Title: Filmmaker, Actor, Director
Company: Reiss Productions
Location: Wichita, Kansas, United States
Raymond J. Reiss, Filmmaker, Actor and Director at Reiss Productions, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Artists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the entertainment industry.
Fondly recalling watching “The Wizard of Oz” while seated on his mother’s lap as a child, Mr. Reiss has loved film for as long as he can remember. He embarked on his career in entertainment while still in college, traveling the carnival circuit during the summers while he studied at Wichita State University. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and anthropology in 1968, he went on to serve in the U.S. Navy from 1968 to 1970 as a librarian with Navy Intelligence before entering the U.S. Navy Reserves, where he would serve for the next nine years. In 1971, he returned to his studies, taking a film course from Lance Hayes and completing graduate coursework in parapsychology at John F. Kennedy University.
Under the guidance of Mr. Hayes, Mr. Reiss had the opportunity to make the sort of film that he wouldn’t have been able to under any other teacher and it propelled him headfirst into his career in entertainment. In 1975, he co-hosted a cable TV show in San Francisco and from 1976 to 1979 he created “Holograms” under Laseray. Following this work, Mr. Reiss turned briefly to civic engagement, helping to found the city of Park City, Kansas, where he served as the city’s first mayor for three terms between 1981 and 1989. Upon his leaving the position, he was awarded a certificate of recognition and the key to the city. He has also had a courthouse and a street named after him in Park City.
Now a filmmaker, actor and director with his own company, Reiss Productions, he has been involved in a number of films, TV shows and documentaries, with notable roles including an orderly in the 1996 film “Mars Attacks!”; the chief executive officer of an oil company who is running for governor in the film, “Insecurity”; and, most recently, an appearance on a German TV show in 2018. Attributing much of his success to his enthusiasm and love of the creative process, he is also deeply grateful to the influence of Lance Hayes, Leif Jonker and Fritz Robinson. Mr. Reiss has directed and produced two documentaries alongside Mr. Robinson — “New Cinema: Reflections of Ol’ Flick and a Few Friends,” which was released in 2020, and “Lights, Camera, Wichita,” which is currently in post-production. Other documentary work of his includes a 40-minute documentary he directed and produced from 2006 to 2007 and the 10-minute documentary short “Encounter with Burt Lancaster,” which was also released in 2020.
In order to keep abreast of developments in his field, Mr. Reiss maintains professional affiliation with the Tallgrass Film Association, an independent film association that runs an annual 5-day film festival in Wichita, Kansas. He has also shown his work at the Doc Sunback Film Festival, where his film was the opening film of the festival. In addition to his primary career responsibilities, Mr. Reiss has enjoyed success as a holographer and magician, and has held membership in the International Brotherhood of Magicians since 1981.
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