Project Forte: Kelly Murray

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This month on Project Forte we sat down with the co-founder of Pink Lemonade Pictures, writer and director Kelly Murray (she/her). Follow along as we discuss the risks and rewards of taking a leap, not only into the film industry, but from stability to freelance life.  Throughout her career, Kelly has been exploring such themes of transformation which mirror great changes especially in women-led stories.  She has developed her own experiences into relatable storytelling and continues to hone her writing for publications such as Accidentally Wes Anderson while creating editorial and visual content as the Director of Marketing for Trail Creek Outfitters.

 

 

Written and Edited by: Kate Feher

 

 

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Kris Mendoza:         So, You and I met on the set of Americano, and you had a different capacity there. It’s been great to see you flourish into many roles, and I know you’re capable, keeping busy with so much more. Tell us, how did you get started?

Kelly Murray:           Well, my journey into film and production has definitely been non-linear. (laughs) I was always creative growing up, and was drawn to theater and the arts. I was a strong writer at a young age, so I went to the University of Delaware for English. At UD, I got involved in a student theater group helping with makeup and costuming, but I didn’t get into film until after I graduated. I was always fascinated with film, and wanted to be in the industry, but I didn’t really know what that path would look like. 

After I graduated, I worked as an English as a Second Language tutor for two years and then took a job in marketing. Around that time, there was a large demand for content writers.  Businesses were starting to use blogs and social media as marketing tools, so I joined a recruitment company in Newark, Delaware as their marketing coordinator and content writer. Marketing was never really the plan, but I was excited to be able to work as a writer.

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Kelly Murray on the set of Renewed Spirit

Ironically, it was through that job that I met a Delaware-based filmmaker named Chris Malinowski. Chris was a friend of the CEO’s and he was using our office for pick-up shots for a feature film. Around that same time, in my marketing role, we were talking about exploring video, so my manager connected me with Chris and suggested I shadow him during his shoot. Delaware isn’t really known to be a filmmaking hub, so I found it really cool to have the opportunity. 

When I met Chris at the shoot, he gave me the rundown of their set up and I watched them block their scene. Then I sat in the background during one of his pickup shots as an extra. It was just him and his DP (Chris was also the lead actor in his film), and I think that experience, for me, was the moment I realized, “This is what I want to do.”  After I shadowed Chris, the company sent me to a video production workshop at WHYY and we ended up making some marketing videos. As it turned out, I was actually laid off from that same marketing job a few months later. So while I was figuring out my next move, I decided to pursue film production and see if I could make a career out of it.

I found Film.org and applied for a PA job on a film called Brotherly Love, which was a feature film shot in West Philadelphia, directed by Jamal Hill. Queen Latifah’s production company produced it, and Keke Palmer was in it. I worked in the production office with the UPM and APOC, delivering things and helping with paperwork. That was my first introduction to a large production. It was mostly night shoots, it was crazy. But I was just happy to be a part of it. 

After Brotherly Love, I continued to find jobs on local productions, and around the same time, I got a part-time position at QVC as a copywriter. So I began splitting my time between QVC and production work. Given my background with theater, I was drawn to art department roles on set. I started out doing makeup and costuming. And as is the nature with low-budget indie films, I began helping on set wherever there was a need, so I started set dressing and eventually began art directing on low-budget projects. 

In the beginning, a lot of my jobs were unpaid. I worked on a lot of student films and short films, trying to get as much experience as I could, and make as many connections as possible. I was then hired full-time at QVC but still took set jobs when my schedule allowed. I was living in West Chester by then, and was surprised to find an amazing community of filmmakers there. I worked with the production company/animation studio Something’s Awry Productions. I did a lot of production coordinating with them on their short films. I also did some art directing on a handful of narrative shorts in the West Chester/Philly area and New York.  

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Kelly Murray and Hillary Hanak on the set of Block

Around 2015, I met Hillary Hanak through a mutual film friend, and she and I became really fast friends. At that time, one of my colleagues reached out about a short documentary they were producing on World War I veterans. They didn’t have any crew put together yet, but were looking for a director and a DP… and I thought, “Hey, I’d love to direct.” It was something I was interested in, and never done before. So I offered to direct the project. They agreed to bring me on, and I brought Hillary on as DP. The documentary includes a series of interviews with Philadelphia-area genealogists telling the stories of their ancestors who fought in World War I. The project is called Memories of the Great War, and that was the first time I had ever gotten behind the camera as a director. 

