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Patricia van Ryker


California native, Patricia van Ryker received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Southern California and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from California Institute of the Arts.

Shortly after graduate school, Patricia worked in Los Angeles theatre with credits in costume, scenic design and stage management. Simultaneously, she began designing for film and television. She transitioned from assistant to Production Designer with such cult television hits as, “Wonder Woman,” “V,” and the national security romp, “Scarecrow and Mrs. King.” Moving into features and movies-of-the-week, her design work has set the tone for kidnappers, stalkers, Malibu Beach kids, and more than a few murderers. Projects have taken her to locations across the country and across the border including winter stops in Nome, Alaska and the Canadian Yukon Territories. In two instances, her designs depicted true events. Filming in Sioux City, Iowa, she recreated United Airlines Flight 232 for, “Crash Landing: The Rescue of Flight 232.” In the docudrama “After The Shock,” her work revealed the streets, apartments and lives during and immediately after the 1989 San Francisco earthquake. For her design, she received a Cable Ace Nomination for Art Direction. She was Production Designer for ten seasons on the WB hit show, “Seventh Heaven.” Her work was honored with an Emmy nomination for Best Art Direction.

Early on, she worked with still photography as another means to depict events. Her work has been exhibited in both the United States and Canada. Looking through the lens led to her desire to produce and direct documentaries. She got her chance with Producer/Director, Ron Colby. For him, she Executive Produced the comedy pilot, “Ex-Chronicles,” and Co-Produced three feature documentaries, “Jones Beach Boys,” “Scotland’s Caddies” and “Pirate For The Sea,” which premiered at the 2008 Telluride Film Festival going on to screen in festivals in Berlin, Dublin, France, Italy, Canada, and across the United States. “Pirate” went on to an extensive run on Discovery’s, Planet Green.

In 2003, while visiting the gallery of a friend, she learned about the current work of Oaxacan artist, Alejandro Santiago. Later relating the story to Colby, he looked at her and said, “There’s your documentary.” And he was right. Producing with Ron, Patricia directed and wrote the film, “Twenty Five Hundred & One.” It had its festival premiere in France in 2009 and has been a festival selection across the United States, Mexico and again in France at the Cannes Independent Film Festival. It was awarded the “Grand Prize” at the San Antonio Film Festival, “Outstanding Documentary” at the Sacramento International Film Festival and Best Short Documentary at Toronto’s Reel HeART International Film Festival. The film premiered on KCET, Los Angeles Public Television in October 2011.

Between it all, Patricia has found time to be both a guest speaker and instructor in not only Production Design but, the diverse uses and responsibilities of film in our ever expanding world.

Presently she is in pre-production on a new documentary that includes a series component. Both explore the viability of local US businesses and the economies and communities they create and support.