Exclusive Interview: Actor Kel King makes the most of the pandemic

The multibillion-dollar industry faced a dramatic overnight shift since the start of the pandemic. Even as vaccines roll out, the new normal in the industry appears to have changed. But even during the pandemic, Kel King starred in the award-winning film “Black Matters” and he is determined to never let any time go to waste.

Kel King’s filmography for 2020/2021 is impressive in what has obviously been a productive year for him. Besides appearing in several productions, Kel King utilized this time to work on causes that mean a lot to him.

We wanted to find out more about the up-and-coming star. In this candid interview, Kel King spoke to us from the heart about what motivated him at a time of extreme uncertainty for most of us.

Kel King, you are a young star with a distinguished career so far in a demanding and difficult industry. How do you believe the pandemic has affected filmmaking?

The demand for entertainment has been unaffected. As a matter of fact, it continues rising. Production companies are using innovative methods to get their movies out there as fast as possible to a hungry public waiting to devour them on on-demand channels.

Filmmaking is not going to change as dramatically as the distribution of films. Changes in how people are entertained were inevitable from even before the pandemic. People are loving the ability to be entertained in their homes digitally.

How difficult was lockdown for you?

My philosophy is to never waste any time. Lockdown was a blessing because I used the time constructively to read scripts, keep up with developments in the news, and stuck to my fitness regime. I also had time to reflect on how the environment benefited from our reduced movements, and how we can all help reduce our carbon footprint.

Any opportunities to attend filming were wonderful, and film and television production studios were brilliant because they took incredible safety measures, at an increased cost of production for them.

The film-making industry is extremely versatile and adaptable. Filming crews were immediately made smaller to ensure safety protocols were followed, and production times were shortened for faster turnaround. Yet, it has always been fulfilling to continue working. We know it is causing rising inequality and stand with people everywhere who are affected.

Kel, do you think this pandemic has affected your future career prospects?

No, I continue to remain positive and motivated. I remember reading somewhere the pandemic of the Spanish Flu in 1918 caused a huge shift in Hollywood. At the time, many failing studios were bought by movie moguls and revived.

This pandemic caused a rapid demise of the system as we know it today, but it was a long-time in the making. From decline sprouts opportunity, and this is why I am not worried about my prospects.

The demand for actors is increasing, but unfortunately, many of us still have to fight inequality, even in the entertainment business. However, I believe in myself and I know I’m talented. That is why I am determined to put myself out there and make people aware of who I am. So far, it has worked.

You have had a prolific year at work? Which productions have you liked working on the most?

I love the ritual of getting up and preparing for a day at the studio. This reflects in my relationships with my fellow crew members. I have enjoyed every production, but let me think…

“Black Matters” stands out, maybe because we were working on a topic that we all felt strongly about. The film highlights the frustrations of Black Americans. The visual protest was written and directed by Kyndra Kennedy and got 63,000 votes in the MusicBed challenge. A fantastic achievement because it was up against 1,080 submissions from 87 countries. This is a cause that concerns more than just Black people in our country.

Working on “Uncovered” with Amy Avila-Stirling as director and starring Yana Sheuko was also fabulous.

Finally, what have you worked on so far this year?

“The Christmas Dance” and “Day of Darkness” are the two films that we recently finished working on. There are plenty more in the pipeline, which I am looking forward to.

I don’t intend to hold back, not in my work nor the causes I believe in. I am positive we are now heading to a time that presents a new normal for every one of us. I know there is a very exciting road ahead.

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