Alumni Profile: Kyle Kelley '10
Erica Moriarty (a first-year Documentary Studies and Production major from Houston, Texas) caught up with Park Scholar alumnus Kyle Kelley, owner, cinematographer, editor and colorist for BullMoose Pictures.
From the first day of orientation, every Park School student and Park Scholar learns about the network of alumni. Not only the dean, but also professors and upperclassmen emphasize the unique significance of networking within Ithaca College in terms of professional development. Kyle Kelley recognized this significance within his first years of being in the “real world” after IC.
“The networking is the most important thing I learned from Park. All of my work has come from Ithaca grads or Ithaca professors,” he said.
Like many IC grads, Kelley benefited from his own newly-formed network right out of school. In fact, his first job opportunity arose from a class in his senior year.
“I got a job through Professor Marlena Grzaslewicz after being a TA for her editing class in my senior year. She’s a special dialogue and sound editor, and Insignia Films was hiring for an office manager with a little more responsibility,” he explained.
Kelley worked with Insignia Films for about a year shooting a four-part series titled Constitution USA. Instead of following a career as a producer, he pursued the positions of second camera operator and first assistant camera. He was able to work alongside the host of the show, Peter Sagal, as well as the famous director of photography, Buddy Squires. Shooting additional footage took him even as far as Iceland.
Although the Constitution USA project became one of his favorites, Kelley still felt as if he was missing some creative license: “Experimentation gets a lot harder when you have to do something with someone paying you.”
In the summer of 2012, Kelley co-produced the short film, Worlds We Created. The film is the story of an everyday young boy, who struggles with the fine line between his imagination and reality.
“That was one where I had creative control from beginning to end,” he said.
Having that level of creative control was something Kelley cherished while at IC. From the availability of free equipment to the fact that students have the opportunity to film whatever they want, college is the perfect time to experiment.
Kelley’s words of advice for students beginning their film career in college: “Figure out what you love to do and try to push the boundaries a little bit.”
Kelley keeps the Park Scholar tradition of community service and social change alive in the projects he takes on. He has worked on projects involving a wide array of social change issues including large-scale litigation and class action. He is currently working on a story surrounding the imbalanced practices of a meat packing plant.
“We were just called last week to do a story on this meat packing plant. The people working there are getting injured. They’re green card applicants or illegal immigrants, so they’re not being taken care of.”
Now, Kelley owns BullMoose Pictures (www.bullmoosepictures.net) and works as the company's cinematographer, editor and colorist. He lives in an apartment in Brooklyn, New York with… you guessed it – other Ithaca graduates.
“There’s always something to do and tons of work!” Kelley said in regards to the city life.
Like many cinematographers, equipment and money tend to be an issue for him. He urges others to save some money and to own their own equipment when possible.
BullMoose Pictures provides a service, which rents out professional level equipment to filmmakers on a tight budget. The service allows Kelley to remain connected to the growing network of Park graduates as well as the wider network of media makers.