Hit TV Show Directed by West Virginia State University Graduate

Contact: Dr. Donna M. Simon
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March 27, 2013
Hit TV Show Directed by West Virginia State University Graduate

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – West Virginia State University (WVSU) graduate Rick Kelly recently directed an episode of the hit comedy television show “Raising Hope.”

Kelly directed the season finale that will air Thursday night, March 28, at 9 p.m., on Fox. The episode was filmed in February and marked the debut of Kelly as a director.

As filming was taking place, he reached out to WVSU Assistant Professor Danny Boyd thanking him, as well as WVSU Assistant Professor Steve Gilliland and former WVSU Professor David Wohl for their role in putting him on the path to success.

“I say this with all sincerity, it may have been 20 years since I was at State, but if it weren't for you, I wouldn't have had any of the opportunities in film and TV that I've had,” Kelly wrote to Boyd. “I'm deeply indebted to you and David and Steve. And I will never be able to fully express my gratitude toward you especially.”

Kelly has worked on the show since 2010 as a first assistant director after working on the television show “The Gates” in a similar role.

“Rick was just a really good kid and a really hard worker,” Boyd said of his former student. “He was here during our ‘golden age’ when we made four feature films in a row and we had a number of students who were able to get good experience and then go on to work in the big leagues.”

In fact, the very first professional experience listed on Kelly’s extensive resume is the 1991 film “Paradise Park,” which was written and directed by Boyd.

“WVSU's Communications program uses an interdisciplinary approach,” added Gilliland, “that enables our students to learn about film, radio, television, public relations and theatre. Rick learned some of the basics of cinematography in filmmaking class. He also learned by directing fellow students in a production of Christopher Durang's avant-garde play, ‘Titanic.’”

Kelly graduated from West Virginia State University in 1992 and has worked steadily in the entertainment industry since his graduation on both films and in television.

He worked on the “My Name is Earl” television series from 2006-2009 as both a second assistant director and first assistant director.

In addition to his work in serial television, Kelly has also worked on a number of made- for-television movies, as well as big budget Hollywood movies.

Among Kelly’s film credits are work on “Constantine,” “The Polar Express” and “The Scorpion King.”
During the nearly 20 years he has worked in the industry, Kelly has stayed in touch with those who launched him on the path at WVSU.
West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
- WVSU -
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