: ambient sound, dialogue, music, composition, scene transitions, movement, color, lighting... it's endless. And conversely, my love for film/ photography has made me pay more attention to story telling - what message is being conveyed, and how can that message be more honest or simplified?  So far, it's been nice to juggle the different mediums and see what can be done - but I still have a lot to learn, as it always will be. 

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Spirit animal? 

I had a dream once that I was floating in what looked like an apocalyptic water world, and I was in charge of protecting a small flying squirrel. I had a deeply profound connection with that animal, and when I woke up, I thought it must be my spirit animal. 

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You "boulder," right? What is heck is that?

Bouldering is a form of rock climbing but without ropes - it generally stays below 20ft. Rope climbing vs. bouldering is like Long distance running vs. sprinting. Really forces you to trust your instincts - highly recommend you try it. 

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Why Portland?

When it was time to go to college, I got into U of O, but turned it down at the last minute - I liked the idea of being in the city rather than two hours away from it. After I got roped into the design program (at PSU), I started to really see the community of creatives around here and realized that I wanted to surround myself with those people. Motivated, sincere, passionate people. Now I honestly can't imagine living anywhere else - I want to travel, but this place is home. 

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In 10 years, you want to be... 

Filthy rich, (duh).

No, really - I want to be making a living doing what I love - storytelling, making, thinking. I want to be working with people I love and respect. I want to feel like I'm the dumbest guy in the room. I want to stay hungry. 

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Those were some swell answers, Ryan Bush. Time to make some stuff.

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