Reagan Studios began as the creative outlet of Keith Collins Reagan, Sr. "I was the dad who made the videos at the end of baseball season or summer camp," remembered Keith thinking back on the early years of the business. "In fact, our logo is derived from a photo of Collins on a zip line at Passages Adventure Camp."
"My first wedding was April 8, 2010. After that, I branded the company as Keith Reagan Film & Video," recalled Keith. The business steadily expanded adding commercial projects including music videos for bands, and in July of 2014, "Flowers Ain't Gonna Fix This" by Lindsey Highlander (filmed and edited by Keith and his team) reached #1 on CMT's Pure 12-Pack Country Music Video Countdown.
Then in October of 2014, Keith was diagnosed with cancer. A frequent assistant camera operator of Keith's, Collins stepped in to run the business. With some initial assistance from the generous Kirby Martin of Kirby Martin Cinematography in Charlottesville, Collins was able to maintain the complete wedding schedule until Keith's recovery in 2015.
"I'm in remission now and back to normal," said Keith. "Except that I grew out my hair and added a beard. HaHa!"
Keith got his undergraduate degree at William & Mary, and he studied Portfolio Management at The Wharton School of Business through the Merrill Lynch program. But these days, you can usually catch him in a Duke shirt as THAT is where he was treated for cancer. "I used to be a UNC fan," Keith admits. "But after six months at Duke, people started giving me shirts and sweatpants and teddy bears with DUKE written on them. Then in 2015 - the year I was cured - Duke won the ACC tournament (again). I realize that the basketball team did not cure my cancer, but it's still fun rooting for them because of how I feel about that place."
Keith in January 2015 during chemotherapy for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. (photo by Collins Reagan)
Keith visiting Collins on campus at VCU. (photo by Lisa Reagan)
As we approach a new decade, Collins has taken the lead as primary cinematographer, drone pilot, and on-site director. "I love capturing the raw emotion present at weddings. It's the best day of these people's lives, and we get to experience that every weekend," noted Collins. "Finding the right composition and lighting is something I truly enjoy. And while we have expanded a great deal on the commercial side, I'll always love filming weddings."
Due to the natural growth of the business, Reagan Studios employs photographers and other cinematographers for various projects as needed. But Keith is still the lead editor. "It was always editing that interested me," concluded Keith. "The only reason I filmed was to have something to edit. Mixing music and imagery is my art; that's what I love most about this business. Collins prefers the live shoots and time on set with talent. Together we make a pretty good team."
banner photo by David Abel