Portrait of an Artist: Bradley Beesley
Austin based filmmaker Bradley Beesley brings a low-key, unpretentious approach to his craft, which just might be how he’s managed to make nine feature films over the last 10 years.
“I don’t see this as a job but rather an extension of my social life,” said Beesley.
He is suspicious of entertaining loftier ambitions about the art of filmmaking for fear that any self-imposed expectation will get in the way of his trail-blazing merrymaking. He fiercely believes that films, especially documentaries, should be entertaining and funny. Yet through the quirky humor that is trademark in the documentaries he is famous for like Okie Noodling, Hill Stomp Hollar, The Fearless Freaks, and Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo; a deep regard for humanity and the bitter sweet realities of the human condition always rise to the surface.
While Beesley scavenges through our cultural ethos for the gems that become his films, he relies on a tight knit group of friends to help him realize his vision and to accompany him on his diverse adventures.
We spoke with Beesley and his editor, Louisiana “Lucy” Kreutz, about their collaboration on Sweet Hearts of the Prison Rodeo. While Beesley is considered the auteur of their eccentric adventures, he attributes much of his success to Kreutz’s discerning sensibilities in the editing room. His gratitude for her contributions and sincere appreciation for her companionship sheds light on the frequently overlooked conversations and collaborations that are inherent in any artistic process.