Ian J. Connors– BIO
Ian was raised by his Australian immigrant mother on a small farm in rural southern Washington state. This strong and capable woman taught Ian that life was about embracing every moment, even the little moments, as adventure, and then to tell those stories of adventure to others in hopes of expanding their views and enticing them to their own adventures. The ultimate goal was to become a citizen of the world and to see as much as possible.
Ian took this to heart. What better way to augment his stories than with photos? He got his first camera, a Canon T-70 35mm at the age of 18 and the love affair with capturing images began.
His first job out of High School was as a Staff Photographer for a local news rag, the Lewis River News in Woodland, WA. His camera afforded him the ability to capture other people’s adventures, and he learned that everyone has a story to tell. But the town was as small as it sounds, and after much soul searching and a deep yearning to see the world, he decided to join the United States Air Force.
After 6 months of basic training and technical school, Ian arrived at his first duty station at the 1st Combat Camera Squadron in Charleston, South Carolina. This time the cameras were large, professional ENG video cameras. This changed everything. For 8 years, Ian and his camera traveled the world as a combat cameraman. His first big assignment was in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. For 6 months he documented the actions of NATO forces and the plight of the Bosnian people as they reeled from a brutal civil war. This had a huge impression on him as he realized the power of images and storytelling.
Ian continued to hone his skills as a storyteller in all the world’s hot spots from Bosnia to the Middle East and beyond. He volunteered for every deployment he could, filming everything from intelligence gathering to in-air operations to actual combat, all under the guise of historical documentation. His talent started to become noticed, and he was awarded two 3rd places in the Military Photographer of The Year Competition out of hundreds of submissions. Ian had found true happiness behind a video camera.
After two enlistments in the military and a one year certification program at the Newhouse School of Journalism at Syracuse University in New York, Ian decided he had served his country well, and they both had gotten what they needed out of the experience. It was time to move on. He pulled the ejection seat on that part of his life and moved to Seattle, WA.
After a short stint driving a truck for a medical goods warehouse, which would spur a narrative script, Ian enrolled in the Seattle Film Institute for their 42 week full immersion program. After a successful graduation, he moved into freelance film and video production work. Adventure wasn’t far off. Right off the bat he wrote and directed Critical 72, a large scale training film for the Oregon Burn Center. His creative, narrative approach to an otherwise dry training video garnered 3 Telly awards. This birthed his first production company, 8 Rivers Films, out of an obvious need for creative corporate video.
8 Rivers Films became an award winning film and video production company. While directing his company, he produced the documentary Man Zou: Beijing to Shanghai, which followed him and three friends riding their bikes through some very rural parts of China. The purpose of this adventure was demystifying a country from three feet off the ground at 15 mph. He also created the branding for BitTitan Media from initial concept through execution. In addition, he produced and directed multiple web series, music videos, short films and commercials.
Ian has built a robust portfolio of work that covers all genres. He has recently transitioned to Los Angeles to expand and tap into a larger network of people, and he is already hard at work. His short film That Time Willie Nelson Told Me To Go Spit is currently on the festival circuit. It has already won a best comedy short award and is up for more awards. He is also at the end of a long road with his feature documentary, The Kicker, which takes an unprecedented look at one of the most important yet commonly overlooked positions in professional football.
The camera has taken Ian around the world, and that experience has made him a superb writer and a visionary director. Each new adventure gets him closer to the ultimate goal of being a citizen of the world.