After Memories, I was getting the itch to write my own project. A few months after we locked in the Memories edit, I saw a call for artists for a video exhibit at The Delaware Contemporary, which is a contemporary art museum in Wilmington, Delaware. They were looking for videos that were themed around space exploration. I felt inspired by the prompt and wrote a short script called The Astronomer, which essentially is an adaptation of a Walt Whitman poem called When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer. That project became my first narrative short film, which Hillary also DP’d and co-produced; and led to the launch of our creative partnership as Pink Lemonade Pictures

 

Kris Mendoza:         I don’t know the course of how many years you went from here to there, but I think it seems like your journey was, I won’t say relatively quick, but one thing certainly led to another. And part of it is how you sought these opportunities. 

Let me take a step back, because I wonder, if you didn’t get laid off from that job, would we not be talking today? And I ask that because I’m curious about the relationship between job security and freelance life.  That seems like a barrier for some, and also a badge to wear on your sleeve no matter how successful you are, because you challenged yourself to make the leap. 

How big of a decision was this pursuit? When it was right in front of you, did you think, “This is a no-brainer….” and had it not been for the timing, do you think you’d have different outcomes in retrospect? Was losing a job, in fact, a blessing in disguise for you?

 

Kelly Murray:           Yeah, that’s a great question. I think at the time, because I was so young…I was 24…I remember feeling humiliated. It was my first office job out of college and I couldn’t believe I was laid off. But like you said, I think it was a blessing in disguise. It offered me the time and opportunity to explore another career path, so I didn’t really think twice. I just was like, “You know what, I’m going to see where this goes.” Film production was this whole new world that I hadn’t encountered before. I felt like I was part of something bigger, and it felt attainable too–

 

Kris Mendoza:         It sounds like it took a lot of your interests and your skills and put it together in one role.

 

Kelly Murray:           Yeah. So what’s crazy is that I started this film journey with losing a job, and after years of pursuing this passion “on the side”, I then decided to voluntarily leave my job at QVC to freelance full-time. I was 28 and I felt like I was at a turning point in my career. I thought, “I’m not getting any younger, maybe I should just go all in on this passion,” So I did, but you know what? I really struggled in finding my footing as a full-time freelancer.

Looking back, I think there were a lot of factors that contributed to this, but a major one that impacted me heavily involved my relationship at the time. I had an agreement with my partner that I was going to give myself six months to a year in dedication to launching my freelance career. I had a bit of a slow start at first, but I began booking work.  My first freelance booking was actually with Maestro on Americano

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Kelly Murray on the set of Americano

This relationship I was in, looking back, I think it suffered from the circumstances. And I say that just because with freelancing, you have less separation between work and home life, and they affect each other. What ended up happening was that my partner just…he came home one day, ended things, and left. It was about five months into our “agreement”, and I remember feeling blindsided. He said that one of the reasons why it wasn’t working out was because of the production life that I had chosen.

 

Kris Mendoza:         Wow. And how long were you guys together?

 

Kelly Murray:           A year and a half. It hit me pretty hard. We were living together, and I think because I had tied up so much of my identity with working in film, that it kind of levelled my reality. He said he was done, and “You have a week to move out,” type thing. And in three days, I was supposed to fly out with Hillary for a production job in the Caribbean for a week, so I was in a bit of shock. I was like, “Cool…”

 

Kris Mendoza:         “…we’ll figure this out later…”

Kelly Murray:           Yeah, like on one hand, I just got dumped really badly, but on the other, I have this really great job opportunity…

Kris Mendoza:         And the show must go on!

Kelly Murray:           Exactly, the show must go on. It was the biggest job I had booked at the time, and it was a week away on an island — it was an incredible opportunity. So I had to steel my nerves and focus on the work.

Kris Mendoza:         Did you even have time to process it?

Kelly Murray:           I mean, I went and it was an amazing experience — we were doing 360 VR and photography for a client located on the island of St. Kitt’s. But I remember coming back to the States and having to face the reality of, “What do I do now?”  My life had kind of turned upside down. I ended up moving back home to my hometown in Hockessin, Delaware. I was 29, and it felt like a major setback. But after I moved back, I ended up getting a contract job at a company called Spirit Animal Collective, I don’t know if you remember —

Kris Mendoza:         I know Spirit Animal, yeah.  Edan and Doris, right?

