Wiik in the Hollywood Hills, Nov 2018. Photo: Private.
Ryan Wiik, the entertainment industry entrepreneur and the founder of successful WR Entertainment, speaks about rediscovering himself through his work on the Morgan Kane movie franchise.
R: Why did you want to play the part of Morgan Kane? Why you?
RW: When I started my company, investors suggested I check out the Morgan Kane books. I did my research and sure enough, the Morgan Kane books turned out to be a fantastically promising franchise. I was even more pleasantly surprised to learn that the author, Louis Masterson, was actually a Norwegian! Curious about the character Morgan Kane I started reading the books, each of which was a “page turner.” The character of Morgan Kane jumped off the page and enthralled me from beginning to end. I was hooked! I totally related to the character I was reading about. When I introduced the books to my associates they all agreed that I’d be the perfect match to play the Morgan Kane part in a motion picture. Needless to say, I had to pursue the rights and I did. No doubt, the fact that I am Norwegian, as was the author, inspired them to see me portraying the famous western character onscreen. This is when my passion for the project really started.
R: You tried to bring the Morgan Kane movie to life for almost a decade. What happened?
RW: Well, business happened! (laughing) As I said, it is a fantastic property, and I thought the vision needed to match its greatness. But for that, we needed a huge “Hollywood” budget to produce the movie because I wanted to employ the best talent and technicians in the business. We also had to face the reality of staying in business. You know, from the ground up it’s not easy to run a company and also develop a project of such enormous magnitude. All in all, those nine years were laborious and exhausting. And I sacrificed more than I should have!
R: You’ve channeled a lot of passion into the project. Why was that?
RW: I believe that passion and dedication are the ingredients necessary to bring projects to life and turn them into works of art. I don’t believe in mediocre work, because I see too many people doing that. If I take on a project, it has to come out as a terrific piece of art. It has to be compelling and cinematic. It’s only the passion for a project that brings it to life and makes it extraordinary.
R: And that’s why there was no time for anything else?
RW: The company came first. Then, there was the movie. I barely got the time to sleep! I estimate that I spent personally over 30,000 hours bringing WR and Morgan Kane to life; to the screen, to the world to see and discover!
Pic above: For Wiik, the world art and finance blended into one. He spent a near decade immersed in bringing the frontier of the west alive in the todays business world. Photo: Private.
Pic above: Over the course of developing the franchise property riding became second nature for Wiik, and he developed strong passion for horses. Here with one of many quarter horses taken up in the Hollywood Hills. Photo: Private.
Pic above: Wiik had countless interactions with investors, and sometimes while still in a western outfit. Here with investment banker, Jenny Chu, a former board member of WR Entertainment. Photo: Private.
R: You seemed to believe that you really were Morgan Kane.
RW: When you work on something, that you want to turn out great, then you need to immerse yourself in it. You need to fully relate to it. You need to become “it.” That’s the way it works, or else audiences will not respond, they will say that it doesn’t have depth and character; that it doesn’t have “soul.” I wanted no part of doing anything in my life mediocre.
R: So, are you really Morgan Kane, the gunslinger?
RW: (laughs) Now, I believe that up and to that point Morgan Kane was my greatest achievement. I realize now that Morgan Kane was a facet, a chapter, a part to play in my creative journey. It was essential that I went through all those years of work and that this also brought along a lot of hardships. And through all that, I became Morgan Kane. But I am far more than a literary gunslinger. I am Ryan Wiik!
R: That sounds like you rediscovered yourself.
RW: I really have! It was one of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had in my entire life! I came out of it, reborn, fresh, and brimming with new ideas. Now, I know I can create more meaningful projects that will benefit the entire world and by that, I mean its artists and art itself!
R: So, is it this drive to bring compelling and dramatic art to the world that pushes you forward? That has inspired you to reinvent yourself?
RW: That’s why I resigned from WR, the company I created and grew to a tremendously successful venture. I am a man of ideas and I am motivated to bring those ideas to life for the benefit of audiences all over the planet. They say that one man can change the world? I say the world can inspire one man to change. I cherish art, and the artists who create it. So, my goal is to give the world much needed inspiration, by bringing our most cherished artforms into the 21st century!