RYOT // (or, riot) is an American immersive media company founded in 2012 by Bryn Mooser, David Darg, Molly DeWolf Swenson and Martha Rogers, based in Los Angeles. It specializes in documentary film production, commercial production, virtual reality and augmented reality.
|Founders||Bryn Mooser, David Darg, Martha Rogers, Molly DeWolf Swenson|
|Bryn Mooser, David Darg, Molly Swenson, Martha Rogers, Gareth Seltzer|
Verizon Media (2017–present)
|Subsidiaries||RYOT Studio, RYOT Films, RYOT Lab|
In April 2016, RYOT was acquired by HuffPost.
Founding and Early Years
Bryn Mooser and David Darg met in Haiti during the weeks after the earthquake of January 2010. Both were in the country doing humanitarian work, Mooser with Artists for Peace and Justice, to build a school, and Darg with Operation Blessing, to build water and sanitation systems. After working alongside each other and becoming friends, Mooser and Darg had the idea to create a baseball league for the young boys of the Tabarre neighborhood of Port-au-Prince.
Soon after, Mooser and Darg returned home to America, brought on Molly DeWolf Swenson as COO, and launched RYOT News as “the first news site linking news to action.”
Founding investors are Canadians Martha Rogers and Gareth Seltzer, and other notable funders include Todd Wagner and Jason Calacanis.
Celebrity activists Olivia Wilde, Ian Somerhalder, Ben Stiller and Sophia Bush were early supporters of RYOT and endorse their efforts worldwide. Olivia Wilde and Elon Musk are Executive Producers on numerous RYOT Films.
Founding Directors of the company alongside Mooser and Darg were Stash Slionski and Stacey Leasca while the first reporters included Benjamin Roffee, Vanessa Black, Stefan Todorovic, Tyson Sadler and Christian Stephen.
2015-present: VR and later productions
RYOT began producing 360/VR videos for other media organizations, advertisers and nonprofits in 2015. In their first produced 360/VR films for partners such as The New York Times, NPR, The Associated Press, Huffington Post and Sierra Club.
RYOT is credited as the first company to capture in 360 video,1. An active war zone (Syria), a disaster zone (Nepal), underwater with wild dolphins (Bahamas), and is the first company to produce VR news and comedy series on a major network (Hulu).
RYOT has received numerous awards for its documentary filmmaking, including two consecutive Oscar nominations for Best Documentary Short (2016 & 2017), a Peabody nomination and an Emmy nomination.
RYOT Studio is Verizon Media's in-house branded content agency.
RYOT Films creates award-winning content in traditional & immersive formats across film, TV, digital, and VR, producing content for nonprofits and brand partners including The New York Times, NPR, The Associated Press, Huffington Post and Sierra Club.
RYOT Lab is Verizon Media’s technology and innovation hub for emerging technologies, in partnership with Verizon Lab.
Awards and nominations
RYOT Films was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) for Body Team 12 in January 2016. Body Team 12 was also honored at the Tribeca Film Festival, the Mountainfilm Festival, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, and the Austin Film Festival for Best Documentary Short.
|2011||Sun City Picture House||David Darg||October 15, 2011||Production|
|2012||Baseball in the Time of Cholera||David Darg, Bryn Mooser||April 21, 2012||Production|
|2013||The Rider and the Storm||David Darg, Bryn Mooser||2013||Production|
|2014||Meet the Hitlers||Matthew Ogens||October 18, 2014||Co-Production (on Showtime)|
|2014||Mitimetallica||David Darg, Bryn Mooser||December 5, 2014||Production|
|2014||Positive||Linus Ignatius||2014||Production (in association with)|
|2015||Gardeners of Eden||Austin Peck, Anneliese Vandenberg||April 24, 2015||Co-Production (on Netflix)|
|2015||Body Team 12||David Darg||April 19, 2015||Co-Production (on HBO)|
|2015||Sailing a Sinking Sea||Olivia Wyatt||March 14, 2015||Production|
|2015||Sweet Micky For President||Ben Patterson||January 24, 2015||Co-Production (on Showtime)|
|2015||The Painter of Jalouzi||Bryn Mooser||September 25, 2015||Production|
|2015||Salam Neighbor||Zach Ingrasci, Chris Temple||June 20, 2015||Production|
|2016||El Púgil||Angel Manuel Soto||2016||Production|
|2016||Watani: My Homeland||Marcel Mettelsiefen||April 12, 2016||Production (in association with)|
|2016||Wasfia||Sean Kusanagi||May 2016||Production (on National Geographic)|
|2018||On Her Shoulders||Alexandria Bombach||January 2018||Production|
|2019||Earth||Nigel Tierney, Federico Heller||April 2019||Music video production|
Mooser and Darg documented their work with the young boys in Haiti in their Tribeca award-winning film Baseball in the Time of Cholera, which follows the rise of the Tabarre Tigers and the concurrent outbreak of Cholera in Haiti. The film played at film festivals around the world and finished with a special Congressional screening in Washington, D.C.
A year later, Mooser and Darg, debuted their third film at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, a documentary short titled The Rider and The Storm, which chronicles a New York surfer who lost everything in the Breezy Point fires during Hurricane Sandy.
Executive-produced by Olivia Wilde and Paul Allen, RYOT's Oscar-nominated Body Team 12 profiles a young Liberian health worker who collects the bodies of the dead in Monrovia at the height of the Ebola outbreak in 2014, and won Best Short Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival 2015. It debuted on HBO in February 2016. On Her Shoulders, a documentary about Nadia Murad's fight against ISIS, debuted in competition at Sundance Film Festival in January 2018, where it won a Directing award for a U.S. Documentary.
The Painter of Jalouzi was the first documentary to be shot entirely on an iPhone 6S Plus.
Virtual Reality Filmography
|2015||Growing Up Girl||David Darg||Production|
|2015||The Crossing||Tyson Sadler||Production|
|2016||Big Picture: News in Virtual Reality||Production|
|2016||Virtually Mike and Nora||Nora Kirkpatrick||Production|
|2016||Bashir's Dream||Angel Manuel Soto||Production|
|2018||Take Every Wave: Laird in VR||Tarik Benbrahim||Production|
|2018||Dinner Party||Angel Manuel Soto||Production|
|2019||Tales From The Edge||Tarik Benbrahim||Production|
- "Verizon's AOL's Huffington Post acquires virtual reality studio RYOT for $10 to $15 million". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-09-04.
- "NYT VR Releases New 360 Film 10 Shots Across The Border | VRFocus". VRFocus. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
- "Wilco In 360: Behind The Scenes At NPR Music's Tiny Desk". NPR.org. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
- "Virtual Reality Journalism Is Coming To The Associated Press". Fast Company. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
- "Join Susan Sarandon In Greece At The Refugee Crisis Frontlines". The Crossing. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
- "Jared Leto Tours The Arctic In A New Virtual Reality Climate Change Campaign". Co.Create. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
- "Baseball in the Time of Cholera". Huffington Post. April 18, 2012.
- Bischof, Jackie (April 18, 2013). "At Tribeca, Profiling Life After Sandy". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
- Anderson, John (February 1, 2013). "Documentaries Thrive in Sandy's Ruins". New York Times. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
- "Why You Need To See This Olivia Wilde-Produced Ebola Documentary". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
- "'Body Team 12': HBO Documentary Films Acquires Short Doc". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
- Hipes, Dominic Patten,Patrick (2018-01-28). "Sundance Film Festival: 'The Miseducation Of Cameron Post', 'Kailash' Land Grand Jury Prizes – The Complete Winners List". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-01-30.