Rehab Entertainment Producer Terissa Kelton Talks Upcoming Projects And More In Exclusive Interview! (@TerissaKelton)
We recently had the chance to chat with producer Terissa Kelton about getting her start in the industry, producing, upcoming projects, and more! Check it out below!
1. How did you get your start in the entertainment industry?
I’ve had an interesting career and when I look at the big picture, I feel like I’ve had two big ‘starts’…so far.
First, in my senior year of college, I wasn’t really seeing great opportunities for myself. I loved the curriculum I was getting in my theatre classes, but I wasn’t scoring the roles I wanted in the department’s staged productions. So, I started auditioning for film roles in Austin. I ended up booking a small role in an indie feature with Twitchy Dolphin Flix. That small role jump started an amazing period in my life where I not only acted in, but I produced ten feature films and over a dozen short films. I also directed a few shorts. Every single project I worked on ended up screening at different festivals and ultimately led me to the Austin Film Festival where one of the movies I acted in and produced was selected to have its World Premiere. That was a life changing experience. The people I met and the new opportunities that were offered to me led me to pivot my career a bit.
So, flash forward, I’m in LA. Now, anyone who moves to LA and tries to make anything happen in LA knows what I’m talking about when I say that all the work done before LA seemed to translate as ‘cute’ to anyone I met…in LA. It’s tough. I was almost five months into my west coast move, and I was getting antsy. I took a random opportunity to apply and interview for an Executive Assistant position at a small, independent film company called Rehab Entertainment. The owner, John W. Hyde, a Hollywood veteran, spoke to me about my previous work and my resume with so much respect and admiration. I was utterly gagged. But I was able to pull it together and I landed the job. Three years later, I’m Vice President of Rehab Entertainment and John W. Hyde is my producing partner.
You’re always building on your experiences, and it was only because of my start in Austin that I got my start in LA. I’m excited to see what the future has in store!
2. What was your first big project?
Developing and Executive Producing the reimagining of FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR along with an animated series based on the classic HARRIET THE SPY novel are definitely up there. 3 REFERENCES was the movie that premiered at Austin Film Festival, that was obviously huge for me.
3. What has been your favorite project to work on so far?
Difficult question. Every project comes with a set of new obstacles and successes- AKA FUN.
I will say that working in animation on HARRIET THE SPY has been SO rewarding. The process is so different, but so imaginative. I’m also working on a TV series for preschoolers based on THE KISSING HAND books which will be done with adorable, fluffy puppets. Working with The Jim Henson Company and 2 Friends Entertainment on this project has been awe-inspiring. I actually can’t believe I’m typing to you about it.
Another one of my favorite aspects on HARRIET THE SPY and THE KISSING HAND has been working with the teams attached to the original source material. On KISSING HAND, the books’ publisher, Tanglewood and author, Audrey Penn. On HARRIET THE SPY, the novel’s publisher, Random House and the Estate of Louise Fitzhugh. With such classic properties, it’s so inspiring and helpful to have a direct connection to those who have been involved with them from the beginning.
PRIDE: THE SERIES is also a favorite. Shooting in New York City? Get outta here! It’s a blast. The cast, crew, and executive team became such a close-knit family. That’s one of the great things about producing, you get in the trenches with people. We shot three episodes in 10 days on-location all over NYC. I don’t think the majority of us slept more than a couple hours a day. Once we wrapped, we had an eight week turn around for editing, sound mixing, and delivery to our distributor. Thank goodness for Stadium Media, ScreenPlay, and the team over at Amazon, who worked just as tirelessly to make it all happen on deadline.
4. Do you prefer television or film projects?
No preference at all. We have a slate full of both. I love it all. Same applies from an acting perspective.
5. What is the biggest difference between the two?
From every aspect, they really are different beasts. In development on TV versus film, you’re dealing with completely different story structures, character arcs, ect. Where you pitch a movie versus a TV series and how you pitch are always wildly different as well.
From an acting standpoint, I feel like every individual project is always a different process and a completely stand-alone experience.
6. What projects are you currently working on and in what capacity?
It’s busy over at Rehab Entertainment! John and I are working on a great slate of projects that we oversee as Executive Producers.
Flight of the Navigator (Feature)
Short Circuit (Feature)
Harriet the Spy (TV)
The Kissing Hand (TV)
World of Steam (TV)
PRIDE: The Series (Digital)
Coming to a Theatre Near You:
Happytime Murders (8.17.18)
I’m not formally attached to this one, but John W. Hyde is Executive Producing and has been working on this title for a number of years. Major congrats to him and Henson Alternative!
7. What are your goals for 2018?
I’d love to be in pre-production on FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR and HARRIET THE SPY. And in production on PRIDE: THE SERIES, Season 3!
8. What are your social media accounts?
Please feel free to follow me on all the things!
Twitter & IG: @TerissaKelton
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