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Meet Ruben Contreras of Sybex Studio in South Bay

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ruben Contreras.

Ruben, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My journey as a visual artist has stemmed from a variety of positive and negative experiences throughout my career. Each and every one of those experiences has contributed to any success I may have today.

I can remember clearly how I would spend day and night in my room watching training videos from Digital Tutors and The Gnomon Workshop over and over again while reading Primal Leadership and going to work with my dad.

I was cramming as much information as I could to try to keep up with the greatest visual artists.

At the time, I was very critical on myself and soon after, I came to realize I simply couldn’t do it all. This eventually spiraled into a depressive state of mind which lasted a couple of years. I was 18 at the time.

I had friends and family telling me my work was great but I just couldn’t see it. I had set an unrealistic goal of wanting to learn everything in a very short period of time.

After a few years, I eventually got the courage to ask my father for some tuition to go to school in North Hollywood as a visual effects artist. I still didn’t know what I really wanted to do. But I knew it had to do with visual art.

A huge influence to my career has been my father who helped me and inspired me tremendously along the way. Without him, I could have never done it. His never give up and always push forward attitude is what carried me along.

During my term at Gnomon School of Visual Effects, I met with some very talented directors who were already in the movie business and were a true inspiration. One of my teachers was a lighting TD at Dreamworks. I clearly remember him mentioning that everyone in his classroom should know basic photography and videography in order to understand the way light works. Little did I know his advice would lead me to what I do today. Shortly after, I purchased my first camera and never looked back. They say schooling is a way to really build a foundation for your career. In my case, it was a simple piece of advice…

It’s incredible how one becomes to be as a result of choices made in the past which in contrast also heavily impacts what will become of your future. In other words, the choices made today will define who you will become.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
When you are self-critical, nothing ever seems to be easy or perfect. You are constantly pushing for a better result and a better you. This can be a double-edged sword at times. You are never truly happy. Not to say that it’s intentional, but it just becomes part of your persona.

My first hurdle was overcoming social anxiety… I picked that up during high school and it crippled many opportunities I had at school and trade school. I was always self-analyzing and kept to myself for years. In a sense it also kept me out of trouble but it limited my ability to break into the industry sooner. Although I like to think it also helped me focus more on my work. I was always self-isolating and doing what I loved which was creating art.

It eventually faded away after a series of incidents that happened which changed my life for good.

Sybex Studio – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My business is called Sybex Studio.

We are a group of passionate cinematographers and post-production editors. Our main focus at Sybex Studio is creating stimulating visual content using the latest in editing techniques and equipment. Specializing in editing and filming commercials, video marketing presentations, trailers, event coverage and narrative films.

What am I proud of… I hardly ever have time to reflect back at how we started and put it all into perspective. It’s just dawning on me now as I write this article. All I can say is we have come a long way as a studio since the beginning. It has been a long haul full of obstacles and also victories. I am proud of the fact that we were able to pull through from hard times which if anyone knows me, there has been many. And we will continue to do so for all of our clients moving forward. We are approaching the 1000th signed contract mark which is a huge milestone for me. I am extremely grateful to all the help I’ve had along the way from family, friends and people I’ve met along this journey. Without them, none of this would have been possible.

What sets us apart from others would have to be our humility as some have put it. We come from a very humble beginning and therefore we like to think we can relate with our clients very easily. Humble and hungry are the two main factors that drive our business.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success for me is being able to provide. Whether it be a good lifestyle for my family, an excellent product for my client or assistance to my friends. When I was younger, all I thought about was what can I acquire. The older I get the more I think about what I can give and what do I want to leave behind as my legacy. I think if you are happy doing what you love, you are some what successful.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 707-553-3170
  • Email:
  • Instagram: sybex_studio

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