Mark Ritchie is rapidly becoming one of the most in-demand directors of today.
His cinematic expertise is masterfully blended with a visionary directing style and his diverse client list reads like a who’s who of the biggest names in music, fashion, and television.
He is a creative force, persistently striving to strengthen the trifecta of owning a full service production company, a state of the art motion picture camera rental facility, all the while balancing a successful freelance-directing career.
In December of 2015, when ICM Talent Agency needed a production company to bring together a stalled collaboration for an international commercial campaign with Mike Tyson, one of the chief partners called Mark to resurrect the venture. He knocked it out of the park to the extreme accolade of the agency, talent and client.
In January 2016, he returned for his third year in a row to direct “Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials”, a two-hour primetime CBS special, and garnered the show’s highest ratings in over 15 years, resulting in a personal note of thanks from the network’s SVP of Specials.
Mark does some of his best work under pressure, which has earned him a top spot with Kanye West. In February of 2016, Kanye released his latest album “The Life of Pablo”, in a hybrid conjunction with the reveal of his “Yeezy 3” fashion line, to a sold out Madison Square Gardens audience. This monumental event was filmed live with twenty film style cameras and broadcast to over 700 theaters worldwide, Time Square, and an online stream to actually “break the internet” as 20,000,000 devout fans all attempted to simultaneously tune in to the event.
Mark has become a rising star in the Fashion Film world, bringing his distinct directorial sense to live fashion shows such as Kanye’s Yeezy, Seasons 1 through 3, and H&M collaborations with Balmain & Alexander Wang. The filmic style he brings to the table pulls from his experience with innumerable live concert films for clients like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Madonna’s MDNA tour, just to name a few.
Every successful career can date back to a pivotal moment and Mark’s was in 2002 where he began a decade long commitment to filming the iconic Coachella Music Festival. His unique eye put him on the map with many of the industry’s top executives, namely the creator of one of the largest music platforms of the time: Walmart Soundcheck. He has since filmed hundreds of high profile artists including: Drake, Beyonce, Adele, Bruno Mars, Lenny Kravitz, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Weezer, NeYo, Black Eyed Peas, Maroon 5, Shakira, Sheryl Crow, Panic at the Disco, and Jonas Brothers.
In 2001, Mark created Southpaw Productions, Inc. to better serve his clients, along with his own creative and productions needs. It quickly turned him into a niche, household name as a go-to resource for providing specialized production services and equipment rentals. By 2010, as a compliment to Southpaw, he decided to expand and launch HD Optics and Camera, a boutique motion picture rental facility that boasts a robust, state-of-the-art inventory manned by a top-notch staff, and an international reputation for always striving to work with, and be, the best of the best.
Mark’s story starts with humble beginnings in Ottawa, Canada, where after leaving home & high school at the age of 15, he aimed toward a more secular graduation of his own “school of life.” As a teenager, he worked hard and saved enough money to follow his dreams to California and at age 19 he became a certified scuba Dive Master. While instructing scuba courses at Sports Chalet, Mark was scouted out by Paramount Pictures to coordinate the sinking of a car in Lake Castaic. The cinematic bug was planted, and the rest is history.
Mark’s passion to learn, explore and reinvent has kept him in the fast lane and there is never an opportunity too big or too small. He continues to search out new and exciting challenges with his commitment to breaking barriers in the world of live music, fashion, and television.