| The Journey |
Ryan Kruger’s obsession with film started at the age of 14 when he acquired a JVC MovieVideo camcorder and feverishly filmed his friends and family in a series of “movies”. Exploring themes of criminality, wacky relationships, and action-driven plots, he slowly began to nurture his narrative style and soon found his passion in the art of storytelling. Bored to death with the mundane realities of high school Ryan graduated and jumped at the opportunity to obtain his acting diploma from The Guildhall School of Music & Drama. To fill his time he took on a personal project: a gritty reality-type show called GTV! For three years Kruger delved into the underbelly of the live music scene, filming with some of the world’s biggest rock bands. Bands like Juliet Lewis and the Licks, Misfists, Slipknot and Black Flag allowed him to venture into the unknown and the outcome was a sobering yet hilarious glimpse of the ridiculous life of a rock star
“I could never see myself doing anything other than what I’m doing right now”
Shifting his focus back to acting, Kruger landed a few small roles on shows like “Shameless” as well as feature films taking notes from veterans like academy award winner Danny Boyle on the set of “Millions”. His work has also been critiqued by Quentin Tarantino during his Death Proof tour. This was his first film school and he sponged all the information he could about life on set, the creative thought process and the dynamic between director and actor.
Hoping for bigger opportunities, Kruger headed to sunny South Africa and enrolled at Cape Town’s AFDA Film School where he ultimately received a bursary to complete his honors in Directing & Writing. Not being one to stand still, he quickly made his connections while studying and approached bands to direct their music videos.
Today, he is known as the top music video director in South Africa and has conceptualized and directed over 70 music videos for SA’s most prolific artists.
His talent has clearly not gone unnoticed. He’s won numerous awards over the years (both locally and internationally) including a SAMA (South African Music Award) for his work with globally acclaimed rock band, Prime Circle. He also managed to claim the top 3 spots in MTV Africa’s annual music video awards in 2013.
With his mind set on his first feature film, he has several scripts in development and exciting collaborations in the pipeline. Broadening his horizons to the commercial world, Kruger has spent the last year creating compelling content for global brands like Toyota. A true talent and a refreshing addition to the film industry, Kruger is definitely a standout young director eager to break the mold.
| Fried Barry |
Fried Barry follows the story of a drug-addled degenerate who, after yet another bender, gets abducted by aliens. Barry takes a backseat as his alien visitor assumes control of his body and takes it for a joyride through Cape Town. What follows is an onslaught of drugs, sex and violence as Barry’s alien tourist enters the weird and wonderful world of humankind.
The feature directorial debut from award-winning music video director Ryan Kruger and starring newcomer Gary Green, the genre pushing, acid-washed, sci-fi horror has been praised by critics and embraced by fans around the world.
Fried Barry world premiered at the 2020 Cinequest Film Festival and went on to screen at celebrated festivals such as the prestigious Sitges International Film Festival, Fantasia International Film Festival, Grimmfest, and Fantaspoa International Fantastic Film Festival. So far the film has picked up over 23 awards around the world at some of the biggest genre film festivals. And will be releasing by AMC’s Shudder on May 7th.
| Directing Style |
Sometimes dark, sometimes light – Kruger’s directing style is dynamic, fresh and specially focused on narratives: Whether it’s an interesting, yet straightforward story or a collection of compelling and more abstract visuals that portray a story. With an extensive background in acting for film, Kruger understands what it takes to get the desired performance and places special emphasis on characters and their levels of depth.
From a visual perspective, Kruger’s experimental flair has led to some striking compositions and his portfolio is a testament to his versatility: a visual chameleon with an ever clear idea dancing around in his head. Heavily influenced by the films of his childhood, Kruger’s style reminds of 80’s cinema in all of its various forms. He mentions Spielberg’s work as his first love in film and consequently finds himself fixated on interesting characters, real-feel production design and stories that transcend across cultures, ages, and gender.
Often placing extraordinary circumstances into real-life situations, Kruger finds great pleasure in contrasting big concepts with the rawness of human behavior and emotion while placing special emphasis on the aesthetic of his work. Effortlessly switching from gritty, edgy and dark to commercial and clean-cut, his strength lies within his adaptability and is constantly striving to perfect his craft by openly exploring different styles.
| Personal Projects |
As is true for any creative, the need to generate art of a personal nature is an inextinguishable fire. Kruger’s passion flourishes in the experimental field because of there are no limitations or apprehension from other parties. Anything goes. In collaboration with Kruger’s equally passionate creative team, he’s planning on releasing an 8-part series of experimental films which will later manifest into an exhibition. The first of the weird and wacky short films, Fried Barry, has been submitted to film festivals across the globe and received 37 official selections as well as 6 wins in various categories.