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Film Connection graduate Taylor Giddens: from zero (experience) to hero

How does someone with zero filming experience wind up owning his own production company within a few years? Ask Film Connection graduate Taylor Giddens. When he first decided to enroll, he was in his late 20’s, married and building his own business in a completely different profession. But he had an unfulfilled dream to be a filmmaker, and Taylor said it was his wife Kelly who first convinced him to pursue that dream.

“She told me just to try it,” he says. “Worst case scenario, it doesn’t work out. You don’t want to have any regrets of not even trying it at all. So, she pushed me over the edge, and I just jumped into it.”

Taylor decided to enroll in the Film Connection because it was hands-on training that wouldn’t require him to leave his business or move away from his hometown of Atlanta, GA. Paired with Film Connection mentor Carl Millender of Starmaxx Media, Taylor had a steep learning curve ahead of him as he started learning on the set. But in this business, that’s exactly how you learn.

“I didn’t know at all what was going on,” he says. “I was trying to fake it but without looking like an idiot and trying to learn.”

But passion soon took over, and it wasn’t long before Taylor was actively involved in shoots, even working into an assistant director role on several of his mentor’s film projects. By the time he graduated the program, Taylor says he didn’t just understand the technical side, but the business side, as well.

“I learned more about how to, and how not to, run a set, how the process goes,” he says. “How to do stuff in preproduction while you’re shooting in postproduction, the dos and don’ts.”

Since he already had experience running a small business, it seemed natural once Taylor graduated to launch his own production company. He named it Kelly Productions, after his wife who had encouraged him to go for it. Since launching the company, Taylor has not only accumulated enough commercial work to pay the bills, but he also has been able to fund several personal creative projects, including several award-winning shorts that he wrote and directed. This is admittedly his favorite part of being a filmmaker, and he looks forward to being able to do his own films full-time. “I’d love to be producing films 100% of the time, but that’s a very lengthy process,” he says.

Breakfast with Clark, directed by Film Connection graduate Taylor Giddens:

But now that he’s living his dream of making a living as a filmmaker—Taylor’s well on his way.