I’m Ben Derico—an independent Documentary Filmmaker and first year student at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Hailing from the midwest, I now call San Francisco home.
In Chicago I spent almost a decade creating commercials as producer, director, DP and editor alongside creative folks from agencies like Leo Burnett, BBDO, and IDEO.
Eventually the time came to go out on my own, and in 2014 I opened Sidekick, a commercial studio I’ve crafted videos for large brands like Apple and Google, as well as small independent companies.
At Berkeley, I’m looking to build upon my production background and deepen my skills as a journalist. By developing a stronger understanding of story and how to properly report them, I hope to use my camera to share stories about the human experience.
Before officially becoming a journalist at the J-School, I worked on documentaries following the social life of traditional rug makers in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, tracing the path of donated bicycles from Chicago to rural bike mechanics in Ghana, and recalling the tales of the last Master Sword Maker forging blades in the famed medieval Spanish city of Toledo.
My work has been featured in large outlets like The Washington Post, SFGate, and BBC III, as well as smaller, niche publications like Brownbook and Passion Passport.
I love short, non-fiction stories so much that I do my best to cover them in both English and Spanish. I pride myself on being not just a steady technical hand on set, but a quick learner and trustworthy partner to bring a story to life.
Additional Clips & Published Work of note:
UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism - (M.J. Candidate 2022)
Loyola University Chicago - (B.A. 2011)
Across The Pond - Freelance Creative Producer (02/20 - Present)
Sidekick Video - Director | Producer (04/14 - Present)
Lapiz/Leo Burnett - Associate Producer (01/13-04/14)
AWARDS & HONORS
US Department of Education FLAS Fellow (Portuguese - Institute of European Studies) 2020-2021
US Department of Education FLAS Summer Fellow (Portuguese - Institute of European Studies) Summer 2021
PUBLICATIONS & OTHER WORK
SFGate - February 2021 - "Why the pandemic may be leading to more abandoned boats on the SF Bay."
MEMBERSHIPS & AFFILIATIONS
Video Consortium - (SF/Bay Area)