About Southern Reel

Southern Reel, Southern Ground’s video and photography team, has the wide-ranging capabilities and impressive resume to create stunning, powerful deliverables that accomplish all of your brand’s audio/visual goals.

With 35 years of combined experience, the specialists within the Southern Reel team include award-winning videographers, photographers, editors, After Effects gurus, directors, producers, scriptwriters, story boarders and production managers. This stacked team has provided their storytelling services and technical know-how to an incredible number of networks and brands such as, CMT, VH1, Ram Trucks, LandShark, Jack Daniels, Capital One, Palladia, Billboard, Bonnaroo, USA Today and more.

Members of our team have also lent their talents to top artists including, Zac Brown Band, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Lyle Lovett, just to name a few.

Most recently, you’ve probably seen Southern Reel’s work in Zac Brown Band’s music videos for "Sweet Annie" and “Jump Right In.” These pieces, which were written, directed and produced by our team, reached #1 on CMT’s Top 20 Countdown. In addition, Southern Reel is also responsible for the album photography and promotional shots for ZBB’s GRAMMY-Award winning album “Uncaged.”

From developing mini-documentaries and music videos, to shooting rich, dynamic photography for top merchants, Southern Reel has the ability to capture and project a brand through any medium, complete with the passion and down-to-earth sensibility that makes their team uniquely Southern Ground.


Cole Cassell - Director

Kyle Rippey - Camera Op | Editor

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What’s your most treasured possession?  That would have to be my 1979 Airstream LandYacht International. 

Favorite Book?  The Universe in a Nutshell-Stephen Hawking-When I was in college, I went nowhere without this book in my backpack, among other necessities. 

Favorite Movie?  2001 Space Odyssey-Stanley Kubrick is the best director, ever. I mean forever, ever.

What Celebrity do you get mistaken for?  While ZBB was in Australia last year, I got mistaken for Jason Mraz all the time. I was wondering why everyone wanted a picture with the photographer until I found out who everyone was mistaken me for. It was flattering for a moment.

Proudest Moment at Southern Reel?  When I finished editing/watching our Reel of the work we’ve done the last couple of years, I couldn’t help but get a little emotional about all the blood, sweat, and tears from everyone who helped make it happen.

Interesting Fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?  I’ve been in 20-30 episodes of Good Eats as different characters. My personal favorite was “Porterhouse Rules” where I played an oddball waiter.

Who have you worked with in the past?
Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Lynyrd Skynyrd, 311, Lyle Lovett, John Prine, TimeLife, Bonnaroo, VH1, among others.

What are you most passionate about professionally?  For me, the edit is my favorite part of the process. It’s such a unique part of the artform, there’s just something about telling a story without saying a word.

What would be impossible for you to give up?  The camera.

What would you be doing if you weren’t involved in this field?  Being a science teacher.

What’s your most treasured possession?  My first guitar.

Favorite Movie?  Into the Wild

Favorite Artist (band, photog, director, etc)?  James Balog, Vik Muniz

Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?  If I have been on the road for a week....Edward Sharpe. 

Proudest Moment at Southern Reel?  Seeing Blackberry Smoke's DVD air on Palladia after several sleepless nights.

Interesting Fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?  I'm a vegetarian. 

Where did you grow up?  I was born and raised in Ames, Iowa. Although the word Iowa sounds a bit like Ohio and Idaho, I would like to make it clear I’m not from these states, although I’m sure those are also nice states to grow up in.

What would be impossible for you to give up?  Salsa. 


Mike Williams - Media Manager | Editor | Camera Op

Andy Sapp - After Effects Guru | Camera Op

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What would you be doing if you weren’t involved in this field?  I would probably be working freelance - still in production.  But, I’ve always wanted to work for a church - leading mission trips and young adults. 

Favorite Book?  I’m kind of a leadership geek.  Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley and any book written by Seth Godin. (I love Seth’s Blog). 

Favorite Artist (band, photog, director, etc)?  My favorite band is Dispatch. Not only because I dig their music, but because they do awesome things for humanity. 

Proudest Moment at Southern Reel?  I love working on projects from start to completion. Having the opportunity to do everything from concept, to the shoot days, to the final edits (and everything in between), feels good! And when those projects go #1 on CMT, that feels good too.

Interesting Fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?  My wife and I cycled across the US on a tandem bike.  We traveled along the TransAmerica Route. It took 2 months. 

Favorite vacation spot?  Mountains:  I love snowboarding in Park City, UT or Breckenridge, CO.  Beach:  I would have to say the BVI’s. 

