Inspiration from abroad

Film and media student Ryan Woods talks to us about his experience in the film industry while on exchange

Ryan Woods was inspired to start his own YouTube channel after his experience working on-set in England.
Ryan Woods was inspired to start his own YouTube channel after his experience working on-set in England.
Jenny Williams

One year makes all the difference.

This is especially true for Ryan Woods, ArtSci ’14, who’s settling back into life at Queen’s.

He ignored his parents’ pleas to return home for the summer and instead decided to explore the fast-paced world of the film and television industry in London, following his year-long exchange at the University of Leeds.

The Brockville-native initially came to university with plans to study history, but always had film at the back of his mind.

“It was kind of a gut feeling to ditch history and go with what my hobby was, what I loved and what I was really passionate about,” Woods said.

While at Queen’s, he dabbled in various student productions and the Focus Film Festival, but nothing as large-scale as his work in Britain.

Inspired by his summer internship with ChannelFlip, a third party YouTube company, Woods began his own YouTube channel.

He posted his first video on Canada Day, which consisted of a rendition of Carly Rae’s “Call Me Maybe” — he and a fellow Canadian lip-synced and pranced around London’s hotspots.

“I found that the more fun I had with my videos, the more people enjoy watching them,” the emerging YouTuber said.

As of today, his channel has gotten over 77,000 views and features weekly uploads, including “The Best One Direction Food Challenge Ever,” in which he collaborated with prominent British YouTuber, OMG Harrison Webb.

Prior to starting up his channel, Woods made a leap into reality television. He said that, as an X Factor fan, this leap was an amazing experience will help him achieve his goals in Canada.

During the school year, the ambitious film student attended various networking events in London and eventually came across a researcher from The X Factor. Woods expressed interest in the show and that was that.

After receiving an email from the show’s production crew, Woods worked as a ‘runner’ on set, helping out production with auditions across Britain — he attended classes during the week, and worked backstage on the weekends.

Woods did everything from crowd control, escorting performers to and from the judges and basic errand running — even encouraging a fellow Queen’s student to audition for the show on the side.

“It was an intense environment, but it was also a really productive environment,” Woods said. “It was constantly go go go.”

As hectic as this role was, it didn’t stop there.

Woods signed up for another round of ‘running,’ this time with The Voice, after a friend passed his name along to production.

Reflecting on his time abroad, Woods explains how his plentiful experiences have broadened his perspective.

“I’ve gained a lot of experience that has made me a more open-minded individual,” he said. “Something that I might not have happened had I stayed at Queen’s.”

With dreams of filming for National Geographic or BBC, Woods plans to combine his continuing love for travel and production.

“[I want to] get out there in the open to film something for National Geographic,” Woods said. “[That] would be the most incredible and valuable thing ever.”

Keep up with Ryan’s adventures on his YouTube channel, Ryan Thomas Woods.

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