Ben Derico

Class of 2022

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.
For the past 8 years I’ve worked on set with agencies like Leo Burnett, BBDO, and IDEO as a DP, Producer, and Director. In 2014, I started my own commercial production studio, Sidekick, where I created videos for large brands like Apple and independent companies alike. At Berkeley, I’m looking to build upon my years of experience in production and improve my skills as a reporter and documentarian focused on international relations, language, art, and culture.
When not working on commercial videos, I’ve worked on projects following the social life of traditional rug makers in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, learned how donated bicycles from Chicago make their way to rural bike mechanics in Ghana, and told the story 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 and BBC III, as well as smaller, niche publications like Brownbook and Passion Passport.
I love creating character-driven, documentary short stories in both English and Spanish and 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:

SFGate – Why the pandemic may be leading to more abandoned boats on the SF Bay

The Washington Post – David Axelrod on the Iowa Caucuses

Passion Passport – Toledo’s Last Master Sword Maker 

Brownbook – Profile, Dr. Omar Kholeif 


  • Loyola University Chicago - (B.A. 2011)


  • Across The Pond - Freelance Creative Producer (02/20 - Present)

  • Sidekick Video - Director | Owner (04/14 - Present)

  • Lapiz/Leo Burnett - Associate Producer (01/13-04/14)


  • US Department of Education FLAS Fellow (Portuguese - Institute of European Studies) 2020-2021


  • Video Consortium - (SF/Bay Area)