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Employable me & Intervention

It’s somewhat of a politically incorrect statement to say that there is some truth to a stereotype; Ryan Marley isn’t exactly disproving this idea. The Canadian born director is immensely talented, incredibly polite, and using all of this to improve society. That may sound a bit grandiose but his work on television productions like Employable Me and Intervention vet this notion. Both of these lauded TV series are recognized for their informative and benevolent effects on participants as well as the culture. In many ways, we’ve forgotten that the arts were meant to inspire as well as entertain; these are traits well presented in Marley’s career. He received awards for his work on children’s productions like Science Max: Experiments at Large (Canadian Screen Awards Winner) and Zerby Derby but the heartfelt intensity of Employable Me and Intervention prove that his abilities are equally as beneficial to these adult stories.


They say that seeing is believing. If so, seeing the story of someone’s refusal to let obstacles impede their goals is most certainly educating and inspiring. The Documentary Series Employable Me displays tales of extraordinary job seekers who prove that having a physical disability or neurological condition shouldn’t make them unemployable. Ryan took a very proactive role as director of this program, molding the look, casting job seekers, and developing the interview style. Marley confirms that the job seekers featured on the program were immensely inspiring to himself and the other members of the production. Airing on TVO (Canada’s version of PBS), and AMI (Accessible Media Inc.), Employable Me was one of the first series in Canada to shoot in IDV (Integrated Described Video), a method of producing television content for blind and partially-sighted audiences from the ground up. Under his directing skills, Employable Me received numerous awards including: winner for Best Lifestyle Program at the Banff World Media Festival, nominee for Best Factual Series at the Canadian Screen Awards, winner for Rockie Award for Best Lifestyle Program at the Banff World Media Festival, and winner of Diversify TV’s Excellence Award for Representation of Disability in the Non-Scripted Category at MIPCOM (2017).

A completely different yet also challenging set of trials is exhibited in the Emmy-Award-Winning A&E reality series Intervention. Ryan’s directing on the popular series (airing on CBC Doc Channel, A&E, and Lifetime) was recently submitted for consideration for a Canadian Screen Award for Best Direction in a Documentary Series. With nearly twenty seasons and a regular viewership of up to 2.9 million viewers, the show has become a multigenerational institution. For Marley, this is storytelling of the most honest and precarious manner. He relates, “At this moment, I am going to spend a week in a crack den near Niagara Falls. Working on this show is demanding of everyone. You must build a rapport based on trust with the addicts, their family and friends, and your team. There’s nothing more real than what these people are facing and struggling with. It’s incredibly brave of them to do this and to let the world witness the journey. As a director, I’ve never been forced to be so subtle. You can’t direct in a traditional manner for a show like this. As a result, I am evolving and growing in my own way as the individuals seen on camera are in theirs.”

It’s simplistic to write off creative people as focused on themselves. Ryan Marley’s work on Employable Me and Intervention proves this in a very visible way. The director is never seen on camera. It’s likely that only those within the industry would recognize his name, much less recognize him in the crowd. Still, long hours and hard work in sometimes dangerous situations is a typical part of his work day. Believing in the story and the people whom the story is built around, this is the payoff for Ryan Marley. The numerous accolades his work has received is a hopeful indicator that this director and many of his peers might continue to show the world that brave people work every day to achieve a sense of normalcy that many of us take for granted.

Written by Kelly King

Employable me & Intervention Reviewed by JaamZIN on 7:52:00 AM Rating: 5
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