Ryan Curtis is a former US Army Engineer and host of the Go90 series ‘Oscar Mike’. The show follows Ryan as he showcases some of the most high-octane post-war veteran careers. He meets stunt drivers, pilots, MMA fighters and more who teach him about their jobs and how the military helped them get to where they are today. The series is currently available to watch on Go90.
Additionally, Ryan directed the new Go90 series ‘No Sh*t, There I Was’. The show animates funny first-hand accounts from the mouths of actual military veterans. The show includes stories are about a scary Tow Jump, getting sprayed by a skunk in Afghanistan and how a rapping Marine decided to invite Betty White to the Marine Corps Ball but ended up taking Linda Hamilton instead. The series is also currently available to watch on Go90.
Ryan was a US Army Engineer from 2001 to 2009 and was deployed in both Iraq and Egypt. He joined the US Army just twelve days before planes flew into the Pentagon and Twin Towers.
After leaving the military, Ryan moved to Los Angeles to follow his dream of working in the film and television industry. He has since worked for shows such as ‘Wheel of Fortune’, ‘Jeopardy’, ‘NCIS’ and ‘Hell’s Kitchen’. Ryan has also worked on films such as ‘The Amazing Spiderman’, ‘Captain America’, ‘The Motel Life’ and ABC’s ‘Home For The Holidays’ campaign. He has appeared on programs such as ‘The View’ and ‘Good Morning America’ because of his work.
Ryan grew up outside of Boston on welfare and food stamps. The oldest of seven children, he attended Fitchburg State University (UMASS) on a basketball scholarship while studying Broadcast Journalism and Theater.
Ryan lives in Los Angeles and currently directs commercials, short films and brand integrated content through his production company, Screenifest Destiny. We had an opportunity to speak with Ryan about his amazing projects. Check out the interview below.
Hi, Ryan! Congrats on having two series streaming on Go90! Could you share some “Oscar Mike?”
Thank you! I’m truly appreciative for the opportunities I’ve had with both shows. Oscar Mike is a military saying for “on the move”. We wanted to find veterans that were on the move in their post-military careers and showcase the amazing things they are doing with their lives. We felt with both “Oscar Mike” and our other show, “No Shit There I Was”, that it was time to flip the narrative and focus on the positive side of veteran stories.
The show follows you as you showcase some of the most high-octane, post-war veteran careers. How has the reception of the series been, thus far?
It’s been an amazing response so far – especially from the veteran community. Like I said before, we are showcasing the positive and fun side of veterans and people really seem to appreciate that. It doesn’t hurt that we are doing some awesome things in the show like stock car racing, shooting guns, motocross, and extreme kayaking. Basically, it’s every little kid’s dream show and I get to live it out in real life.
What has been your favorite story to showcase, thus far?
It’s impossible for me to choose one. We did so many fun and heart pumping activities. Each show was its own beast. Every time we wrapped shooting an episode, I’d think to myself “no way could this get better”. The hardest thing was squeezing the shows into their allotted time. The best part of each show was getting to know the Veterans that we featured. All of them are so inspiring in their own field and I’ve been so lucky to get to know them.
This production is needed to show how our veterans are doing post-war. Wouldn’t you agree?
Absolutely! With so much media being dedicated to PTSD and veteran suicides, we really wanted to showcase the positive side of being a veteran. These folks we featured are tomorrows leaders and tastemakers in their field. Their life experiences in the military only help them in their civilian lives and we think it’s time to put these types of people in the spotlight.
Let’s talk “No Sh*t, There Was I.” The series showcases first-hand accounts directly from military veterans. Tell us more.
“No Shit, There I Was” takes funny and anecdotal stories straight from veterans mouths and animates them. We have got such a great response so far. People email me and call me up all the time telling me how funny the show is. We are very proud of how it turned out.
What inspired the series?
Everyone in the military has had something funny happen to them while in the service. We wanted to find the best of those stories and animate them to make them even funnier. I actually did the show in partnership with a company called We Are The Mighty and they developed it early on. I was fortunate enough to be brought on to run the show and direct it. It was an amazing opportunity that I am truly grateful for.
When the Twin Towers fell that was a very dark time for America, even the world. You joined the military to serve twelve days after, serving from 2001-2009. Thank you for your service. Now, you’re building an impressive resume in film and television. How has your military experience shaped your career?
Thank you! It’s been a lot of scratching and clawing to get where I am…. and there is still a long way to go. I actually joined the military twelve days before September 11th. So my world changed almost immediately after I joined. My military service is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. It shaped me as a man and opened my mind to different cultures and ways of life. It’s had a profound effect on my life and career. I try to bring that sensibility to every project I get involved in.
You have your own production company, where you direct commercials and shoot short films. Tell us more about Screenifest Destiny.
I started Screenifest Destiny a couple years ago with my producing partner Bryan Eliacin. We started getting more and more requests to oversee productions and needed a vehicle to do that. So we launched Screenifest with the intent to take our content to every type of screen there is. It’s our little play on manifest destiny… only screens. Watch out world! Here we come… ha!
What can the audience expect to see from Screenifest Destiny? Any features in the works?
We currently have a feature in development at Grindstone and Lionsgate that we are really excited about. We also have a few other shows that we are in development on including another animated series and two comedies. Exciting things on the horizon!
Thank you for chatting with us about the series. Is there anything else you would like to add that we didn’t cover?
You can follow me on Instagram to watch behind the scenes of our shoots and keep up with my crazy life at @ryan32curtis @screenifestdestiny.
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