Extraordinary People - Ash Greyson
This week I am profiling Ash Greyson, who with his gorgeous wife Mindy has a beautiful family of 7 children whom they homeschool. Ash works in the movie industry promoting Faith and Family films.
Ash Greyson—Founder and Chief Evangelist, Ribbow Media Group.
1. Tell me a little bit about your childhood and where you grew up. How would you describe your family and your town?
I grew up in Tulsa, OK, for the most part. It was still booming from oil money in the 70s and 80s. I have a crazy family history! My father died in a car accident while my mother was pregnant; he actually didn’t even know she was pregnant. My grandparents stepped in to help raise me, which became especially important when my mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when I was 12. She had one of the worst cases ever documented, which led to many other terminal conditions. They told me and my half brother who is 4 years younger than me, that she would only live 6 months. She went on to live 18 more years, which was a huge blessing. The person in the world I was closest to was my sweet grandma Nette. I talked with her daily my entire life until she passed this March.
2. How did you start working for the band Hanson, and what was your position with them? Any fun stories to share?
Oh man, how much time do you have?! They were from Tulsa like me and we had a lot of mutual friends. I was at a local water park and saw them play and was pretty impressed. I had heard they were singers, but they were playing instruments. I walked up to their mom and asked when they got the instruments and she said YESTERDAY! They had taken piano lessons but decided to try to play instruments for the first time! At the beginning, I was really a math tutor for them before everything took off. From there I worked with management and did all their videos, etc. By the end of my time with them, I helped run their record label. Every day with them was a fun story.
I remember filming an interview in Europe and the reporter asked the brothers, “How did you guys meet?” They all laughed hysterically… They also learned to handle the question they got the most which was, “if you were stranded on a desert island, what one thing would you bring?” Zac would quip, “a gassed up boat so we could get off the island.”
Also, somewhere out in the suburbs of Milwaukee someone has a great story about how the band Hanson pulled up in front of their house in their tour bus and asked if Zac could come in and go #2. Hahaha...
They are great guys from a great family.
Ash with Hanson and their wives
3. Tell me about what you’re doing currently and what inspired you. How did you get started?
Several years back I got obsessed with Facebook and how it worked. I was working at Beliefnet at the time and most people in the industry were pretty dismissive of the power of social media. I figured a couple nerdy things out, and next thing I knew everybody was scrambling to figure out social media. I decided to start my own company and it went crazy. At first it was mainly internet companies that I worked with, but I worked on two movies that both did very well at the box office unexpectedly and it put me on the Hollywood radar. In the last 5 years we have worked on over 100 movies! We mainly do digital advertising, but we approach it with a pathological empathy for the audience. We used data to SERVE people and not to try and sell them. Think about it, even the hardware we use is called a “server” not a “seller.” We’ve had incredible results. I mainly credit my team. I’ve assembled some really smart people who are ARTISTS, not just nerds. I like to say that data is paint and we are artists.
Ash's company, Ribbow Media
4. What do you see as the future of the movie industry, and where do you see the Faith and Family segment heading?
The movie industry is going to move more to day and date movies. That means that most movies will be available at the theater, at home, on digital, etc. at the same time. As you are keenly aware, it’s really hard to get a family out to the movies, just due to schedules and managing all the drama. Imagine a world where Star Wars is available opening weekend at home; maybe it’s $200 but it’s your choice to pay to see it early. The big movies will be the last to go that route but I imagine more and more movies are going to be going to non-traditional distribution. This will be especially true for faith and family movies. It’s getting harder and harder to find movies and TV for the entire family. That market is going to get bigger and bigger.
5. What’s the coolest movie premiere you ever went to?
Oh man, I’ve been to so many! The Giver was really fun, One Republic played, Meryl Streep was there, Taylor Swift was there and it was in NYC n