Kelly Murray:           Yeah! So I was producing with them for a little bit. I drove an hour and 20 minutes from Hockessin to Philly and then back every day. I was so determined. I just was like, “I’m going to make this happen, I’m going to make this happen.” And I guess my point in saying all this is that there have been a lot of ups and downs, really –

Kris Mendoza:         – It’s not a straight line, people may see it differently.

Kelly Murray:           Right. It isn’t a straight line. And even while working with Spirit Animal, I still had to take a step back and reassess my path. I still wasn’t able to support myself financially freelancing, so I decided to step away from crewing and return to the marketing field. I eventually got a 9-5 marketing job at an architecture firm back in West Chester. I moved back out on my own, and really focused on rebuilding my life. I’ve continued with marketing and currently, I’m the Marketing Director for Trail Creek Outfitters, an independent retailer of outdoor equipment and clothing in Glen Mills, PA. It’s a great company and the owner loves video, so I’ve been able to get behind the camera again and write and produce videos for the store — like a mini in-house creative department. 

Kris Mendoza:         Awesome.

Kelly Murray:           Yeah, so I guess my point in telling that kind of rocky road story is that pursuing a creative career is far from glamorous… it isn’t one size fits all…and it’s really important that you know and stay true to yourself.

With social media nowadays, I think it’s easy to compare ourselves and think that we’re not where we’re “supposed to be” in our careers, or whatever. Of course, we want to market ourselves and put out our best sides out there… but I think for any artist…creative person…or entrepreneur, life can get really messy sometimes. Life can throw a lot of curveballs at you. Staying true to yourself and your goals is so important.

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Kelly Murray on the set of Americano

And it’s different for everyone…I had to deal with some major setbacks in my personal life, but through that I also realized that my approach to the industry wasn’t really sustainable. Even though I wanted so badly to work in film…just working “on set” wasn’t enough. I had to take some time to really think about what I wanted to offer as a filmmaker and as a creative. So I consciously decided that I would refocus my creative efforts on writing and directing, even if it just meant for my passion projects in my free time.

When I stepped back and focused on writing again, I found that more doors began opening organically. People began seeking me out to help write scripts and develop their film projects…which was so refreshing. Along with my current job, I’ve been growing a client list for freelance writing. I’ve written scripts and developed videos for both Fortune 500 companies and mid-size businesses. And currently, I’m a contributing writer for Accidentally Wes Anderson, a digital platform with over one million subscribers. Kind of crazy.

Sometimes the path isn’t always a straight line, and having that self-awareness can be really important, because the great thing about film and production is that there are so many avenues you can take, and it might not be exactly what you expect, but if your goal is to work in film or any creative medium… it can still happen by another route.

 

Kris Mendoza:         I’m glad you said that, it’s refreshing to hear someone get back to that sentiment that it takes hard work, takes a lot of networking. I can relate to both the entrepreneurship side and also the filmmaker side, that it can be a lonely road sometimes. There are times other people seem like they’re staying busy and getting booked with all these jobs but you’re kind of like, “I’m qualified, and I’m out there, and I’m marketing myself, why am I not on the set?” 

 

Kelly Murray:           Exactly, yeah.

Kris Mendoza:         And you kind of start to worry more about that than being creative. 

We’re really lucky that filmmaking is also the most collaborative medium out there, right, because having other artists to work with keeps you inspired and learning… keeps you creative.

It just takes a bit of balance to motivate yourself, when you’re a freelancer and you’re essentially your own boss… you are an entrepreneur, even if you’re reporting to set, and the balance is about finding that daily motivation to go out there and get it. 

“Find something you’re passionate about, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”  Which I think is flawed, right?  “Passion is fleeting,” in fact.  Passion is the very, hot and heavy romanticism that exists when you fall for a medium like this and something sparks in you.  But to develop an appreciation for every factor of the process – a gratification for the parts that didn’t come easy, maybe marketing and networking and collaborating – if you can do that, you develop a deeper love for the entire job.  It changes what feels like work and that’s when  “you’ll never ‘work’ again.”  

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Kelly Murray writing for Accidentally Wes Anderson

I went to watch Todd Carmichael, who owns La Colombe, speak one day and he said, “Passion is what I feel when I kiss my son on his forehead, for my son, that’s an injection of passion. But to be good at something and get to that next level, there’s also a certain level of it that’s obsession.”

I think people on the outside of this industry don’t really get how much you have to immerse yourself in filmmaking to see it through. If you’re the only one telling yourself you need to get this script done or get this film done, you’re the first and last case of accountability and the idea of an entire film becomes more daunting as you broaden your scope to see all those different moving parts.  That alone can make you stall before you start. One method to combat that is staying open to collaboration, because that is where you find moments of rest and relief from the larger goal.  It’s not a marathon, it’s a relay.  

