RELIANT STUDIOS

About Reliant Studios

 

Our Approach

We frame our world through STORY.

The power of a purposeful visual narrative can unite, teach, motivate, persuade, and ignite our imagination.

According to Peter Guber’s best seller, Tell to Win, “Narrative is always lurking, ready to give emotion to information, shape to experience, and propulsion to purpose.”

The paths may look different across industries, but the objective is the same: giving propulsion to purpose. We have found no better way to do this than through compelling video.

 

 

Our Services

Conceptualizing
Scriptwriting
Casting
Directing
Shooting
Editing
Color Grading
Motion Graphics Design

 

 

Our Process

If you’re up for the journey, bring us along as your guide. Here’s how a video by Reliant Studios can help you along the way…

We begin with asking the right questions, in the right order, and listening – really listening. Today’s world seems so concerned with hyper-volume output that this important step is often skipped. But how can someone tell your story unless they really get to know you? We think this is critically important, and we have trained and developed these skills in such a way that we are able to find and draw out the emotional essence of your organization.

To provide structure, we apply our listening skills within the Creative Problem Solving model of clarifying, ideating, developing, executing and delivering.

  • Clarifying: Discovery and Research

  • Ideating: The Creative Process

  • Developing: Pre-Production

  • Executing: Production and Post-Production

  • Delivering: Handing You Your Story

We start with clarifying – gaining an understanding of your organization in a variety of ways. We may research, conduct surveys, hold focus groups, do on-camera interviews – all to simply gain a deeper understanding of who you are, so that your audience also gets to see who you are. This understanding drives the ideating phase where we diverge and converge as we work over concepts on our white boards during multiple creative sessions. Developing is where we craft a plan, so that production and post-production (execution) are smooth sailing. This process enables us to deliver a video that propels your organization forward in accomplishing its goals.

But a process, no matter how detailed, and values, no matter how intact, are pretty useless without a proper team to carry it all through.

 

 

Our Team

Knowing our backstory is a key element to understanding why we do what we do. At Reliant, we have brought together a caring, creative team whose diversity is as important as its expertise. Combine film school, education, psychology, and marketing, and mix in hearts for serving…that’s Reliant.

 
 
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Mike Sukraw • CEO

The story above is actually about me. I sat down a couple of years ago and tried to count how many times I’d moved – 34 is the number of moves that I could remember between birth and the age of 23. No military. No job relocating. We were just always on the lookout for something “perfectly ideal.”

I’ve been conditioned to pursue the ideal in everything. When I let that pursuit get out of control, people (myself included) get hurt. But when used within proper boundaries, the pursuit of idealism is what pushes myself and the rest of the team to seek excellence. So that’s what I do. I try to cast the vision that allows us to reach our potential and to impact our clients in big ways.

So why authenticity? I’ll just say that I was impacted by people in my life who chose to maintain a false reality in order to manage their wounds. This deception caused me to crave honesty and transparency later in life. It turns out there are a lot of other people out there that crave the same thing – in relationships with people and companies. People don’t seem to desire fabrication as much as they used to. People want what’s real.


Kristin Sukraw • President + Executive Producer

I was always a listener. Being an introvert who valued close relationships with my friends, I would often find myself tucked away at a coffee shop listening to someone’s story and trying to help them make sense of it. This natural ability lead me to pursue a Master’s degree in counseling.

I love to apply my psychology background to help organizations tell their stories through video. In essence, it is the same thing – listening, learning, asking the right questions, and guiding people to conclusions that will hopefully help change their lives (or their organizations) for the better.

I’m married to Mike, Reliant’s CEO, and we have a lot of fun building the company and working through challenges together!

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Jared Staab • Director + Post-Supervisor

So here’s the short version: I was born. I watched movies. Possibly too many. And now I work for a great company that lets people tell their stories in a cinematic way.

There’s never been a doubt in my mind that this is what I was going to do. I get excited each time I get to help tell someone’s story on camera, but I also get (even more?) excited when I know it looks cool enough that it would’ve grabbed my attention as a kid.

Calling what I do a “passion” isn’t enough but calling it my religion probably goes too far (…maybe). I guess I’m somewhere in the middle and that’s right where Reliant Studios is. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.


