Kelly DURHAM

VP, Director of Integrated Production | Y&R

I got my start working in the biz as a Personal Assistant/Office Manager/ Production Coordinator to a few celebrities such as George Carlin, Burt Reynolds and Dan Aykroyd. Learning more and more about production and script development before freelancing and testing out my newly formed production chops on many pilots and short lived sitcoms.

 

After moving back to Chicago, I spent 18 years working my way up the Agency production ladder at FCB, Chicago and then a short stint  VML before moving to Y&R Chicago / Cavalry Agency. I’ve  worked on amazing brands such as Corona Premier, Gatorade, Bomb Pop, Miller Lite, Sharpie, Nestle , Kraft, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cox Communications, SC Johnson and Oscar Meyer. That includes working with lots of celebs and athletes including Adam Levine, Nicki Minaj, Jessie J, Jhene Aiko, The Heavy, Bryan Cranston, Harrison Ford, Burt Reynolds, Usain Bolt, Dwayne Wade, Paul George, Elena Delle Donne, Bryce Harper, Eli Manning, J.J. Watt, Abby Wambach, Jabari Parker, Lionel Messi, D'Angelo Russell, Duncan Keith, Demaryius Thomas and Todd Gurley.

questionnaire

1)What was your very first job? 

Lifeguard at a local Country Club. I rode my bike 20 miles there and back every day. Clearly I wanted that job.

 

2)Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails. 

Director of Integrated Production, I oversee all production and operations at Y&R, Chicago & Cavalry Agency.

 

3)How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today? 

My creative drive comes from my mother & grandmother, they both were constantly drawing or painting and encouraging my creative side while growing up. Although I played sports through high school and College, I loved creating and making things out of nothing but my imagination. I went to school for graphic design, but afterwards didn’t seem to have the passion to do anything with those skills. While trying to figure myself out, I was dating an actor and got to hang out on his movie set. The relationship quickly fizzled, but the excitement of production got in my head. I guess that spark is what got me going, but my tenacity and working my way up is how I got to where I am today.  

 

4)In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant? 

 I’m inspired by productions that seem impossible and what’s the key to cracking the nut. I also draw inspiration from the people I work with, my teams inspire me to be a better Producer.

 

 5)If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be? 

Really very hard to answer this question. There are many moments that make me proud.

 

jury

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