Ryan Symancek is a professional filmmaker and editor specializing in motorsport and car culture. Most famously known for his YouTube series My Life as a Rallyist on the /DRIVE network, Ryan has since continued to work in the field of motorsport video, in particular, rallying content.
With a long time passion for rally racing, Ryan spends most of his time planning and executing the next rally adventure, whether it’s filming a special car for a video blog or prepping one of his own vehicles for a rallycross. It doesn’t stop at rally though. Ryan prides himself as a jack-of-all-trades in the automotive film community, with experience in almost every aspect of the production. Working alongside big automotive brands, Ryan has worked extensively with large crews, but is no stranger to a one-man show. Most of his passion projects are done solely, or with one extra cameraman. The goal is to make automotive film feel as honest as possible and relatable to a wide variety of audiences.
Growing up, Ryan admired the unique storytelling of Warren Miller and his ski films. Warren’s natural gift to deliver entertainment through observation, heavily influenced Ryan's narrative in his own work for YouTube. Much like the skiers in those films, Ryan has been lucky enough to travel the world searching for the next rallying story. My Life as a Rallyist has been filmed on four continents, featuring amazing rallying in places like Ecuador, New Zealand, Isle of Man, and Wales.
The start of 2017 saw the release of Born A Car, a new YouTube show for The/DRIVE Network and TIME Inc. which (in much the same way as My Life as a Rallyist) Ryan wrote, produced, directed, assisted in filming, edited, and hosted. Born A Car is a story of a neglected BMW 325is (E30), that gets a new life. Ryan bought the car off Craigslist and in two months converted it to a rally and track-ready race car with friends Alex Jagger and Justin Hinman. Born A Car has received excellent reviews on YouTube, with each episode viewed hundreds-of-thousands of times to a worldwide audience.
When Ryan is not dabbling in the automotive world, he likes to spend free time on skis, bikes, or boards. In his newfound home of Portland, Maine, Ryan will most likely be found ripping up some mountain bike trails, surfing Higgin's beach, or skiing and snowboarding at Sunday River. If the video or rally blogging career doesn't pan out, Ryan likes to think he will find happiness flying an old Cessna somewhere in the northern wilderness, or driving a Toyota pickup down a coastal road... chasing other dreams.
Photos by Matt Campbell, Cam Held and Alex Jagger