Crossroads of the World: A Bandier Program Capstone Premieres in Times Square

The music video for “Moneybag” by musician 33col3 featuring Rich Amiri premiered on a billboard in Times Square on a November night in 2022.  

Ryan Hermann headshot
Ryan Hermann

Little did the thousands of people watching know, the video had been produced in less than 10 days by a student-run music video production company 6Degree Productions, a business that originated from a capstone project by Ryan Hermann ’23. 

Hermann is an alumnus of the Newhouse School’s prestigious Bandier Program for Recording and Entertainment Industries, named a top music business program by Billboard magazine. In the program he enjoyed the small class sizes, informative courses and a close-knit atmosphere.  

“[Bandier] really allows you to get close to everyone, no matter what grade, and that’s what the music industry is. It’s all about connections,” Hermann said. “It’s all about who you know. It really just helps that you get along with everyone on the program.” 

At the start of Hermann’s senior year in August 2022, he began working on his capstone, a semester-long project in which the assignment was to simply create a business. 

two people stand behind a camera as they film a music video
The team shoots Lauren Juzang’s “Goodnight Friend” video in Stone Quarry Hill Art Park. (Photo by Olivia Friess)

“What I’m trying to see from the capstone is students using real-world professional experiences to get outside of their comfort zone and learn as much as they possibly can about how they work best, how they produce the best results,” said Bill Werde, the Bandier program director. 

Hermann decided to create a music video production company, inspired by his Atlantic Records internship the summer before senior year. As a video production intern, he worked on the set of various music videos, helping with casting, directing and production.  

Having worked on both expensive and low-budget videos, “I realized that if you’re creative enough, you don’t need all the money in the world to create something amazing,” Hermann said. 

With that realization and inspiration from music video director and producer Cole Bennett’s multimedia company, Lyrical Lemonade, Hermann got to work on creating 6Degree.

Through mutual connections, Hermann found five fellow Syracuse University students interested in his idea—Roger Moore, a cinematography and film/video production senior; Ashley Girouard, a communication design senior; Lena Osso, a television, radio and film senior; and two film and media arts students, sophomore Brandon Kim and junior Cabot Maloney—and created his team. 

“I told them: ‘I know that all these artists don’t have all the money in the world. But I know that when we combine our creative ideas, we can do something amazing.’” 

people sit around a table and smile for a selfie
The 6Degree crew meets with artist BRI in Bird Library and presents treatments for her song “Never Around.” (Photo by Roger Moore)
four people stand behind a camera as they film a music video
From left: Brandon Kim, Roger Moore, Ryan Hermann and Cabot Maloney shooting “Messy Room” by Sammy Curcuru. (Photo by Olivia Friess)

They got to work, spending hours in Bird Library and to find Syracuse-based artists who could be potential clients. As 6Degree’s leader, Hermann found and contacted artists, collaborated with them on ideas, orchestrated the shooting logistics and more. 

Hermann’s company, which continued after the capstone class was over, released five music videos between November 2022 and October 2023, starting big with “Moneybag,” by fellow Bandier alumnus and musician Zach Dacierno ‘23, who releases music under the name 33col3.

The team shot, edited and finalized the video in 10 days after Hermann received a call from Dacierno saying that he signed a one-song deal with label Sun Pop and needed a short promo video to premiere in Times Square in less than two weeks.  

“We were like ‘We have got to do this,’” Hermann said.  

a group of people film a music video with some sitting on the floor and some standing
The 6Degree crew shooting the last shot for “Moneybag” by 33col3. (Photo by Fisher Harris)

Hermann wasn’t able to get to Times Square to see the video premiere, but other members of 6Degree did, including Osso. 

“[The premiere] was a super cool experience for us, especially as a new organization on campus,” Osso said. “To have such a mind-blowing experience as our first video, that kind of projected us towards other artists wanting to work with us, which was really cool.” 

After the whirlwind experience, 6Degree completed a music video for BRI.’s “Never Around,” a hectic three-day shoot that included filming a car scene, a packed sorority house and a party. The chaos of the first two days made Hermann nervous about the party, “but it really went perfectly and that whole shoot was amazing,” he said. 

Videos that followed were “Christmas On My Own” for Picture Us Tiny, “Goodnight, Friend” for Lauren Juzang and “Messy Room” for Sammy Curcuru, Hermann’s personal favorite video.  

After Hermann graduated in May 2023, 6Degree went on hold as the founding members moved on to pursue their own careers. Hermann hopes to one day continue the production company in the future; at the same time he just started an internship as an emerging talent associate for Elektra Entertainment in New York City. 

a group of people stand and smile together
Ryan Hermann (second row, second from left) and the rest of the 6Degree crew after the last day of their music video “Never Around” by BRI. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Hermann)

“I think I will do some stuff and eventually just put it on 6Degree. It’s shelved right now, but we’ll see if it could be continued,” he said. 

For Hermann, 6Degree was an opportunity to build a project from the ground up, and navigating through hectic, last-minute shoots forced him to be a decisive leader.  

“Ryan led with his passion, which I think is one of the best ways to jump into building a business,” Werde said. “I think he picked an art form and a part of the business that he had been dedicated to and he built his own, and I think that’s incredible.”

Griffin Uribe Brown is a sophomore in the magazine, news and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.