Thursday, May 8, 2014

Announcing My Theatrical Debut (...for Video Design) in "The Last Jews: An Apocalyptic Comedy" at Boston's Playwrights' Theatre

The Last Jews: An Apocalyptic Comedy. Opening May 1st. Featuring video elements by yours truly. #theater #Boston

I'm pleased to be working in Boston theater at the moment! And as I'm not an actor, I'm especially pleased to be able to stay behind the camera. Camera? Theater? What, you ask?

Playwright Larry Jay Tish has a new play up and running for one more weekend at the Playwrights' Theatre at BU in Boston. "The Last Jews: An Apocalyptic Comedy" is a funny farce that is rooted in the legacy of of one of history's darkest chapters. It also may offend Canadians.

A Boston Globe article gives some insight into Larry and the concept of the play:

Larry Jay Tish, "tackles humanity at its most inhumane with “The Last Jews: An Apocalyptic Comedy.” It’s set in a North Dakota bunker after a Canadian-led genocide has wiped out all but two Jews, Gertrude and Morty, who hadn’t spoken to each other since their bitter divorce two decades before."

Set in the near future, the play called for some video elements -- characters "skyping" with each other, security camera footage, a fake newscast -- to be presented to the audience via a communication screen inside the Sierra Club bunker where most of the play takes place.

I was pleased to work with Larry and Director Margaret Ann Brady and some talented actors to get these scenes recorded, edited and delivered for playback during the live shows. In previews, I was happy to see that the video played seamlessly and was non-distracting, which is really the point, to serve the play in telling the story at hand.

The video elements even received a mention in a review on Boston Arts Review (where it wasn't called out for ruining everything): "...and Brad Kelly’s video design for the television news broadcasts is an effective and awfully clever comic coup. Mazel Tov."

The play runs through May 11th and is funny and hopeful and gets you thinking about the absurdity of hatred, even as you're laughing.

Opening night for The Last Jews: An Apocalyptic Comedy. #theater #Boston
See you in the theater!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Better Homes and Gangsters" in Pre-Production with Albion Park

We here at Albion Park Productions are deep in the pre-production process on our first feature, our working title is "Better Homes and Gangsters." For now. We think it's funny, suspenseful and moving. The staged reading proved that its potential wasn't just on the page. We were pleasantly thrilled by the response from the actors and others in the room. We look forward to bringing this bit of cinematic fun to the big screen. And eventually the big screen plasma in your living room.

The script is finished. The parts are mostly cast and the actors committed to the shooting schedule. SAG (Screen Actors Guild) paperwork is being shuffled and submitted. LLC's are being created, lawyers are being consulted and paid. Boy are they being paid. Before anyone else gets paid, the lawyers must be paid. One of the first things we got for our money was that we should probably think about changing the title. Apparently a certain magazine might choose to make trouble. Must we start killing our darlings before we've even really begun? The law is a tough, expensive master.

Principle photography is still a few months away. The budget is....well, the budget money is in the process of being raised (stay tuned here, hint, hint...). It's amazing how many moving parts there are to getting a film underway, even before the first frame is shot.

Better Homes & Gangsters poster shoot. Love, set, and met her match?

My two producing partners are doing a lot of the heavy pre-production lifting with me. And once we start production we'll be putting on our "real" hats: Art Hennessey will be directing. Amanda Good Hennessey will be the lead actor and I will be director of photography. Anyone want to line produce?

Creating an online "presence" for a movie that hasn't shot a single frame yet, is challenging. With that in mind, we recently headed to some tennis court on a very chilly fall day with two of our actresses braving it in tennis whites, to try and come up with some images that might hint at the kind of flavor that our upper-class-meets-underworld script encompasses. A little bit screwball, a little bit dangerous, a little bit awkward.

Better Homes & Gangsters poster shoot. Friends and others?  
Amanda Good Hennessey and Alexandra Hynes make nice for the camera

More to come as this comes together. See you on the courts!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Up On A Roof: Storm Clouds Over Somerville Timelapse

Storm Clouds over Somerville, MA, July 29, 2013, A Timelapse from Brad Kelly on Vimeo.

