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Ryan Monteith

Sheridan grad Ryan Monteith

Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design

Degree: Media Arts

Year of graduation: 2000

Big Picture
Media Arts grad Ryan Monteith on keeping it real

Every morning, Senior Picture Editor Ryan Monteith’s day starts with a cup of coffee — a habit harking back to his days hanging out with fellow Sheridan students at the Second Cup in the Trafalgar SCAET building. The jump-start leads into an action-packed day translating the frenetic pace of The Amazing Race Canada to viewers across the country. “When we start a show, we get a ton of footage to review, and have to make decisions on what reactions to show — such as dirty looks or a smile — to tell that story,” says Monteith. “What I’m doing is editing that time for you. For that 20 or 40 minutes, all those decisions are being made for the viewers.”

From Dinner Party Wars to Canadian Pickers, Monteith is a veteran of the Canadian reality television scene, and recently received a 2016 Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Picture Editing in a Reality/Competition Program or Series for Big Brother Canada. “For reality series such as The Amazing Race Canada, they create their own drama,” says Monteith. “In terms of raw footage, we almost have too much good stuff. But if you go back and watch the raw footage, it’s never as interesting as what’s cut down for television.”

Monteith’s love of editing for the small screen started at his childhood home in Midland, Ontario, when his father brought home the family’s first video camera. The 10-year old Monteith became increasingly interested in editing tape between VCR’s, whether it was a music video for classmates or video projects for school — an interest that continued throughout his teen years.

Monteith was drawn to Sheridan’s Media Arts program by the opportunity to work with experts in the field. “Sheridan was very real — the experience that I got there translated into the real world because the instructors that we had were already from that area,” said Monteith, who points to Didier Kennel, professor of advanced television and film, bachelor of film and TV, as a tough but fair inspiration. “He told us it’s not going to be easy, but the techniques he showed us were ones that you either got or you didn’t.”

Monteith entered the world of reality television through a third year co-op at Soho Post, working in the tape room and as an assistant to online editors. “I really wanted to be on a machine, editing, however,” says Monteith. When an opportunity came up with a friend working on The Lofters, an Alliance Atlantis production, Monteith was up to the challenge. “It was the boot camp of editing,” he says. “It was sink or swim, but through that experience, I worked with some amazing people, and it was advantageous to my career.”

This ability to adapt is a skill that Monteith considers crucial to his career. “The one thing about editing is that everything is changeable. Don’t be afraid to make decisions or try things that may not work,” he says. “You’ll always have another voice to help you get to that end result that you want.”

Sheridan’s Media Arts program has become the Bachelor of Bachelor of Film and Television.
Click here to learn more about the program.
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