Scott Ballew wasn’t always a brand storyteller. 13 years ago, he was a running back at University of Texas with no thoughts of what would come after college. Graduation came and went, and Ballew found himself selling insurance in Austin, Texas. But that didn’t agree with Scott.
“I quit selling insurance on a Monday, and had moved to LA by Friday,” says Ballew, who was simply looking to jump-start his post-graduate life. Soon enough he fell in with some friends involved in production. He discovered working as a production assistant on a set wasn’t just achievable, it was enjoyable. He began to work as a PA on larger and larger projects, discovering a passion and preference for the speed and style of commercial and documentary shoots, as well as a knack for working with brands.
Step Into Liquid - 2003
Eventually Scott landed at Bandito Brothers and was integral in the production of Step into Liquid and Dust to Glory, two extreme sports films that would go on to define the run-and-gun DSLR documentary style of an entire generation. Now comfortable leading production with a splinter crew, Ballew continued to produce for Bandito Brothers while expanding his resume to include work for Radical Media and Imaginary Forces.
Ten years into a bonafide production career, Ballew found himself at Farm League working with outdoor legends like Britton Caillouette and the Malloys on surf films with soul. It was these films that paved the way for the style that the modern outdoor industry would adopt, one that sought to tell authentic, artful stories true to the people and places in them. A helmer and veteran of this style, Ballew found himself producing raw, honest content for aspirational American brands ranging from Dodge to Carhartt to Patagonia.
After nearly 15 years paving his own way in production on the west coast, Ballew returned to his native Austin, Texas to bring his unique expertise and storytelling style to YETI. Over the last 3 years, he’s been responsible for heading up some of the best lifestyle branded content available for viewing. YETI Stories is now home to over 60 unique documentary shorts, with more on the way.
Although Scott’s journey seems like one with many twists and turns, ultimately, the through-lines in his life remain clear: a love of sport, a desire to be true to oneself, a passion for capturing authenticity on camera, and a knack for bringing to light and life people’s personal stories.
Learn more about Scott Ballew and other brand storytellers when our series, Brand Storytelling Sits Down With..., returns next week.
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