Meet the Artist: OneRiver Media’s Marco Solorio

NAME: Marco Solorio

COMPANY: Walnut Creek, California’s OneRiver Media. Follow him on Twitter @OneRiverMedia.

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
OneRiver Media is a full-service production and post-production facility working in commercial, corporate and feature film projects. Clients range from large global corporations to independent small business owners, producers and freelancers.

Services range from various production styles (studio, cinema, documentary, etc.) to editorial, visual effects, 3D modeling/animation, music scoring/composition, color grading, audio mixing and deployment. We perform all services in-house in our 3,000-square-foot facility located in the San Francisco Bay Area. We’ve been working professionally since 1991.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Owner.

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
I basically have my hands in everything, from the business side, to the creative side, to the technical side. In one moment I’m collaborating with clients on their requests for a project, in the next instance I’m trouble-shooting hardware in the machine room, and if I’m lucky, I finally find time to push pixels around, which I enjoy the most.

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WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
You have to be a fast and successful problem-solver, as the unexpected frequently happens. I’ve gone so far as to build our own software tools when none existed to ensure our clients are happy and our operations continue to run smoothly. Sometimes you just have to step outside your comfort zone and learn new tools and techniques. It’s a never-ending process, but a very fulfilling one.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
Being creative: pushing pixels, shooting footage, mixing audio, 3D modeling/animation, composing music… I love it all. I love a good challenge and mixing things up. If I did one particular thing every day I would get bored with doing it and burn out. I’m grateful to be in a position where I have unique projects occurring on a frequent basis. It keeps me fresh, excited and happy!

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
The paperwork. If I didn’t have to deal with invoicing, project bids, keeping the books straight and everything else associated with that “boring” side of the business, I’d be in high heaven. But as large as our facility is, we’re still a relatively small operation when it comes down to it, so I continue to manage that end of things.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
No question — the evening. It’s when things get quiet, phones don’t ring and my brain goes into full groove mode on the project I’m working on. But with family and such, I do not want to spend too many long evenings at the facility.

In my early days I’d work five to seven days a week until 2 or 3 in the morning and come back into the studio and do it all over again. Not anymore!

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
It’s hard to say because all the skill sets I’ve built through the decades are a culmination of what I’m doing today. It literally started in early elementary school starting with computers (Commodore PET), learning music and playing in school bands, which I feel was the foundation that pushed everything forward.

I do feel that I’m doing what my “calling in life” is, if that concept even exists. But if I didn’t do this, I would have possibly considered being a CHP motorcycle cop… not sure if it had anything to do with me watching CHiPs as a kid, ha!

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WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION? HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
Even though computers, music, and school bands (starting in early elementary school) was the first building block of what I professionally do today, I had no exact idea what I wanted to do in life.

In my senior year of high school I was still very active with computers and music so I was serious about becoming an audio engineer as my profession. I ultimately ended up doing that for several years as a (very young) chief engineer at a couple of Bay Area recording studios.

As time went on, I was getting a little bored doing the same exact thing every day. I started doing graphic design for bands and artists, which then led into interactive multimedia, then 3D modeling/animation, visual effects and finally video production and editing. I realized I was much happier doing different things on a daily basis, relative to media production, and I have never looked back, and that’s with over 20 years invested.

CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
Our current “big” project is our BMW documentary feature film, Ten Tenths that we’ve been working on since late 2012 with its release coming in a few months. This film is a reflective culmination of all things I’ve described above as we’re doing every aspect of it: shooting, editing, visual effects, music scoring, color grading and interactive authoring. We’re extremely excited about it!

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Ten Tenths

We’ve also been very busy producing content for Miner Pro (longtime client of over 15 years) and VMware ‑ we’ve been doing customer videos for Ducati, Revlon, MLB Network, NYSE and more. We’re gearing up to do a new one for Tesla.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
Computers, mobile phone (I hate talking on it, but I love what I can do with it, namely as a music device) and cameras (film, P&S, DSLR, digital cinema, you name it).

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are my top three favorites. I’ve really taken a fancy to Instagram the last year or so. Even if I don’t have time to post a ton of stuff, I love seeing what other people are posting. It’s just so varied and diverse.

THIS IS A HIGH STRESS JOB. WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
I actually own three businesses, so stress management is a daily ritual for me! For long-term, my favorite way to de-stress is going on vacation as far away from home as possible!

For short-term, I like overlanding in the Sierras with my rigged G500, back-trailing with friends in rough terrain and camping out.

I also enjoy being on the racetrack with my BMW M3 track car, trying to shave seconds off my lap times — I’m not always successful but the process always puts a smile on my face. But if I can’t go anywhere due to time, writing music is always a therapeutic de-stressor as well. And if all else fails, YouTube surfing is a good way to numb my mind (he laughs).


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