And people find different ways of making it work, whether you have a full-time gig and you’re doing filmmaking as the side hustle that is really just another main hustle, or you’re doing the full-time thing, or you’re working at a production company full-time, there’s no one size fits all in terms of making it work. But in terms of your role, how do you reconcile the work?  I don’t want to paint it negatively, but you’re kind of burning the creative candle on both ends, right? And I hear from a lot of people that maybe they’re a photographer during the day, and a video editor on the weekends. And you almost have to find this endless source of creativity, because you’re using up your creative functions on both ends. How does that work for you, and how do you make it work?

 

Kelly Murray:           That’s a really great question…I recently had lunch with Tim Viola, the writer/director of Americano, and he asked a similar question, too.  We were talking about working through writer’s block and creative block, and he’s like, “How do you keep the well full?” And my answer in that moment, and maybe this is a writer’s perspective, was “I do anything but… [writing].”  (laughs) I will simply focus on doing things to get out from behind the keyboard and experience life.

So, Tim’s question was more of in regards to enduring the pandemic, because it’s been such a crushing, isolating–

Kris Mendoza:         Sucks the creativity out of you.

Kelly Murray:           Yea, sucks the creativity right out of you. So during the pandemic, I took up horseback riding, which was something I loved as a child. I could do that outside, and still be safe and active… plus, riding keeps you present and disciplined. I began hiking and camping, a lot… that sort of thing. Just trying to find new experiences that kept me sharp. Creativity is pulled from within, from our life. If you’re constantly writing and just banging away at the keyboard 24/7, what are you pulling from? We operate in a very emotional world as filmmakers, whether you’re writing a narrative film, or even if you’re doing something commercial, right? We’re still telling a story, we’re still relating to people. If you are simply spending all your time at the keyboard… how can you… effectively relate to your audience?

Kris Mendoza:         Or replenish that well, yeah.

Kelly Murray:           Yeah, you have to have that balance, so that you’re not burning it from both ends. I’m fortunate because much of my marketing work is computer-based, so I can easily transition from my marketing world to my freelance or personal writing projects right on my laptop, but the time commitment can be difficult. Right now I work full-time and then I work on my freelance and personal projects in my free time.

I think through the pandemic it was a bit comforting, because I had something to do after working remotely all day, and not really having other places to go. I was doing a lot of Accidentally Wes Anderson (AWA) writing, which was exciting because I got to research and explore different parts of the world each night. AWA features original architecture photography inspired by Wes Anderson’s symmetrical style. As an AWA writer, I’m assigned a photograph and then I write a short history on its location. The histories are intended to be narrative in tone, so it’s a great opportunity to stay creative.

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But yeah, I mean, I think just trying to be as present in life as I’m trying to be in my art… remembering that I have to have that source. Before, I felt like I wasn’t a true filmmaker or a true artist or whatever term you want to use unless I was always on set or making something, and I think it’s easy to fall into that hole or the mindset. Of course, if you’re freelancing you want to make sure you have steady work… but what I’m saying is, just don’t forget to experience life.

 

Kris Mendoza:         You make a really good point about how to keep the well full, because even if it’s one project that you’re pouring yourself into, at what point does it get unhelpfully obsessive? I had this uncle who was a composer and he had a very… let’s call it a darker approach to creativity. He made his best work when he was a starved, tormented artist, so he almost did not want, did not aspire to have money, because he made his best work when he was on the brink of losing it.

 

Kelly Murray:           Yea, I think that dynamic is so interesting. I once had a friend say to me, “I don’t think I could be a writer, because I only wrote the best things when I was depressed, and I don’t want to be depressed.” And I remember thinking, Damn, is that what we associate with the creative life? The idea that we must be depressed to create compelling work? But, I know I’ve certainly dealt with that. The relationship between the artist…creativity…and success can be very complicated. I have to actively remind myself that struggling doesn’t always have to equate to creating great art. You have to fight to take yourself out of that mindset sometimes…you can get lost in there if you’re not careful.

 

Kris Mendoza:         Yeah, and that’s when a seemingly straight path is revealed as winding, when the artist is lost internally.  There wasn’t really a straight path in what they’re doing, nor are they really at a point where we ever feel like we’ve made it.

Kelly Murray:           Yeah.