Dramatic stock music rolls in over the Boston area last night. Also, some awesome summer storm clouds.

I was rolling on some timelapses yesterday when some freaky Ghostbusters worthy clouds moved in.

Shot at 4 seconds per frame and edited using Quicktime and Final Cut Pro.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Game of Thrones Ascent Footage to Air on HBO this weekend

Shooting interviews with the guys doing the new Game of Thrones online game.

Last month HBO requested the raw interview footage I shot, with Steve Webster of Impact Design,
  of the hot local game design folks Disruptor Beam, for the Game of Thrones Ascent trailer.

Turns out they've incorporated it into a featurette that is airing on HBO starting this weekend! I haven't seen it yet and I'm mighty curious to see what they've done with it.


Best of all, I can now cross the "have footage I shot run in an interstitial featurette on HBO" off my bucket list. Onward and upwards!


The featurette started airing yesterday and is scheduled to air at these times, as well:

Game of Thrones Ascent Featurette Air Times: May 11th-13th

Saturday at 2:29pm on HBO Signature
Saturday at 5:17pm on HBO Signature
Saturday at 9:39pm on HBO
Sunday at 1:07am on HBO Signature
Sunday at 1:33am on HBO Zone
Sunday at 1:08pm on HBO Zone
Sunday at 6:58pm on HBO2
Sunday at 7:12pm on HBO
Sunday at 11:01pm on HBO Signature
Monday at 3:48am on HBO
Monday at 9:39am on HBO
Monday at 12:04pm on HBO Comedy
Monday at 9:00pm on HBO Zone

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Oblique Sector is in a streaming partnership with Film Armada as part of the extended Nantucket Film Festival

Our short film, The Oblique Sector, premiered a year ago at The Nantucket Film Festival.

The Albion Park Productions team spent a glorious and eventful several days on that quaint little island taking part in the festival scene and the old-time whaling seaport atmosphere: Meeting, greeting, taking part in Q&A's, catching other interesting films and enjoying the parties, workshops and readings for which the NFFest is justly famous. Then it was over. Back to work (and on to the next festival).

Fast-forward nearly a year: We received an email from the Nantucket Film Festival inviting us to participate in a "streaming partnership" with Film Armada, as an extension of the Nantucket Film Festival 2012. Film Armada describes itself as an "Online Theatron." For the duration of the NFFestival, our short would be available streaming online and all revenue associated with ad sales and "tickets" sold to view our film would go entirely to us. After the festival, our short would be withdrawn or we could choose one of two options to leave it up as part of Film Armada or the NFFest archives.

What's to lose, right? Licensing agreements were signed, digital files were delivered, and The Oblique Sector is currently available (for the rest of today) online here:

How this will play out financially remains to be seen. I haven't purchased that yacht for the visit to Cannes next year, but who knows. It's a new world out there when it comes to distribution and revenue streams and to an extent, it's about trying out new concepts and ideas and seeing what sticks.

Film Armada is in beta. And in some ways, it shows. It's not really clear to me how much it costs to view our film, but it's reportedly $3. However, signing up and logging in to the site, it appears there is a $10 minimum purchase of credits, so that raises the "random casual viewer" bar fairly high, right off the bat.

And our film is represented by a rather awkward frame grab (automated, I presume?), as you can see below.

As any of you who have seen the film know, The Oblique Sector is not really about Amanda Good Hennessey's chest. Sorry, Amanda! I think we can blame it on the bot.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hello, Cape Cod! The Oblique Sector is an Official Selection of 2012 The Woods Hole Film Festival.

Albion Park Productions is thrilled to announce that our short film, The Oblique Sector, is an Official Selection of 2012 The Woods Hole Film Festival!

Thank you, Kickstarter supporters for helping us continue our festival run!

Movie Maker Magazine called the Woods Hole Film Festival "one of the coolest 25 film festivals in the world."

