Photographer, documentary filmmaker and avid historian, Rhett Turner, was born in 1965 in Atlanta, Georgia. Many a Boy Scout adventures colored Rhett’s boyhood, from the Georgia coast upward to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Rhett remembers being inspired by the “soul” of these uniquely southern places and credits these early experiences as the taproot for his “second career” in the arts in his late-twenties. Like many artists he would first make a circumvented journey to discover his true calling.
Rhett’s path out of high school started on a more conservative trajectory. He attended the Citadel where stimulating discussions were commonplace within a rigorous and demanding environment. A degree in business administration would follow leading up to Rhett’s venture into Turner Broadcasting, his father Ted Turner’s brainchild. Rhett describes working for his Dad as a great opportunity, but also a burden of expectation since he ultimately knew that he wasn’t cut out to walk in his Dad’s footsteps in the business world. Rhett had his own path to forge from “behind the scenes” to the “front lines” of image making and storytelling. In the early nineties Rhett gained two profound experiences while working for CNN Tokyo Bureau as a sound technician and video tape editor during the Gulf War in Amman, Jordan and the days after the coup in Russia. While this experience would ultimately set him on his creative path, he made one last foray into the business world as an Account Executive for Turner International. Even though he was continents away in Japan, he was led definitively closer to his heart. Fascinated by the aesthetic of the Japanese culture, Rhett’s appetite for medium-format photography became insatiable and consuming. By 1994 he had enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) for a degree in photography. Rhett describes his experience at RISD as a great period of growing and learning, not only for the technical aspects of his craft, but also what it means to find your true calling as an artist.
Since 1999 Rhett has operated Red Sky Productions as President, Producer and Cameraman focusing on documentary films for global television audiences and private corporations. He’s forged partnerships with CNN, TBS, PBS, Yahoo Assignment Earth and Atlanta’s High Museum to name a few. Some of his favorite projects include Pollinators in Peril, El Lobo: The Song of the Wolf, Avoiding Armageddon and Verrocchio’s David Restored and Renzo Piano Designing a Village for the Arts.
International assignments continue to take Rhett all around the world including Antarctica, Russia, Galapagos Islands, Mexico, Panama, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Australia, Alaska, France, Italy, Jordan, North and South Korea, Greenland and British Columbia, Canada.
Rhett’s favorite projects embody provocative storytelling to help educate people about complex issues. And even when he’s on assignment with his video camera, his large format old-school camera works overtime to capture his impressions of the “soul” of the place that he will bring home to share and stimulate .