Kris Mendoza:         I think as an artist you’re constantly evolving and constantly trying to figure out what’s next. So I don’t know if there’s a project or a collaboration or an award where you’re like, “You know what? I think I’m done, and I’ve done it, here I am.”

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Kelly Murray at Playhouse West

 

Kelly Murray:           Yeah, I think that’s so true. And I don’t know if there’s really a benchmark of success or finality for artists. Even at the highest level of one’s profession or success, there could always be more to do…more to improve…to create…to experiment.  I read somewhere, “Even at a Hollywood level, or very large-scale production, the process is still the same. It’s still long days, and it’s a lot of problem-solving, and you have to really love the process.” And I think that goes for any medium. Even after you’ve “made it”, you still need to do the work.

There’s a quote by Ray Bradbury that I like where he says, “You have to stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you”. I’ve interpreted that as you have to remain enchanted by writing. You have to love the process. Writing can be such a difficult, solitary medium, but even though you are, as one, single, solitary person, kind of creating on the page… you have the ability to connect with so many people at one time with your work. You have to really love the grind, be committed to it, and be willing to stay with the work until it’s published on the page…or performed in front of an audience..whichever form it takes shape.

Kris Mendoza:         This is leading very well into the next question here, which is – How do you handle vulnerability? This is something that a lot of artists experience, and I’ve been working with someone that’s writing and producing something loosely autobiographical… with that work, whether it’s autobiographical or not, you are kind of making yourself vulnerable and putting a part of you out there, right?  I’m sure there are artists who are relatively bold, saying, “Take it or leave it, I don’t care what you think,” but really no one is putting it out there without the understanding that it is now open to other people. What’s that notion like for you in terms of your perspective as an artist, of spending months and hours on something, and taking a chance? I’m not talking about comments on Facebook, or likes, or anything like that, but just the sheer vulnerability of sharing a piece of yourself and then kind of putting it in an unknown space. And now with the internet, it’s forever, right? 

 

Kelly Murray:           Oh God, yeah. So like, what are my thoughts [on vulnerability]?

Kris Mendoza:         Yeah, are you conscious of that as a creator while you’re creating, and does it embolden you or is it something that makes you anxious or that shy away from?

 

Kelly Murray:           That’s a really good question. I’ve done projects that have been semi-autobiographical, but I think that I was so focused on the creation of the project at the time that those personal tones didn’t emerge until later… 

Like, for example, Your Wreckless Heart is a short film in the festival circuit right now. It’s a five-minute drama that we did, about a painter who is dealing with a creative block after a really bad breakup. This project came to be originally as a music video submission for a contest by singer/songwriter Glen Hansard for his song, Wreckless Heart. Which is basically a break up ballad. 

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Kelly Murray on the set of Your Wreckless Heart

So when I stumbled upon this Wreckless Heart contest, I listened to the song, and wrote a treatment involving a painter who is trying to make it in her career… but she’s having trouble balancing her relationship and her creative ambitions, and her relationship ends because of it. But it isn’t until she realizes that her own agency and power is within herself, that she is then able to break through the creative block. 

We shot this project in one day, in a really beautiful studio location owned by Robert C. Jackson, who’s an oil painter in Kennett Square, PA. His daughter Becca Jackson was our lead actress, and we had worked with her on The Astronomer. But to your point, I remember thinking, “Let’s make the deadline and let’s enter this video contest.” And it wasn’t until after shooting, when I was putting the edit together, that I realized, “Wow, I pretty much wrote my breakup into the story.” 

Kris Mendoza:         Ha, Inadvertently!

Kelly Murray:           Yeah (laughs). So I guess my point is you talked about vulnerability…and well, that project was definitely an exercise in vulnerability. We ended up not winning the contest, which was fine, because I thought, “Hey, all right, well, we have this beautiful piece, let’s make it its own thing.” So we adjusted it a little bit, added some original poetry by West Chester poet A.E. McIntyre, and emerged with this really beautiful standalone piece. But, it took me a really long time to edit.

During the secondary post-production portion of it, Hillary kept asking, “So, how’s Wreckless Heart coming along?” And I would say, “I’m working on it.” (laughs) But really, I think I was putting it off a little bit, because I was dealing with watching that breakup over and over again. But even now when it’s in festivals…the audience doesn’t know that they’re watching “my” break-up on screen. They don’t know that deep, autobiographical part of it, but they can appreciate the story. And they can relate to it. That’s where vulnerability is so key…and that’s the beauty of art — creating that connection through the presentation of our own experiences.