We're looking forward to visiting the festival and interacting with other filmmakers and seeing some great films (as well as our own!) down on Cape Cod. Should be the perfect time of year for a visit. Hope to see you there!


Monday, July 30th at 7pm
Saturday, August 4th at 5pm

For details about the festival:

(They just announced the schedule, we'll be getting our trailer and graphics on festival genius soon!)

Thanks for all of your support!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

iPhoneography in Print. An Article on My Cellphone Photography in the Somerville Journal

The February 16, 2012 issue of the Somerville Journal has a full page article about my cellphone photography.

So Meta It Might Explode! A Cellphone photo of my cellphone photos printed in the Somerville Journal.
Old School / New School: iPhoneography on the printed page.

I was contacted by Jillian Fennimore, a reporter from the Somerville Journal, who had seen my iPhone shots in various tweets and postings online and asked about doing a brief article on them for the "Somerville Life" section of the paper. I was happy to oblige! The world is infused with little moments of visual poetry if we pause to look. I try to share that online and I was pleased for the opportunity to share my images, with perhaps a different audience, in print.

In the article, I mention the wise saying that when you see something extraordinary, the best camera to use to capture the image is whatever one you have with you! For most people these days that is their cellphone.

Since getting an iPhone, even I admit that I'm less inclined to carry my Nikon around with me, in favor of knowing the iPhone, with its halfway decent camera, is as close as my pocket. This is convenient and makes me look less like a photo dweeb.

However, I'm also more likely to miss out on serendipitous moments that might demand high resolution and the capabilities of a professional camera (such as my fortuitous luck, in capturing the Harvard Square meteor in high resolution with my Nikon, last year).

As a visual artist, I'm drawn the slightly surreal and unexpected beauty in the everyday things around us. These images, I find, are almost always unexpected and unplanned. They rise up out of the environment like a sort of visual haiku. Even hitting with the force of a poem, a visual poem, if you will, if you can look for a moment in a mood of contemplation. Perhaps, the visual equivalent of a William Carlos Williams haiku, like his famous poem about the Red Wheelbarrow:

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

This reads, to me, like the perfect description of a great iPhone photo of a poor American family's backyard in the 1920's. Provided, of course, that the iPhone had been invented then, and possessed by an iPhoneographer of William Carlos Williams' sympathetic imagination and a good 99¢ iTunes photo app.

Nothing enables a (post) modern visual haiku-ist better than a cell phone with a decent camera. I'll admit I'm partial to the iPhone, but I'm sure there are Droid phones and Blackberries, etc. with equally competent cameras in them.

It's a fact, however, that almost any cell phone photo needs a little post-processing work, to bring out its best. Most shots come out a little flat to begin with, by design. That's where the apps come in. The article mentions a 99 cent app that I use. For me, that's Camera+. ($.99 when I bought it - seems to have gone up to $1.99, for the moment) Truly, 90% of what I post online has gone through this app. It's not perfect, but it does a great job, overall. There are plenty of free photo apps, too, that do amazing things, including the ever popular Instagram (as well a some very cheesy apps).

So much of what we shoot these days never gets printed. In fact, the definition of what a photograph is has probably actually changed. For many, printing their photos today, is a rarity. And even more so with small, low-res mobile photos. Witness the demise of Kodak.

Consequently, I've rarely printed an iPhone photo, assuming them to be too lacking in pixels to look good. So I was pleasantly surprised with how good these ended up looking printed on newsprint in the Journal. Long live print! There is something to be said for a photograph that has an actual physical presence.

This issue of the Somerville Journal will be on newsstands until next Thursday. Get yours soon, as it's sure to be a collectors item! Some years hence, there may be no physical paper published anywhere, having all moved online and to iPad-style devices.

But, for now, here's visual poetry on the printed page. Little visual haikus of Somerville life!

Rosebud Diner / Windshield / Rain
Outtake: Rosebud Diner in the Rain

UPDATE: The Somerville Journal has now posted the article online.