Kelsey Taylor, Class of 2010
I currently work as a freelance director and producer in Los Angeles and New York. This kind of work is quite variable— I work on commercials, short films, feature films and music videos. As a director I am in charge of communicating with other departments and with actors about the overall vision of the project. As a producer I take a role supervising most of the logistical aspects of the project and making and enforcing a budget.
I graduated in 2014 from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s Degree in film production and minors in music and film studies. I started out in a very technical department working as a camera assistant in school. I thought that I wanted to be a cinematographer and work on the camera and lighting side of production. Halfway through school I finally directed and produced a film and realized my passion was on the creative side of things and I spent the last year of school trying to readjust my skill set and produce and direct as much as I could. My proudest moment since high school was when my friend and I presented his senior thesis project at the end of the year— a musical I wrote (music is my other passion) and produced. It was unbelievably exciting to hear the music played in a theater on the big screen.
Since graduation I have been self employed doing freelance work. Freelance means you are a hired hand and you are dependent on finding your own work— or if you’re lucky, work coming to you. It’s very much based on who you know and your portfolio of work. I am lucky to have gone to school with a network of very talented friends who I still work closely with.
It’s a demanding job both physically, the hours are very long, and mentally. Sometimes I’ll work for two weeks twelve hours a day and never have a day off and then I’ll be off for a solid two weeks and worry that I’ll never work again! As emotionally exhausting as it can be I don’t think I would feel fulfilled doing anything else.
I am currently working on a series of short films collectively called “LA I HATE YOU”. Each film explores a different perspective of Los Angeles. I am also working on writing several feature film scripts. I have a strong interest in social justice topics such as immigration and the criminal justice system but I also love the fantasy genre and would love to do horror adaptations of fairytales. I have always wanted to return to Cashmere one day to shoot a feature film and I hope to one day do that. I intend to keep working on personal projects that inspire me and hope that one day I’ll have the financial liberty to pick and choose every project I take on.
My advice to current high school students is to seriously consider their interests when looking at careers. It is important to enjoy and find meaning in your work. I think it is important to not “work for the weekend”.
Also understand that college is a huge stepping stone towards a career— not the end all be all of what you’ll be doing for the rest of your life. You don’t need to have the rest of your life figured out in order to continue your education. A semester in college or even a single class can do a lot to inform you about where your career interests may lie. To me education is about learning how to learn, learning how to disseminate knowledge for yourself. Especially in this day and age it is important to learn how to adapt in an ever-changing world. Stay informed about the world you live in and be an active participant in your government because this will shape the world you live in.