Kelly Glover during the production of The Contradictions of Fair Hope.
You may recognize Kelly Glover’s name from her roundup posts right here on our blog, where she manages to find a compelling mix of TV, film and digital news every week. I was lucky enough to catch up with Glover to learn about her work in the industry—including as producer of the documentary The Contradictions of Fair Hope playing on STARZ throughout April—and why she joined New York Women in Film and Television.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your work in the industry?
Sure! Well, I’m not related to Danny, Savion, Corey, Donald or Crispin (ha!). I moved to NYC from Chicago (Da Bears) many years ago with wide-eyed dreams of being paid millions to write After School Specials or Letterman Top Ten Lists. Reality (and rent) set in and I got a “real” job in advertising.
I took the plunge after a few years and became the world’s oldest PA. I literally went from having benefits and paid vacation days to working 14-hour days for $200 a week on indies—and I loved it! The bragging rights to friends sustained me more than actual food during those days.
How did you hear about NYWIFT and what made you decide to join?
I was fortunate enough to meet NYWIFT member Anne Johnson. She was the accountant on a Nickelodeon movie that I was a PA for. I think she took a liking to me because at the time I was older than other PAs and had a “real-world” understanding about work/life or I looked like I needed a decent meal (ha!). Either way, she described NYWIFT and I was hooked immediately.
The documentary sets the stage in rural Alabama, prior to Emancipation, and traces the development, struggles, contributions and gradual loss of tradition of one of the last remaining African American benevolent societies, known as “The Fair Hope Benevolent Society” in Uniontown, Alabama.
I spent the bulk of my production career as assistant to the executive producer on Law & Order, where I met the uber-talented S. Epatha Merkerson. When she and her business partner created a production company, she asked if I’d join the company based on my previous work ethic, “likeability” and production knowledge. It was a no-brainer for me!
Would you walk us through your experience as a producer on the film?
My main responsibilities were the film’s budget and travel logistics for the crew (the film is shot in Alabama) during the entire four-year process it took to plan, shoot, edit and promote the film. We were a small operation, so I also handled some scheduling, craft service, crowd control, and Ms. Merkerson and I did tackle the bulk of the film’s transcribing.
The great thing about working on small, independent productions is literally getting to do every (nontechnical) job that’s required. If you love production as much as I do, you love the energy and problem-solving that accompanies wearing various hats, depending on the day.
What are some of your future career goals?
For as much as I love the production aspect of the business, recently the creative pull became too strong to ignore. I wasn’t successful at landing a paid TV/film writing job, and I always enjoyed the constant churning of the advertising industry and writing jokes, sketches, etc., in my spare time, so I’m currently back in school full-time for copywriting. Thank God NYWIFT has members of such varied backgrounds so I can still reap the benefits of memberships during and after my career transition. Fingers-crossed that the next phase of my career will be as fulfilling as the past phase has been!
— MICHELE DAGLE