As Studio B continues expanding, we are excited to welcome Creative Director, Chris Kelly, to the team. Chris joins Studio B Films after eight years on the Apple creative team.
With over 15 years of experience in film, video, and motion graphics, he has dedicated his career to understanding how to best communicate a brand’s message through storytelling.
Curious about the man behind the ideas? Here’s our short interview with the creative mastermind!
Q: What inspired you to dive into the world of filmmaking and design?
As a kid, I was always creating art in some form or another. From my early teens, I began to be inspired by a world somewhere between art/design and film and animation. I always had a video camera nearby and would experiment with animation and filming. I used to create small animated films with weird claymation, that’s when realized that I would move into some form of commercial art when I was older. When I was around 15 years old, I realized that I didn’t want a career as a struggling artist, so I opted for an education in graphic design at a University.
Q: What did your professional path look like before moving to the U.S?
After acquiring a B.A. in design, I went to London for an M.A. in Visual Communications. This is where I really learned about European modernism in graphic design – a style which had great influence all over London. People like Wim Crouwel and Josef Muller Brockmann quickly became my heroes and started to have a profound effect on me.
When I was around 21 years old, London was at the centre of a powerful design movement with studios like Graphic Thought Facility, Why not Associates and the Attik to name a few. There was also a burgeoning scene of new motion design studios that appealed and inspired me. They were bringing a European modernist design sense that was rooted in traditional graphic design and expressing it in motion graphics and broadcast design work – it was inspiring being a part of this culture and absorbing the world of motion design at the time. This is when I really pushed into forging my career as a Freelance Broadcast Designer. I began creating film title sequences for short films and ended up working for several studios and various tv channels in London, BBC, Channel 4 and MTV among them. I was also teaching motion and typographic design at a University in London once a week- this was a great opportunity to teach and inspire students while seeing some expressive and exciting work in the process
Working in motion design exposes you to many aspects of filmmaking, especially when working in VFX and shooting elements to be used in productions. So, I gradually grew a desire to be more involved in the live action aspect of VFX and motion graphics which, eventually, led me to the film team at Apple. This is where I began to really learn the craft of filming and storytelling for a large brand.
Q: Tell us about your experiences at Apple. What did you learn?
Apple allowed me to work with some great directors, DP’s and VFX/Production companies.
When working on new film projects, we would determine who was the right partner to help us bring the film to life. As a creative, I would partner up with writers to help develop the narrative and visual expression for a particular product launch film or other story for Apple. Always looking outside the walls of the company to execute our vision really helped craft engaging and visually powerful stories and also helped me continually learn the craft of filmmaking, whether live action or CG.
Working with award winning film directors or VFX companies like The Mill and Method in LA or partnering with Industrial Light and Magic, the goal was always to create teams of some of the best in the industry – being exposed to this large scale effort was hugely educational for me.
Q: What excited you about the opportunity to work at Studio B Films?
After eight years at Apple, I decided it was a good time to take everything I had learned working for a big brand and apply it to a smaller creative studio. I was drawn to the idea of telling brand stories of a variety of clients and Studio B was a perfect fit. With storytelling at its heart, and filmmaking as the expression of this storytelling, it felt like a perfect progression for my career.