Who is Kelly Marie Murtha?
Kelly-Marie is still evolving! But in simple terms, she is a 42 year old mother, wife, actor and filmmaker. I have lived in Toronto since ’93 when i came to Humber College from Trent U. for radio broadcasting. I got back into acting in about 2007, working in mainly film with some theatre here and there! I am fearless, headstrong, stubborn and hate hearing no – maybe not a good thing in this industry but it keeps me moving forward. I love shoes, wine, and good food. My friends and family mean the world to me. They give me their support and love that keeps me going as well!
‘Smart Work’ a short film, you wrote/directed/produced just had it’s first screening, can you tell us what it’s about, and the process/experience of making it?
Smart Work is a short film based on the short story of the same name that was written by my grandfather, Thomas Murtha. He was a Canadian writer from the ’20’s/’30s and lived in Toronto for a period of time (the setting of Smart Work). Unfortunately the screening that was scheduled for Dec 14 of Smart Work and the film Charlie that my daughter was in and directed/written by the brilliant actor/filmmaker Grace Glowicki, was cancelled due to the weather! But I am rescheduling for late Feb/early March.
It was a process that started back in about 2007/2008 – my mom and dad and myself were sitting together and talking about what I wanted to do and we came to the discussion of my grandfather’s stories and how well they would translate to film. They are very descriptive and rich in visuals and story telling that we all felt would look beautiful on the big screen. So my dad and I were to each take a story and write a screenplay. I took Smart Work and my dad took …. well lets just say I”m still waiting for his!
And it was long process – I’m not a writer – and it went through many re-writes, I had friends in the industry go through it and edit, send critiques to me, write again, and again and again – it sat on the shelf for a while, and I would come back to it. I finally submitted it to the ReelWorld Emerging 20 Program in 2011 where I got the chance to pitch the story to industry professionals/mentors. While the experience was good, I came away discouraged as most of them told me not to do it, that I had no experience, etc. So it went back on the shelf and then in 2012 I took two courses with Raindance Canada in March – and in September the film was wrapped!
What do you hope to accomplish with it?
I would love to see it get into a festival or two but if it doesn’t then I will put it up on Vimeo or YouTube and use it as a ‘calling card’ – to show what I can do – especially if applying for funding for future projects. It really is enough for me that, as I have put on the credits, my grandfather’s words now have voices. He never received the recognition for his writing that other Canadian authors received at that time, so maybe with this film, someone will see it and think “I want to read more of his stories!” I do have another one that I want to do, it will probably be a feature. But in the meantime, I am very proud of what I accomplished – that’s what happens when I’m told no!
Any upcoming projects you’d like to share/talk about?
I have a few behind the camera – I will be working/collaborating with Set L. Shuter on a short thriller that I wrote – I worked with her in front of the camera on M is for Mother – it was a submission for the ABCs of Death contest – http://26th.abcsofdeathpart2.com/entry/m-is-for-mother-1/ – this time she’ll be in front of the camera as well as helping me produce and I’ll be directing. I’ve also been asked to write/produce a female-centric short film and I’ll be behind the scenes for an upcoming web-doc on stories of the people of Toronto. I will also be finishing up a fan-film in Jan/Feb where I play The Joker!
If you could scream 1 thing out to the masses what would it be?
FIGHT! Fight for what you believe in, fight for what you are passionate about, fight for what makes you get up in the morning. And every time someone knocks you down, get back up and fight again! There’s a lot of fight in me! This is only the beginning!!