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Meet John Hebrank of Reelbros Media in Playa Vista

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Hebrank.

Thanks for sharing your story with us John. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve always had a passion for creativity, whether it be spending months with friends building tree houses and zip lines across rivers to watching my film develop and come to life in high school photography class. I love the process, but I especially love the end results. That moment when you get to take a step back and take in what you’ve just made. Taking something that’s stuck in your head and bringing it to life is a talent, and I believe everyone that has the ability to do so needs to experience that at some point.

I never knew photography in its many forms would be such a big part of my life now. I knew I enjoyed it but never knew what I would be capable of doing with it. I took two classes during my four years at high school, video production and photography. These were my only A+ classes, believe it or not. Everyday I was the first one in the class and the last one out. The teacher of my video class held a competition one day to create a movie trailer. Long story short, I won some Justin Bieber tickets, and the next day my video was shown during the morning announcements throughout every class. Having the ability to evoke emotion by creating a story and shooting it in a compelling way, that’s a powerful tool. Both of these classes would help me realize down the road what I really enjoyed doing. Strangely enough, as time went on, I didn’t think I would be able to make a career through taking pictures and creating videos. I would then go off to attend Arizona State University’s graphic design program. I’ve always loved design and still do, but something didn’t feel right. I then met a friend in my graphic design class, Brandon Main, which would then become one of my partners down the road. Brandon, being the design and photoshop wizard he is, also had the same feeling. Brandon and I found another program still within ASU that encompassed everything we had a passion for.

Throughout this program, we learned Graphic Design, Web Development and Design, Commercial Photography, Animation, Package design, print and video production, which at the time was the newest edition to the program. Throughout our time there, our professors recognized our passion and influence on the programs. This recognition in our later years of the programs would then present us opportunities that opened so many doors for Brandon and I to get real-world experience. These opportunities took us across the world to film projects for ASU and even opened up doors locally. From filming in third world countries, new concrete technology for roads to applying new ideas and branding as the director of media at ASU’s Sun Devil fitness centers. We took full advantage of the opportunities that came to us. Brandon and I created the name Reelbros as a catalog to present our projects together in class. This would later turn into something much bigger than our class projects. During my final days at ASU, I interned at a local company called Defy Products to learn information for my final. Defy Products designs and manufactures camera movement systems. They are known for the Dactylcam Pro, the most advanced cable cam system in the broadcast and film industry. I would later become the main technician and operator for that system, traveling around the world working on some of the biggest shows and films in the industry. From training teams on Westworld, Game of Thrones and operating live shows such as Coach fashion show, Nickelodeon live, and many others. I quickly gained a ton of valuable experience that I couldn’t have received anywhere else.

After graduating in 2017, Brandon and I joined up with Alex Schreer, another graduate and friend from ASU, and decided to build something of our own to what is now known as Reelbros Media.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think I could write an entire book on obstacles and challenges. Of course, I endured challenges, who hasn’t? From asking myself am I good enough, can I charge clients this much? I would always second guess myself starting out, but I think the real challenges came into play when I and two other friends started Reelbros Media. That being said, we endured many challenges that took us all out of our comfort zone. Whether the challenges were business-related, finding a creative balance between three different minds or partner trust and friendship. We were all out of our comfortable element of just creating, it was now a collective pursuit of a dream and that dream would either push ourselves to the next level or push ourselves to the bitter edge.

Please tell us about Reelbros Media.
Reelbros Media is a full-service production team that specializes in creating commercial, film and broadcast content for brands, people, and products. We strive to take your vision and pass the expectations to create something with a lasting impression on your audience. Recognized for our ability to go beyond the client’s creative brief and bring clever and unique visual stories to every project.

We have recently created a new division of Reelbros called Reelmotion that focuses on camera movement and support. By utilizing today’s most innovative camera movement systems and technologies, we are able to provide specialized knowledge and skills in order to exceed today’s production standards in an industry that is constantly evolving. We have had a blast evolving and building this side of the business. It pushes us to think differently each time and allows us to blend technology and art to make something truly unique and desirable. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish within three years of business, but I am especially proud of the brand and following we have created. We work hard to create a brand image that is something people outside of this industry would be interested in. From day one, it was our goal to make something out of the norm in an industry that is very serious. We wanted to create something fun and inviting because let’s face it, what we are able to do for a living is, well. Is really cool.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, let’s just say I wasn’t the quiet one sitting in the corner reading a book. I was very outgoing, competitive and interested in trying new things without thinking about the consequences. Always looking for the next adventure or challenge. I was interested in just about anything that was fun, from building ramps for bmx riding to deconstructing skateboards and covering a hill with dead grass to act as a snowboard in the summer. My friends and I were always coming up with different things to do. Growing up in Texas was great, but there weren’t a ton of things to do like living in places where you could head up the mountain or go to the beach, except we did have Galveston which was fun, but it was no California coast. So we always had to come up with something fun to do, and my friends and I did just about everything we thought of doing. I loved the feeling of excitement and accomplishment when we finished a project that we could all enjoy and I think that same feeling has rolled over to what I do today.

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Image Credit:
Reelbros Media

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