- LOS ANGELES
Director/DP William A. Kirkley has signed with Cosmic Pictures for commercials and branded entertainment. Headed by founder/director Greg Kiefer, Cosmic is an integrated production and post company (editorial, color, mastering, VFX, AR/VR 360) with offices in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.
Kirkley, an L.A. native, developed a deep interest in filmmaking, graphic design and photography at a young age. His formative years were spent making documentaries and music videos on both coasts. Kirkley’s documentary feature film Orange Sunshine premiered at SXSW 2016 and currently has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Winner of Best Documentary awards at the Newport Beach Film Festival and the San Francisco Docfest, Orange Sunshine delves deeply into the never-before-told story of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a spiritual group of surfers and hippies in Orange County, Calif., who became the largest suppliers of LSD and hashish in the world during the 1960s and ‘70s. Orange Sunshine sold exclusively to Amazon and is now in development as a scripted drama series for Amazon.
The Orange Sunshine feature also led to the production of an offshoot 3D virtual reality experience tied to the origin of the Brotherhood. The Kirkley-directed VR piece played in the interactive section of SXSW in 2016, placing viewers into the high-stakes drug trade before transporting them into a psychedelic desert retreat.
Kirkley is currently in production on Radical Love, a feature documentary on the prolific, radical chic legal husband and wife team, Michael and Eleanora Kennedy, who defended The Weather Underground, The Black Panthers, and other revolutionaries against the U.S. government, became targets of the FBI and went on the run. The film is produced by Academy Award winner Caroline Waterlow, of OJ: Made in America, and executive produced by Zero Point Zero.
For Kirkley the humanity in the story, whether serious or light hearted in tone, and weaving it together with unique camera work, art direction and direction, lends itself to innovative, artful storytelling. This extends into spots and branded content for the director who has worked with such clients as Amazon, Petco, Heineken, Reebok, Travelers Insurance and Chevrolet. Prior to joining Cosmic, Kirkley was handled in the ad arena by Washington Square Films. Before that, he was with Passport Films. At Cosmic, Kirkley reunites with exec producers Patti Coulter, who headed Passport, and Linda Hart
Kirkley--who enjoys all facets of filmmaking, including shooting, editing and incorporating design elements in postproduction--related, “The moments I relish most on set is when we discover those little happy accidents...We’ve got our framework for the scene in place, we’ve done our homework and know exactly what it is we’re after. All the elements are coming together for the first time, and when we keep our eyes open and are receptive to what’s happening around us, new storytelling layers and possibilities emerge that elevate our story, and it’s capturing those intimate moments of magic that I love the most.”
Kirkley joins the Cosmic directorial roster which includes Kiefer, Tyler Stableford, and Jake Alexander McAfee whose branded short film for Goodwill Industries, 2nd Life, won the HBO Best Short Film Award and qualified for Academy Award consideration.