Allea Grummert • Director of Film School Operations

I’m that person who can make friends with strangers. Whether it’s the cashier at the grocery store, the barista at a coffee shop, or the helpline person on the other end of the phone, I am incredibly attracted to people. I think we all have a desire to connect with one another – to find something in common.

My degree in advertising and public relations has helped me to understand the value of authentic promotion as an extension of an organization’s brand image. By creating a video that truly represents an organization, we remove doubt while building viewer confidence in its message. We want people to know the mission and people of your organization as if you’ve just been chatting over coffee.

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Ellen Kohl • Story Producer

I am a native Texan who is still getting used to the Nebraska winters! Professionally, I have worked for many years as an Art Director, which is how I originally met the Reliant team!

As a creative person, I always want to know more about the “why,” especially why people do what they do. I am a curious person, and I find people fascinating! I love to ask questions to find out all the information I can about a project or to get to know someone in a more personal way.

So, as the Story Producer for Reliant, I get to ask those questions and find the most interesting aspects for our stories. I have the best job, because every day I get to hear what’s on people’s hearts, and I come away so inspired and encouraged! (I also have to self-edit whenever I write because I use too many emojis and exclamation points!)


Carrie Todd • Editor

I’ve always been obsessed with stories. As a kid, I was a voracious reader, and in high school, I wrote for my school newspaper. I began college determined to become a serious journalist. When I moved to Los Angeles at 20, I had the opportunity to intern on a few productions and was fascinated by the foreign world of filmmaking. When I went back to college in LA, I changed my major to film and started learning how to tell stories in a new way.

Since graduating in 2010, I’ve worked on a lot of different kinds of productions, but I’m especially drawn to stories that are real. Whether filming or editing, I always end up feeling a connection to the people whose stories I help to tell.

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Mickey Seiler • Editor

It was a warm summer evening in the late 1980’s, much like any other, when I saw my first PG-rated movie. As my parental guides powered up the new, sparkling VCR, anticipation began to build. The colorful label on the VHS read, Back to the Future. For the next 2 hours and 6 minutes I was completely mesmerized. As the ending credits rolled, and just before we were going to be kind and rewind, I suddenly knew what I wanted to do with my life. Yes, I had been bitten by the movie bug. My soul had been stirred and I vowed then and there that I would be a part of bringing great stories to living rooms everywhere. Stories that would touch peoples hearts. Take them on astounding journeys. Stories of hope, love, loss and redemption. I also wanted a flying DeLorean.

Jump forward 25 years. Life is good! I’m blessed to be living out one of those dreams each and every day. It’s amazing to be able to edit together stories worth telling. And Honda Accords are dependable.


Josh Rusler • Coordinating Producer

I have never worked a day in my life! Well, technically I have, but I feel like I haven’t because I absolutely love what I do for a career. My passion for production and love for helping others are the two reasons why I am ecstatic to be at Reliant. It’s a true blessing to have the opportunity to visually tell life-changing stories from one-of-a-kind organizations while working day-to-day with individuals who share my same passion.

My fascination of production started while I was a cast member of a reality show in high school, where I observed how the whole process was done. The energy on set and behind-the-scenes was addicting and is what kickstarted my drive to learn the process and perfect the craft.

After graduating with my Broadcasting degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I moved to Los Angeles where I worked in television for some of the top networks like NBC and HGTV. Whether it’s TV or video, I have always had a love for producing, which is exactly how I know I’m right where I’m supposed to be today.

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Karl Birchley • Cinematographer / Colorist

I grew up on the east coast of Australia where I initially pursued VFX. I quickly realized I was more interested in the art of image creation and began to shift course. I moved cities, built a portfolio, met my Nebraskan wife and now have landed in Lincoln, NE.

Finding beautiful light & unique, visual perspectives have been the obsession since picking up the camera some 10 years ago…. but thankfully story keeps my disproportionate desires in check.

 

 

Our Values

While our process helps us to stay focused on your mission, our values paint our perspectives and influence our ideas. They are important to us and we believe they allow us to serve you better. These are the anchors that we always go back to.

We believe in the elements of [story].

We value [emotional] connections.

We take simple projects and add [depth]to inspire.

We have a passion for [serving] others.

We are adept [listeners].

We appreciate [simplicity].

We love [transparency].

We believe that we were created on purpose for a [purpose].

 
 

 

Let’s Work Together