Who have you worked with in the past?  I got my start in freelance production (commercials, music videos, etc…), and after 5 years of that, I was hired by Sixthman for the next 4 years. I’ve been with Reel now for a little over a year now.  So, all-in-all, I have about 10 years in this industry.  

What are you most passionate about professionally?  The content. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to documentaries.  Real people sharing real stories is contagious for me. 

What would be impossible for you to give up?  My faith. 

What would you be doing if you weren’t involved in this field?  Panhandling.  There is no way I could do anything else!

What’s your most treasured possession?  My stripped-out, beat-up BMW race car.

Favorite Book?  True Norwegian Black Metal by Johan Kugelberg/Peter Beste

Favorite Movie?  2001: A Space Odyssey

Favorite Artist (band, photog, director, etc)?  Stanley Kubrick.  Hands down… Stanley.

Proudest Moment at Southern Reel?  When we sent "Jump Right In" off to CMT.  I was proud for all of us because of how hard we all worked on it.  Then when it went #1!

Interesting Fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?  I am... in fact... NOT in a band.

Favorite YouTube video?  All my favorites are on Vimeo! ;)  https://vimeo.com/42252944

What are you most passionate about professionally?  Typography.

What are you known for professionally?  Attention to detail. 

What would be impossible for you to give up?  COFFEE.  Definitely coffee.


April Huff - Producer

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Michael Wiley - Editor | Camera Op

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What would you be doing if you weren’t involved in this field?  Studying psychology…. I’m fascinated by people’s behavior!

What’s your most treasured possession?  A ring I purchased at a Cherokee trading post during a cross-country road trip. I bought it in Oklahoma…. and named it La Homa. That’s right, it has a name.

Favorite Movie?  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop to look around once in awhile, you could miss it”… amen!

Favorite Artist (band, photog, director, etc)?  I love Thom Yorke.... all things radiohead & atoms for peace make me very happy. 

List five items currently in your refrigerator:  Cookie dough + milk. What else do you need?

Interesting Fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect:  Stevie Wonder used to prank call me.

Favorite YouTube video?  The Atlanta grape lady! You know…. The lady that falls while stomping grapes?  I heard she’s fine now, don’t worry. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THfiHQZVSw0)

Who have you worked with in the past?  I spent several years working for CAA, which is the nations top talent & sports agency. While at CAA, I worked on tours for some amazing artists – Kings of Leon, John Mayer, Taylor Swift, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, and My Morning Jacket to name a few. After CAA, I worked for Sixthman as a Production Coordinator. We produced music festivals while sailing the high seas. My favorite event was probably The Weezer Cruise. Yay nerd rock!

Where did you grow up?  Indiana - Midwest is the best! I consider Nashville home, though. 

What are you most passionate about professionally?  I love creative environments, especially when a team can work together to achieve something really special… and then high five a lot.  

What are you known for professionally?  Being focused and dedicated, while still having fun. Apparently I also say "Guys, can I be honest?" a lot... so, I guess I should also mention I'm pretty opinionated. 

What would be impossible for you to give up?  Vanilla lattes. 

What’s your most treasured possession?  I know this sounds cheesy but I don't really have a most treasured possession.  If it counts, I'd have to say my close friends are what I treasure most.  I love my camera, and other tools, but at the end of the day what I truly care about are the great people I know.

Favorite Book?  I'll give you three: Infinite Jest, Tortilla Flats, Blood Meridian

Favorite Movie?  Oh man, this changes all the time.  Top five when you asked: Children of Men, The Lives of Others, Dr. Strangelove, Broken Flowers, Hunger… This will change literally as soon as I'm done writing this.

Favorite Artist (band, photog, director, etc)?  Again, this is hard to pick one, because it changes all the time.

Favorite Directors?  That would be an all day discussion.  Let's just say right now the few that pop out are Kubrick, The Coens, Alfonso Cuaron, Steve McQueen, Polanski, Jarmusch, and Harmony Korrin.  As far as radio personalities go, I adore the lovely, timeless, brilliant Lois Reitzes

List Five items currently in your refrigerator:  Orange Juice from the Dekalb Farmers Market. It's like someone squeezed magic nectar out of sunshine.  Lots of different types of mushrooms, some kale, okra (that I always buy and never eat), and my leftover Bahn Mi.

What Celebrity do you get mistaken for?  Oh man, I get Kurt Cobain or Thor, depending on how skinny and depressed I look.

Favorite YouTube video?  How to Breakdance: A beginners guide.

What are you most passionate about professionally?  Narrative Feature Filmmaking.  

What would be impossible for you to give up?  Filmmaking, writing, music, and sitting around a campfire with my friends, cracking jokes and singing songs.