Founded by Darren Rayner in 2015, Magnafire is proudly based in Vancouver. Darren has worked in the film industry for 15 years, with a background in branded content, commercial and documentary. The Magnafire team consists of award-winning story-tellers, producers, creative directors, writers and editors whose work has been featured at film festivals worldwide, and across all digital platforms.
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We all that know that duct tape is a fix-all for nearly any problem – from leaky hoses, to ripped tents, to issues with your credit score. Well, Darren Rayner is to content what duct tape is to essentially any problem. Give Darren an objective, and he always finds a way accomplish it in the most unique, creative way possible… just like the way you somehow fixed that pipe under the sink with two rolls of duct tape.
Darren first began his foray into action sports with the creation of Voleurz, a lifestyle clothing brand, where he produced and directed numerous multisport action sport films for use as promo material. Fifteen years later, a whole lot has happened… some of it relevant to this bio, some not, but the important point is that Darren has since turned this interest in content creation into a career – having been featured in numerous international film festivals, winning Best Editing at X-Games Real Ski, judging film festivals and contests, and co-directing Magnetic, Whistler Blackcomb’s award-winning movie. Now widely regarded as one of the most creative minds in action sports, the founder and creative director of Magnafire has since become the go-to guy for all adventure related video content on the west coast – from compelling social media content, to commercials, to full-length feature films. In all, Darren has now conceptualized, created, and delivered over 500 unique pieces for a laundry list of clients, including: Red Bull, Tesla, Mazda, Telus, ESPN, NBC Universal, Coors Light, Whistler Blackcomb, Oakley, Aurora MJ, The North Face, etc. Honestly, that laundry list is so long we might have to do two loads. Maybe we’ll separate lights from darks.
Passionate about the outdoors, highly skilled in all aspects of content creation, and battle hardened by way of extensive experience with clients and conceptual challenges of all kinds, Darren truly is a human Swiss Army Knife… or did we already use the duct tape analogy? Either way, Darren can truly do it all.
Highly touted as one of the most significant imports in recent Canadian history, this UK product has flipped the market upside down as a high-yield investment that is sure to leave any investor satisfied time and time again. A University of Kent graduate in Multimedia Technology and Design, starting work in London as an editor. Two years later, Jon made the decision to relocate to Canada in search of snow, adventure, and faster wifi – passing up a lucrative career as a Prince Harry's stand-in and stunt double in the process.
Upon landing on Canadian soil, all kinds of things surely happened: some good, some bad, some great, some terrible. The important piece of information to draw from this otherwise unknown period in Jon’s life, is that he eventually wound up in the Magnafire office. It is in these hallowed walls that he quickly became the team’s Post-Production Supervisor, where he sits a royal throne of his own (read: editing chair), tasked with the mission of creating award-winning content for top tier clients including CBC, TELUS, Red Bull and many more. In the unpredictable, raging sea of imperfection that is video production, Jon channels his energy to delivering creative stories to clients. From TV commercials, to adventure documentaries, to cutting-edge social media edits, Jon’s all-seeing eyes and sharp mind are always sure to dot every T and cross every I from conception to delivery.
Spiderjan. Tarjan. Ironjan. Superjan. What do all of these names have in common? They’re all quite obviously action heroes names with “Jan” inserted into them. . Now that the formalities are out of the way, what can be said about Jan Schuster – a staple DP on the Magnafire roster since the company first began in 2014.
Perhaps the best way to describe Jan is through the way in which he provided background information for this bio – while everyone else provided full resumes and several paragraphs of personal notes, Jan simply opted to send 4 short sentences describing his basic work experience, leaving the writer to his own devices to make magic happen (the “magic” being what you are currently reading). In a way, this acts an accurate representation of Jan’s style – as it’s a true descriptor of how he works best: tell him what’s needed and the overall plan for a given project, and he’ll take care of the rest with his artistic vision and intuition. Much like this the unplanned direction that this bio is going, Jan scripts the unscripted, defines the undefined, shoots the unshot – his unique ability to create meaning from minimal context makes him an asset on any set.
All overly verbose descriptions aside, with 15 years of battle hardened experience in the trenches of commercial and action sports cinematography, Jan has developed a strong reputation as the go-to choice for camera and production-related work in the west coast. A gimbal specialist by trade, Jan is also experienced in running multi-camera live broadcasting, directing, production logistics, and all related on-set activities.
From world-class athlete to award-winning producer, it can be said that Katie Bender wears a lot of hats. In fact, around the Magnafire office Katie is often referred to as “The Hatrack” - due to her ability to take on a variety of roles. Ok, we’re going to be honest, literally nobody calls her that, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more accurate analogy to describe Katie’s capabilities.
Following a career as an athlete representing Australia in both gymnastics and aerial freestyle skiing, Katie set her sights on her true passion: film. In just a short time, Katie has applied her competitive drive to her pursuits in the film industry, and her quick ascension already boasts the accolades of an industry vet (to be clear - that’s veteran, not veterinarian, although she’s great with animals too). Upon graduating from FIDM in LA, Katie worked at Trailer Park Inc. – one of the world’s leading motion picture marketing firms. It was here that Katie’s innate ability to don so many hats came to light, working on numerous award-winning marketing campaigns and theatrical trailers for top Hollywood studios. Katie then tried on her most stylish hat to date – making her directorial debut on Australia’s first feature-length sports documentary, The Will To Fly. Was it successful, you ask? Let’s just say it won multiple awards at film festivals, earned Katie a speaking spot at TEDx and on a variety of judging and speaking panels, and is now used as study material in schools across Australia… so yes, you could say that.
Like any good bio should, let’s wrap this up with a reference to something we mentioned at the start. If a hat rack were extremely capable in the areas of marketing, creative, production, and operations, we’d be calling it Katie. See what we did there?
Raised in the mountains of Colorado, Christian has a passion for all things outdoors. Christians focus is to tell inspiring stories and communicate emotion in a cinematic way.
For millennia, it has been said that a life without meaning is rendered colorless, filled with a sense of somber dullness (we’re pretty sure that’s what they say, at least). When it comes to video production, the reverse also rings true: video without vibrant color and carefully selected tones is equally meaningless, as colour is the soul that truly brings a piece to life. Dave came to this brilliant realization early on in his career during his experimental years, where he paired video with colour and began to truly understand the capabilities that colour has in shaping compelling stories. From this moment on, Dave knew what he had to become: a colourist, using his vast knowledge of the colour wheel to breathe life into the neutral video world. This occurred on a Wednesday, in case you were wondering.
After many years of tirelessly studying every shade, hue, and chroma visible to the human and marsupial eye, Dave began to apply this newfound knowledge to the music industry, where he harnessed the unstoppable power of colour to mold the stories being told in music videos for a variety of major artists, including Odezsa, Sonreal, Dallas Smith, and many more. Beyond simply the musical arena, Dave has used his deep understanding of the language of color to tint the video works of brands such as Red Bull, Mazda, Ferrero Rocher, The North Face, Air Canada, to name a few. If these accolades haven’t already cleansed your palette, it should also be noted that the feature films that Dave has adjusted primary, secondary, and tertiary colors for have gone on to win awards at TIFF, VIFF, and other film festivals around the world. If you’re still not impressed, what could hue possibly be looking for? Color us confused.
Working as a magazine photo editor for over 15 years and creating almost 100 magazines has given him a critical eye for perfection.
Doing both photography and video gives Brian a multi experience, from travel, sports and portraiture, working with people closely has established him as a hard worker and an educated visionary with a true love for the image.