Kyle Shea grew up in Fort Lauderdale. He lived with his parents and interned at Telemundo in Miami.
But he had bigger dreams that involved standing behind a camera, schmoozing with celebrities, and making a Spielbergesque living.
Instead, he moved to California to attend film school, where he made a short film about an old woman in a retirement home.
And the film might be taking him in the right direction, because it's since won an award from the Miami International Film Festival and introduced him to famed actor and director Andy Garcia.
In his spare time, Shea spoke to the Juice about what it's like to be an up-and-coming
The Juice: Your short film Where It Stops follows an old woman through retirement home living. They say Florida is where people come to die. Any relation? What was your inspiration for the film?
There really isn't any correlation. The film was shot in California, so it wasn't because Florida has that connotation associated with it. There wasn't any particular influence, besides the fact that I grew up in South Florida.
To be completely honest, about two years ago, when I had to make [the film] for my senior thesis, I went through Chapman's script bank and found a couple of scripts I really liked, and that was one that stood out. It's quite a bit different, and I rewrote some of it. I just felt like it was an interesting story to be told, and I felt like it was a good message for me because my grandfather lived with me for the last five years of his life. I would come home after school and sit in his room with him. Sometimes I would fall asleep, but the one thing that was clear to me was how much he appreciated me being there with him. I really felt like my experience with him allowed me to realize the importance of the initial premise of the movie.
Actress Luce Morgan plays Barbara Stack in Where It Stops.
I'm assuming you were in Miami to collect the award. Give me a rundown on what you did while you were here other than going to the festival. Who did you hang out with? What did you eat? Where did you stay?
I'm from Fort Lauderdale, so I stayed at my house with my parents. It was interesting because all my friends were home for spring break that weekend, so I brought some buddies down [to the Miami International Film Festival] with me. We screened with a short film from [Florida Atlantic University] and two other high schools, so we got to hang out with them. That weekend, I got to see Andy Garcia's new film, and I got to go to the afterparty and meet his family. The afterparties were fun, but it was nothing too crazy.
What kind of films might you produce in L.A. that you can't produce in South Florida?
I don't really think there are any films that I have in mind that I wouldn't be able to produce in South Florida. I would really enjoy shooting in South Florida, because I feel like it'd be a lot easier to get locations there. In L.A., the industry was born here, so to get locations, you have to pay thousands of dollars. But when you go to a place that isn't familiar with the industry, they get excited the industry is coming to film there.
How'd you go from interning at two TV stations to producing a movie?
Well, I interned in the summers that I was going to school, and I kind of always knew I wanted to direct, but the thing about directing is that i'm not really expecting to make a living off of it. It's really difficult. I wasn't expecting to graduate and immediately start getting paid to direct -- which I'm not. The reason I interned at those stations is because I wanted to know about the entire industry itself. The problem at Telemundo was that I couldn't speak Spanish that well, so it didn't work out. I definitely learned some things, but I knew I wouldn't be able to form a permanent position there.
Where do you see yourself going from here?
I'm in L.A. now, and I'm going to be coming back to Florida. My friend from Florida has a sports academy he runs, so my buddy and I are going to build his whole website and short little spots for the website. We're kind of going to do all the marketing for him. But I'm interested in assistant directing. An assistant director is the one that makes sure the day is on schedule. He's essentially the leader of the crew and makes sure everyone is doing what they're supposed to be doing. I did a lot of that at school. I want to see how films actually work in the real world. I have a brief idea, but there's a lot more for me to learn.