I'm particularly interested in stories (no matter the genre) which invests us in the emotional journey of the protagonist(s). Feel-good comedies, romantic comedies, dramadies and dramas that make us laugh AND cry. Stories that inspire. Horror that scares us in an elemental, existential way, not just as 'jump scares' or gore. Characters we CARE about. Characters succeeding against impossible odds.
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, PAPER MOON, GET OUT, CODA, BILLY ELLIOT, LOCAL HERO, SCHOOL OF ROCK, THE VERDICT
Brad Kessell graduated from UCLA, and worked for several years as a reader for several studios and producers. At the same time, he spent time working in TV production, stage plays (with John Cassavetes) then as a film executive first for producer Sherry Lansing (on FATAL ATTRACTION, SCHOOL TIES, THE ACCUSED) and finally as a VP under Ms. Lansing at Paramount for many years, where he also ran the Story Department. At Paramount, Brad worked on scores of pictures including INDECENT PROPOSAL, FIRST WIVES CLUB, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, TIMELINE and many others. He was fortunate enough to work with directors as diverse and talented as Francis Coppola, Billy Friedkin, Adrian Lyne, Dick Donner, and Phillip Kaufman and such legendary producers as Sherry Lansing, Scott Rudin, Alan Ladd Jr., Mace Neufeld, David Picker, Gale Ann Hurd, Lauren Shuler Donner and Robert Evans.
After nearly 20 years at Paramount, Brad segued to work at Gold Circle, one of the most long-lived and successful independent film financiers in the business. There, he contributed his development skills to Gold Circle's slate which emphasized mainly comedies and supernatural horror films. Brad produced or had a significant hand in developing such pictures as the WHITE NOISE franchise, THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT, WEDDING DATE, BECAUSE I SAID SO, LIFE AS WE KNOW IT, THE FOURTH KIND, PITCH PERFECT 1 and 2, GREEK WEDDING 2, THE NEW DAUGHTER, I STILL SEE YOU, and the forthcoming Lionsgate Halloween 2022 release PREY FOR THE DEVIL. Focus/Universal will release CHAMPIONS, an inspirational, feel-good comedy starring Woody Harrelson and directed by Bobby Farrelly, in March 2023.
Through the years, Brad has purchased and developed scripts by many unproduced writers and/or first time directors, often giving them their 'first break'. He has developed a reputation for working with and mentoring talented but inexperienced writers to bring out the best in their work.
It's really valuable to have access to his level of expertise and experience. Brad's recommendations targeted precisely the areas I can work on before marketing this script.
~ Greg Price, Screenwriter