Kelly, Richard (II) Biography

biography of Kelly, Richard (II)

James Richard Kelly
28 March 1975, Newport News, Virginia, USA
5' 10"

-   Frequently casts Beth Grant, Holmes Osborne, and Lisa K. Wyatt

-   Born James Richard Kelly, son of Lane Kelly and Ennis Kelly. Grew up in Midlothian, Virginia.

-   1997 Graduate of University of Southern California, where he studied Film.

-   Received only $9,000 to write and direct _Donnie Darko (2001)_ (qv) with a budget of 4.5 million dollars.

-   Two of his favorite films are _Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)_ (qv) and _Mad Max 2 (1981)_ (qv). He has posters for them in his house.

-   His father worked for NASA on the Mars Viking Lander program in the 70s, developing the camera that made the first pictures from the Mars surface.

-   Wrote an unproduced script for 'Hal Lieberman' (qv) and 'Jonathan Mostow' (qv)'s production company called "House at the End of the Street".

-   Originally wrote the screenplay for the movie _Holes (2003)_ (qv) but after it was turned down, they had 'Louis Sachar' (qv) do it instead. Kelly's script can be found on his website.

-   He was originally offered the chance to direct _Valentine (2001)_ (qv), but turned the offer down.

-   Is good friends with film director 'Kevin Smith (I)' (qv). He was a judge for Smith's short film contest Movies Askew when the twelve finalists were screened in Hollywood in 2006.

-   Wrote "The Donnie Darko Book"

-   I did a grad film but that ended up hurting me more than it helped. My grad film was this over the top, gonzo, completely absurd sci-fi thing with non- professional actors. When you have actors in their fifties who are still doing student films, you're not going to get top-of-the-line. It was a thing with a teleportation chamber, with a mad scientist and it was completely absurd. It cost $60,000, but it was completely campy, _"Mystery Science Theater 3000" (1988)_ (qv) kinda stuff, so when people looked at the short, they went, 'Well, is this how the acting is going to be in _Donnie Darko (2001)_ (qv)? We don't think you can direct actors if that's anything to go by.' I was like, 'Give me a good actor, and I can direct.' It became really frustrating when the short came up and it gave people a reason to pass. I would recommend that if you want to do a short, then do a short that's one or two scenes from the feature you want to direct, so they can see it. They really can't think outside the box. If you want to get a feature made, I would go and scrape together whatever money you can get, find an actor who can really pull off one of the parts and shoot a few scenes from your feature screenplay that can serve as a short. That's the best evidence that you can give them. That's what Wes Anderson did with Bottle Rocket, it was originally a short film. And it worked.

-   I'm very confident on a movie set. I know what I'm doing. I feel like that's what I've been waiting my whole life to do.

-   I don't ever want to make an impersonal film.

-   "I was literally losing five pounds per week on the set of _Donnie Darko (2001)_ (qv). I was turning into this walking skeleton. I was sort of becoming "Donnie Darko"! I started channeling Donnie and Jake [Gyllenhaal], playing Donnie, started channeling me. So it was sort of a subconscious thing going on between director and actor that I can't even explain".

-   The director's cut is a lot closer to what premiered at Sundance Film Festival. Then the movie didn't sell for four months, and all the sudden the movie is STV, going straight to video, and it's going to debut on the STARZ! Network. ...... at this point I was just desperately trying to salvage the film before they take it away from me and it debuts on the STARZ! Network and my career is over.

-   (On Terry Gilliam, director of Brazil) Having discovered Terry's work and seeing that he followed a similar course, beginning in the visual arts as a cartoonist working with Monty Python, I felt a kinship to him and felt like he was someone I wanted to emulate in my career. The visual design in Brazil is so astonishing, my head almost exploded.

-   (May 2004) Writing _Domino (2005)_ (qv) a True Romance-style action/crime film for 'Tony Scott (I)' (qv).

-   (July 2007) Casting is underway for _The Box (2009/I)_ (qv) a high-concept, supernatural/thriller, that will begin filming in November.

-   (August 2008) Currently producing 3 films ( _Rogues Gallery (2010)_ (qv) - _World's Greatest Dad (2009/I)_ (qv) - _I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (2009)_ (qv) ) and finishing post-production on his third feature length film _The Box (2009/I)_ (qv)

-   _Donnie Darko (2001)_ (qv) -> $9,000

-   "Film Comment" (USA), January 2006, Vol. 42, Iss. 1, pg. 14-15, by: Mark Olsen, "'Hot Set': Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly returns to tell a few 'Southland Tales'"

-   "IFCRant" (US), Nov/Dec 2001, Iss. 10, pg. 13, by: Erin Torneo, "Futures: The Graduate"

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