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Movie Magic

Ryan Bellgardt’s realistic movie magic



 



“I love the idea that you can imagine something and make it come alive.”
 

Ryan Bellgardt is a dreamer. He dreams of monsters, dinosaurs and aliens; of creating entire worlds out of nothing and inviting audiences to escape inside. But, unlike most dreamers, Ryan Bellgardt has found a way to make his dreams come true.

“In 2006, my wife and I were doing a puppet show in libraries called Big Magic Book,” Bellgardt recalls. “A guy really liked it and offered us money to turn it into a television show. So, I wrote, directed and produced a TV show. It was like my own personal film school. I watched the guys setting up the lights. I sat behind the editor every day as he edited. I paid attention to everything.”

Bellgardt was hooked. He took a job as an editor at channel 43, and when the station needed more content for late night, he and co-worker Lucas Ross created funny interstitials as the “2 Movie Guys.” Their bosses loved it. So, they kept on creating content, ultimately producing a pair of Christmas specials and winning a Heartland Emmy.

Not surprisingly, Bellgardt shot for the moon with his first feature film, Army of Frankensteins. He wrote, directed and produced a classic monster movie about a time travelling scientist who creates a battalion of patchwork soldiers to fight in the Civil War. Made on a shoestring budget, the film contained epic battle scenes, hundreds of period costumes and awesome special effects.
 
“Most people don’t realize that it is a ton of work. Even after production, you spend months and months working 16-hour days on special effects,” Bellgardt says. “I constantly push myself to keep getting better. If I don’t get the opportunities, it won’t be because I didn’t work hard enough.”
   
The hard work paid off. Army of Frankensteins premiered at the deadCenter Film Festival before travelling to festivals around the world, winning several awards. Audiences loved the film. Most importantly, it found a distributor.

“Army of Frankensteins led me down the rabbit hole, because I developed a good relationship with our distributor, Galen Christy of High Octane Pictures,” Bellgardt says. “I asked him what it would take to be one of his big movies. He gave me all of this insight into what buyers want. He taught me about the business side of filmmaking. He would send me trailers of other films or send me a photo of what was popular and selling right now. He said, ‘I’m not telling you what to do, I am just telling you what works for us to sell.’”

Bellgardt listened. While other filmmakers were thinking about their stories, their passions, their visions, Bellgardt was thinking about how his stories, passions and visions could fit into a model that distributors could actually sell. He made lists of the specific things that attract distributors to a movie. Then, he put the ideas into action when writing new scripts. As you can see, the guidelines Bellgardt followed for attracting distributors make a lot of sense:

“You have to have a strong opening. You need to hook people with the first 10 minutes. You need to show your creature or monster really earlier in the film so they know you can pull off the special effects. Make sure something happens every 10 minutes. And keep it moving.”

Bellgardt’s willingness to follow the basic guidelines that make films successful has led to a great partnership with Christy. “For the first movie, we made what we wanted and were fortunate to find the right person that believed in us,” he says. “For the second movie, we followed his suggestions and sold the movie based off of the trailer. The third film is only in concept form and we just sold it based on the poster alone. We will be able to pay for the movie before we shoot a single shot.

“Everyone has their path and their story,” Bellgardt concludes. “I’m just going to continue going down the path that I feel is the right way for me to go, and hopefully one day it will pay off.”

Ryan Bellgardt is a dreamer. Thanks to a ton of hard work and a focus on the business side of show business, he is making his dreams come true. 

 

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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
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Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
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This year will mark the eighth time the John F. Kennedy Awards have been celebrated, honoring individuals making a significant contribution to Oklahoma, its communities and its people, while paying...

Cost: $300

Where:
Skirvin Hilton Hotel
1 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Sponsor: Santa Fe Family Life Center
Telephone: 405-840-1817
Contact Name: James Timberlake
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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
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Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
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Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
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Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
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Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
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A fabulous art auction to raise money to help support Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO.

Cost: $100

Where:
CHK|Central Boathouse
732 Riversport Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73129
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Sponsor: Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO
Telephone: 405.974.3791
Contact Name: Heather Bryant
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The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
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Telephone: 405.702.7755
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Join supporters in communities across the nation for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This family-friendly event raises funds to support the...

Cost: $10 for adults or children six and older

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive
Oklahoma City , OK  73116
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Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
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Let’s end childhood cancer. Together! This September, supporters across the country will unite to participate in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, an exciting, family-friendly...

Cost: $10 for Registration

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S Lake Hefner Dr
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
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Sponsor: ALSAC St. Jude Oklahoma City
Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

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Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

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