I usually tell people when they’re working on a script that might have autobiographical tones [and they’re questioning whether or not they should include a personal detail], “Try to ‘go there’. Try to go to that painful, uncomfortable place, whatever it may be, and see what comes of it.” The goal is not to be a whistleblower. You’re not making a reality show, you’re not just going to put everything out there. But if there’s something in your story that’s pulled from a life experience and it’s not quite leaving you, try revisiting that experience and see what you can pull from it to weave into your script. Because more often than not, people will relate to that personal struggle more than you’ll ever realize.

A lot of the narrative projects I’ve worked on, like Block with Carrie Brennan… that was a beautiful story of coming to terms with her own sexuality. That’s not an easy topic for anyone. Halfway to Fifty with Amanda Mazzone, dealt with themes of self-acceptance, and her relationship with her mom… again, a very personal thing. These stories are beautiful examples of vulnerability, and the response I’ve seen to these projects is incredible. 

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Block Crew

So I definitely think that when it comes to vulnerability…you know, we’re in the business of connecting and sharing emotions with people…so if it’s something that you’re really afraid of sharing, I guess just explore it, and see what comes of it, and then express it artfully. More often than not, people will relate to it, and you’ll get that connection. Because when we make a film or write a story, we’re trying to move people emotionally, right?

 

Kris Mendoza:         That leads me to my last question here, and it’s a perfect segue, what’s next for you? Anything you want to tease, anything you’re working on that you are able to talk about right now?

 

Kelly Murray:           Absolutely. So, I’m in post-production for a documentary called The Openers. Hillary and I are co-producing. We followed our friend Karol Brehany, an aspiring Philadelphia-based comedian, for about a year and a half while he pursued stand-up comedy. It’s really a story about beginnings. We often discover comedians, either they’ve been on the circuit for a while, or they might have a Netflix special, or we see them at the top of their game. But what Karol wanted to do was really show what it’s like to break into it from the ground up. 

In late January, I’m directing a short film written and produced by Becca Jackson. It’s currently untitled, but it’s a drama that explores the dynamics of emotional abuse in relationships. We’re currently in pre-production now and have some great talent lined up on both sides of the camera, so I think it will be a really powerful project.

And then later this year, I’ll be directing a short film called Ligeia by actor/writer John Reshetar. It’s an adaptation of an Edgar Allan Poe short story by the same name. I wasn’t really familiar with the story until John brought it to me. It’s a story about a young writer who is taking care of his ailing second wife, while being haunted by his first wife’s ghost. It’s like a horror love triangle involving a ghost… so yeah, very gothic and very Edgar Allan Poe. 

Kris Mendoza:         That sounds cool.

Kelly Murray:           Yeah, I love period film. So those are the next projects that I’m focusing on, and other than that, just working and taking a day at a time during this pandemic, for sure.

 

Kris Mendoza:         It was great to hear a little of your story… I think these are the things people connect with the most, to hear you be so honest about your journey.  I’m excited to see all the stuff that you’re working on, and also see how that has evolved over time into bigger, better things. But yeah, I see you staying busy on the production side of things and continuing to learn… any final thoughts for us?

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Kelly Murray: Yeah, definitely… I think looking back, what I’ve learned is don’t be afraid to fail, keep going, and that there is no clear path to success. I kind of see this film journey as a marathon, not a sprint, right? I still feel like I have a lot more to contribute and I hope I’m able to continue to make films.

We’ve talked about themes of entrepreneurship, and kind of…the approach to business or approach to the industry, and I think it’s important to maintain that professional mindset in this industry. It’s about building relationships with people…whether it’s strengthening your network, or really focusing on how you can help people. And on the creative side of things, you can’t be afraid to express yourself. I don’t know if this is corny or not, but I’ve always liked the quote, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”  

Usually something that you’re really nervous about, usually you have to get over that mental block. And you find that it just takes a little bit of courage to go there. And whether it’s telling a tough story, applying for that gig, or even just saying you want to pitch something to someone…just push yourself to try, and just keep going.  More often than not in the creative community, there are like-minded individuals and plenty of opportunity. There’s plenty of room for you and your story — so trust yourself, be true to yourself, and focus on creating.

 

Kris Mendoza:         Absolutely. I think that’s a good place to end there, because I firmly believe, like you’re saying, Creativity happens on the edge of comfort.. where comfort ends and your fear begins. Thanks so much for the time!

Kelly Murray: Thank you for having me!