Worked as a Production Assistant on Congruent Story’s Latest Project

On Friday, I worked with Congruent Story on their project with AgModels. They’re helping AgModels shoot a series of commercials here in Syracuse.

Congruent Story is helping AgModels talk about how their software helps farmers make more money while they help protect the environment.

We shot a total of five interviews at Syracuse University’s CASE Center in their Fishbowl Conference room.  The director was named S.T. and he was really good at putting the interview subject at ease and making the interviews very conversational.

I worked as a production assistant to Danielle Southwick, who was the production manager. Danielle was really nice and she took the time to look at my portfolio of work and gave me advice on sound and lighting techniques for the future.

This was a wonderful learning experience for me. I have done a bunch of my own shoots, but this was the first time I worked with a really professional agency. I’m really grateful to Danielle and the Congruent Story team for letting me be on set for the shoot and I can’t wait to work on some of the raw footage in the future.

Babylon Sisters Bouncing the Bar B Cue !

A few weeks ago, my company JVR Productions filmed the Babylon Sisters concert at Dinosaur BBQ here in Syracuse. Joanna Jewett and her twelve-piece band gave a remarkable performance that Sunday afternoon!

I had some assistance with the three-camera shoot (my first!) from my friend, Analyse Adams, and my dad, Matthew Van Ryn.  Dad came in handy on the editing because he knew all these songs by Steely Dan by heart.

Dave Frisina of “The Rebel” gave a wonderful introduction to this amazing show. The band was rocking so hard that our cameras literally bounced up and down to the beat! I had so much fun watching the show as well as filming it.

The show was put on by Red Shoes Black Bag Productions. Every one of their shows donates a portion of the proceeds to Vera House and other local charities. It feels great to help the community while enjoying the great musicians we have here in Syracuse.

Don’t you think they should win a SAMMY for this show?

I certainly do!

What “Face Off” taught me about Art…

I’ve been watching “Face Off” for almost 10 years.  Over that time, it has made a big impact on my approach and skills as an artist.  I remember when I came across this show on SYFY when it was broadcasting its third season.

The show was so different from other reality shows because they had talented people who were skilled in Special FX make-up and were assigned to make tons of unique creations. But like other competition shows, the judges had to decide who’s work best fulfilled the challenge and they would move on to the next week’s show.

I watched eleven of the thirteen seasons of Face Off and it was around the time I went to many art classes during my college years. The show taught me so much about how to improve your skills as an artist and that constructive feedback is important to help make your work better.

“Face Off” changed over time. At first, they focused on the drama between contestants and had them all live in a house sponsored by the show, like several other reality shows. But over time, the show focused less on the drama and more on the creative process. I learned over time that feedback from your client is not criticism of your creative abilities. It’s just focusing you on how to do better and deliver a professional product that meets your client’s needs.

I also learned that even when you’re under deadline pressure, you can still find a few minutes to help out other coworkers with their projects. That’s how it works in creative businesses. It’s all about teamwork. So I thank “Face Off” for helping artists like myself learn how to work in a professional creative environment.

I had the pleasure of meeting Glenn Hetrick from the show at Scare-A-Con. I showed him some of my artwork and he was really supportive and impressed. He was a truly sweet person. I wish Glenn and all my friends from the show all the greatest success in the future.

Long Live Face Off!


Face Off’s Official Website

The 2018 Arc Race Commercials

Hey Guys! I recently finished the Arc Race commercials and they’re going to be shown on television starting tomorrow and running through Labor Day.

Arc of Onondaga purchased advertising time on ten different cable channels, including Hallmark, Bravo, TLC, E! Entertainment, Lifetime, TVLand and several other channels.

The Arc Race helps raise money to fund so many programs that Arc of Onondaga does for people in the community. Won’t you do your part and sign up for the race? Click at the link below!

Arc Race Commercial Project

Hey everyone, I have very big news!

I’m currently working on a new commercial project for a charity fundraiser event for Arc of Onondaga. We will be shooting commercials to promote the Arc Race that is happening this fall in Syracuse.

The good news is that the four commercials I’m working will be shown on Local TV News!  I’m very excited about this.

When you see commercials for the Arc Race, you’ll know it’s JVR Productions.  So if you live in Central New York, be sure to keep a look out for the commercials for the Arc Race!

Thank you and don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel for future updates.

JVR Productions Youtube Channel:

“How To Use Photoshop” – Mary Helsing’s Photoshop Tutorial

Photoshop has always been a wonderful program that helps create beautiful pictures. Have you ever want to learn how to use their tools? On my personal channel, “Mary Helsing”, I posted a demonstration video on how to use Photoshop.

With this program, I use it to create characters that set against colorful backgrounds and create business logos. Be sure to take a look and see how I walk you through the steps and teach you how to use Photoshop tools. Hope you enjoy it!

“Et Tu Brute?” – Syracuse Shakespeare In The Park’s “Julius Caesar”

From the company that brought you “Henry IV Pt. 1” and “The Taming of the Shrew” comes Syracuse Shakespeare In The Park’s daring adaptation of “Julius Caesar”. I was even casted as the Soothsayer, which was a wonderful character to play.

This is a wonderful community that could really use your support because they are a theater company that keeps the language of Shakespeare alive. Be sure to check out their next production this summer!

And don’t forget to check out their website at

“The Impact of Giving” – Arc of Onondaga

Here is another project I did for Joanna Jewett and Arc of Onondaga. I filmed this projected at several in Syracuse over several months. The main point of this video is to show people the many ways that Arc of Onondaga provides assistance to disabled people in our community.

Your donations to Arc of Onondaga help pay for things like purchasing new appliances for group homes for disabled adults, it provides funding for disabled people to participate in community theater and other activities to integrate these individuals into the community.

Won’t you consider a donation to Arc of Onondaga to help them help those most in need? Thank you for your generosity.

Donate to Arc of Onondaga

“The Disco Ball” – Red Shoes Black Bag Productions

To show support for Red Shoes Black Productions, I filmed footage of their latest concert, “The Disco Ball”, where Letizia and the Z Band with three guest vocalists do covers of many classic disco songs from the 1970’s.

Their musical events help benefit not-for-profit organization, “Serenity For Women”, an organization that builds small homes for homeless returning female Veterans.

If you want to check out more of their upcoming events, be sure to check out their website at

Arc of Onondaga Training Video

Back in April, I filmed a training video for Arc of Onondaga on “How To Clean a Bathroom”. I worked with Joanna Jewett and her Co-Workers to put together this project.

This video is supposed to teach people with Disabilities on how to work as a Janitor and how to take care of the job with dignity and respect.

Thank you to everyone at Arc of Onondaga for helping me put together this educational video!