Published: Dec. 21, 2020

Alumni in Action: Kelsey Bollig
BFA, Film Studies (2015)Kelsey Bollig in a room directing others


What have you been involved in since graduating from CU?

Everything. I immediately moved to San Francisco a month after graduation and worked as a photographer for two years. I used photography to get down to LA where I switched gears and worked as a content producer for an Entertainment News Company. Working in Entertainment News was truly a film nerd's DREAM, I was so thankful to land that job. 2 years into that gig I ended up pitching a short script Asking for a Friend to a friend who had recently launched a production company and she picked it up. That project launched my career as a writer/director and brought me to where I am today. (You can watch it on Alter).


What projects are you working on right now?

I'm currently in the festival circuit with a film I wrote and directed called The Fourth Wall starring Lizzie Brocheré (American Horror Story: Asylum). I'm also in pre-pro on another feature set to be filming next year in spring. 


What projects do you see in your future?

Possibilities are endless! Along with the 4 projects I have percolating in the world right now - I think I will dabble in TV at some point. TV is getting more and more cinematic each day which is so exciting to me. 


Kelsey Bollig standing behind a C-stand

How do you feel your CINE education has influenced your career path and/or how you approach your work?

Man, the film program at CU forced me out of my box in so many ways. The program was very experimental focused which turned my view of film completely upside down. I'll never forget staying up all night scratching stories into super 8 film and taking deep dives into all things Stan Brakhage. These things shaped so much of my aesthetic and continue to make guest appearances in my films today.   

I lean more towards narrative stories but due to that experimental background, my work has become more textured with an art-house flare. 



Did you have a favorite class or instructor while you were a student?

I have 3 for different reasons. I'm a genre filmmaker so naturally, when I saw a horror film class offered at CU I jumped for joy. Janet Robinson taught an American History and Horror Films class that absolutely shifted my taste in horror films and forced me to grow in so many ways. I started looking at the genre as more of a political tool instead of a gateway to cheap thrills.

I was also fortunate enough to take Alex Cox's screenwriting class which completely opened my eyes to my own weirdness. Alex was a huge supporter of the odd and unusual and he always encouraged me to lean into the absurdity that was present in most of my scripts at that time. I really appreciated that, and it allowed me to have more confidence in the stories I wanted to tell.

Phil Solomon was my senior thesis film professor, and the man taught the shit out of that class. He was absolutely a master filmmaker and he understood how to foster young talent. I wish he was still around today so I could tell him how much his class meant to me.


What advice would you offer a current CINE student who is interested in a similar path to yours?

You will hear so many negative things throughout your journey to becoming a filmmaker and even when you're deep in your career. 

You should know two things:
1) People always poo-poo things they feel they can't have. Don't listen to anyone who says you can't or shouldn't do something.
2) It will always be difficult to fully explain your vision, and many times people won't get it. Don't let a misinterpretation of what you're trying to execute scare you away from making the film you want to make. Trust your gut. 


Any other comments or words of wisdom?

Lean into your weirdness - it's going to make you great.

Kelsey Bollig smiling over prosthetic body parts

Kelsey's Website

Kelsey on IMDb