Bradley Beesley, Austin, Texas
Bradley Beesley, an Austin-based filmmaker and television producer, thrives on documenting the strange, nearly forgotten recesses of Americana.
His first documentary experiment was Hill Stomp Hollar, a homemade collage shot by a crew of friends, featuring legendary bluesman R.L Burnside. Employing similar filmic methods and a borrowed credit card, Beesley's next film, Okie Noodling, explored the backwoods tradition of catching catfish with your bare hands. The film has spawned a tournament, a sequel, a television show and has become a common fishing practice for the filmmaker.
Beesley has since directed eight films. His documentaries include Summercamp! (Sundance), The Creek Runs Red (Independent Lens), Okie Noodling II (PBS), Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo (HBO), and Calls to Okies (SXSW).
Beesley is known for having a close working relationship with the band The Flaming Lips. In addition to directing Fearless Freaks (Sundance), an intimate film covering 15 years of the band's career, he co-directed the concert film UFOs at the Zoo (WB) and the sci-fi frolic Christmas in Mars (WB) with the band’s lead singer, Wayne Coyne.
Between film projects, Beesley turns his eye to the small screen, directing and producing a number of television series, including Paranormal State (A&E), Rollergirls (A&E), Storm Chasers (Discovery) and Mudcats (History). Beesley has recently directed lifestyle films for such clients as Yeti, Dell, Nike, and Costa, bringing his unique blend of the real, the whimsical, and the fantastical to ad work.
For Bradley’s SixTwelve Residency, we sent him to Savannah, GA multiple times over the course of 2016 and 2017 to film a short doc about an eclectic and magical singer from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Diana Rogers, who spent years singing in the restaurants and lounges of New York and who now performs at the Olde Pink House in the downtown historic district of Savannah. The delightful and heart-warming film, Diana in Savannah, showed at the SCAD Film Festival in 2017 and we couldn’t have been prouder! Bradley also lived at SixTwelve in 2015 during his fellowship at the University of Oklahoma and while filming Fathers of Football. We’re so grateful for all that Bradley did to further connect SixTwelve to the creative community of Savannah. His contributions strengthened the bridge between OKC and Savannah.
We sent Mat Miller to Austin last year to conduct Bradley’s residency interview and this short film is what we received. We think it’s a fitting homage to such a brilliant film maker.