Kelley Slagle (source: Roy Cox Photography)
Kelley Slagle is a video producer and editor of training, industrial, and documentary content for corporate and non-profit clients including LinkedIn Learning, Canon, FINRA, and Adorama. Kelley is a speaker at industry events including NAB Show and is the author of two classes on LinkedIn Learning. She was an assistant editor at National Geographic and spent 12 years in software development with National Public Radio. Kelley also directs, produces, and edits award-winning independent narrative and documentary films with her company, Cavegirl Productions. You can learn more about Kelley and Cavegirl Productions at cavegirl.com.
I recently had an opportunity to interview actress and producer Kelley Slagle, beginning with how her acting career let to her interest in filmmaking. “I began acting in community theater in 2000, and later moved into smaller professional theater in DC. At the same time, I began finding non-union parts in local independent films. This progressed into larger parts in indie film, web series, and industrials, and eventually I became a SAG-AFTRA actor with roles in TV and film. My two favorite roles in my theatrical career and ones that I am the most proud of were playing the role of Josie in A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O’Neill, and the role of Hester Swane in the play By the Bog of Cats by Marina Carr. Both were challenging lead roles with Irish accents, with complex emotional journeys.
“While I was an actor on the set of independent films, I became interested in what happened behind the camera and what made a set tick. I was an actor in a 48 Hour Film Project film [48hourfilm.com] and enjoyed the process of making a short film in a weekend so much I decided to form my own 48HFP team for the following year, with myself as producer/director. It was the perfect scenario to hit the ground running and learn the basics of filmmaking. This was the beginning of Cavegirl Productions, and we went on to make 12 films over the years for the 48HFP. We made many short films over the years that I particularly enjoyed and was very happy with the end product, including a mockumentary on puppet rights, a ghost hunter film told from the perspective of the ghosts, and one that speculated on jobs that might be available during the zombie apocalypse.
‘Our first feature film Of Dice and Men was a story about roleplaying gamers and their friendships, and won several film festival and other awards. Our most recent production is the documentary Eye of the Beholder: The Art of Dungeons & Dragons, which explores the history & stories behind the art that helped create the world’s most popular roleplaying game. It has also won awards in the film festival circuit and has distribution on many streaming platforms, including iTunes and Amazon.
“While acting and filmmaking in the evenings and on weekends, I spent 12 years with National Public Radio as a web developer and QA analyst working on their programming repository, the Content Depot. I then decided to pursue a career in film full-time and began an internship at National Geographic, and gained important experience as an Assistant Video Editor in their Image Collection for a year.”
I asked Slagle how she became involved with NAB. “While working at the communications company RHED Pixel, I was asked by Rich Harrington to help teach a session at NAB Show in Vegas about how to manage your YouTube channel. This lead to other speaking engagements with NAB, eventually to include classes on producing independent film, crowdfunding, directing actors and non-actors, and documentary producing and editing. Speaking at NAB has been an invaluable networking opportunity and has lead to many professional connections and opportunities, along with exposure to the best the industry has to offer.”
Slagle will be conducting two workshops, “Crowdfunding Your Independent Film” and “Getting the Best Performance: Directing Actors and Non-Actors,” at next month’s NAB Show New York. “My ‘Crowdfunding Your Independent Film’ presentation is meant for beginner and advanced indie narrative and documentary film producers who are looking for the best strategies in using popular crowdfunding platforms to finance their projects. I’ll cover recommended platforms, finding and researching your audience, planning your campaign, breaking down your budget, creating a campaign video, offering rewards and perks, running your campaign, and following through and keeping contributors happy.
“‘Getting the Best Performance: Directing Actors and Non-Actors’ is for producers and directors working in many fields, including narrative, documentary, and corporate video production. The course will cover casting, preparation, communication, rehearsal, performance, shooting tips, managing non-actors, and advice for special scenarios, like documentary interviews, working with special effects, and working with children.”
Slagle has plenty to keep her busy after the NAB Show New York as well. “I am currently working as a producer of training content for NGP VAN, the leading technology provider to Democratic and progressive campaigns and organizations, and am in production on Cavegirl Productions next documentary, a look at the most popular trading card game, Igniting the Spark – The Story of Magic: The Gathering.”
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