Kelsey Egan grew up in middle America, which taught her to ride horses and value good weather.
She is grateful to Robert Heinlein, Jack London and C.S. Lewis, among many others, for seeing her through the long Wisconsin winters. They can be credited for inspiring her earliest ambitions, which included learning how to talk to animals and travelling to faraway lands.
Kelsey attended Vassar College, Lisa Simpson’s “safety school”, and graduated in 2005 with a BA in Neuroscience & Behaviour and a BA in Drama. Her direction of "Kate Crackernuts" by Sheila Callaghan as her thesis production earned her a Molly Thacher Kazan Memorial Prize for distinction in the theatre arts.
She received additional theatre training at the British American Dramatic Academy’s Midsummer at Oxford Program and attended master classes with Mariah Aitkin, John Barton, Henry Goodman, Kristin Linklater and Sir Ben Kingsley, a performance seminar for which she was chosen to be a participant.
In 2005, Kelsey was cast as “Rachel” in the independent film, "Discover Me", which was filmed in Manhattan and received a 2005 Goldie Film Award. This project ignited her passion for storytelling through film. Shortly thereafter she found herself on the set of an NYU grad film. After two days as a PA, the producer asked her to 1st AD her next two short films. One of these projects, “Flat Love”, won the Audience, Festival and Jury Award at the 2009 New York Short Film Festival.
Kelsey subsequently increased her set experience on large feature projects such as “I Am Legend”, “Stop-Loss” and “Deception”. Towards the end of 2006, she flew to Beijing where she worked as Assistant to the Producer for Declan Baldwin, whose producing credits include “The Laramie Project”, “Far from Heaven”, “The Education of Charlie Banks”, “Adventureland” and “At Any Price.”
In May 2007, Kelsey fulfilled one of her childhood ambitions: she moved to Africa. After four action-packed years in Johannesburg, she set up camp in Cape Town.
Since settling in South Africa, Kelsey has worked on both local and international projects (including The Giver, Zulu, Mad Max: Fury Road, District 9 and Mr. Bones II) and directed various music videos, PSAs and narrative work of her own. Her 26 minute S16mm narrative, "Gargoyle", was nominated for a 2010 South African Film & Television Award for Best Short Film. Selected for screening at 16 International Film Festivals, the film received distribution via Shorts International and IndieFlix.
In addition to developing original content via her production company, Crave Pictures, Kelsey offers her services as a freelance Director, Writer and Script Editor. As an Actress, she is privileged to be represented by one of Cape Town’s most respected agencies: Artistes Personal Management. She is a proud council member of the Writer’s Guild of South Africa, and one of her feature scripts was recently awarded ‘Best Spec Script’ at the 2013 Muse Awards.
Kelsey was an absolute pleasure to work with. She took on the MTV VJ Search brief and ran with it with both hands. I would absolutely work with her again and was very pleased with her directorial style and utmost professionalism throughout the shoot. Big thumbs up!!
Susan Younis, Senior Producer at MTV Networks Africa
We were thrilled with the music video Kelsey directed for MK Top12 2012 on behalf of the band Jakkals. This video was the first product put out to the public for the band and thus played an integral part in the public launch and perception of the band. Kelsey is one of South Africa's most promising young directors, and I look forward to working with her again soon
Stephan Potgieter, M-Net Content Executive
Wow, it was so cool to work with Kelsey Egan. Her meticulous direction from pre-production to post-production made the process flow smoothly and this showed in the beautiful performances and imagery she created. She is great at extracting creativity from the very core of your being and her natural, confident air puts one at ease as she enters the room. I hope we'll be working with her again soon.
Cal Kingwill, Senior Producer at Priest
Kelsey is a hard working professional filmmaker who has shown a steely commitment to her craft. Her perseverance and determination to motivate her teams to bring out their creativity for the sake of their art and a common vision as clearly articulated by Kelsey is a pleasure to see in action.
Neil Brandt, Producer at Fireworx Media
Kelsey is one of those uniquely talented human beings who has the ability to produce as well as she directs. As a producer, I found great comfort in knowing that my director's got my back on every detail; it's rare to find a deeply thoughtful, strong and intelligent creative mind with the ability to rock at real life and not just float around unrealistic dreamland.
Jess Jorgensen, Creative Director and Producer at Instant Grass
I have had the pleasure of working with Kelsey and she is an absolute pleasure to work with. Kelsey always gets the job done with attention to detail and can handle any size production with ease. She exhibits a rare understanding and respect for the creative process and can take a project from development stage up to delivery. I sincerely hope I get to work with Kelsey in the future.
Lance Samuels, Producer at Out of Africa Entertainment
Kelsey is one of the most hardworking and dedicated people I know in the industry working in South Africa. Her attention to detail has always been flawless almost to the point of obsession but you can always depend on her, she will always deliver at 110% of what is asked!
Bridget Pickering, Producer at Fireworx Media
Kelsey worked with us on a feature. She has a very thorough approach to her work and leaves nothing to chance. She has a good rapport with her colleagues and will help out when the necessity arises. I would happily work with Kelsey again.
Gill Pearson, Line Producer