Rick Rey is the chief executive officer and co-founder of Surreal, a media company that creates and distributes short-form immersive video content.
At Surreal, Rey oversees the company’s overall direction, business strategy and key strategic partnerships. He is committed to bringing exciting new content experiences to mainstream audiences, and pushing the entertainment industry towards innovation and nontraditional thinking. As a digital video industry veteran, Rey has spent the last 10 years leveraging technology to engage audiences and tell visual stories in new ways, and he continues that pioneering track record with Surreal. Virtual reality as a medium presents new opportunities for content creators, as well as new challenges, and Rey has always been drawn to unchartered waters in the entertainment space.
Prior to co-founding Surreal, Rey was general manager of entertainment at Maker Studios, where he oversaw content operations, programming strategy, and branded entertainment for the company’s key content verticals, including Comedy, Music, Movies, News, Pop Culture and Animation. He worked closely with internal sales teams to develop and package original video content featuring the world’s biggest YouTube stars alongside traditional Hollywood talent. As GM, Rey led a large cross-departmental team with representatives from every division of the company, from talent partnerships to marketing to finance. After The Walt Disney Company acquired Maker in 2014, Rey worked across the Disney organization to develop and execute groundbreaking projects with leaders from Disney Parks, Disney Channel, Lucasfilm, Disney Interactive, Walt Disney Studios, among others.
Previously, Rey was vice president of original programming and development at Blip, an independent video platform that was acquired by Maker Studios. Rey led the company’s digital studio and branded entertainment team, which encompassed all content development, production, and top-tier talent partnerships. He executive produced original series sponsored by top advertising partners, including GEICO, Verizon, Capital One, Clorox, Kingsford, and Canon.
Before joining the Blip team in 2010, Rey was an independent creator/producer in the online video space since the mid 2000s, writing and producing content for the first wave of multi-channel networks, including Next New Networks (acquired by YouTube) and Revision3 (acquired by Discovery Digital Networks).
Rey is a native of Detroit, Michigan, and a graduate of University of Michigan.