Keely Grigel

Within 15 years, Keely has pioneered technical workflows, UX design & marketing projects for iconic brands Prince,John MayerJosh GrobanChris BrownThe Killers, and Bam Margera. The Sundance Institute, William Morris Agency-Endeavor, AEG-Live Goldenvoice Coachella, Pepperdine, and Tommy Wiseau– all of these experiences trained her how to be a fearless disrupter in guiding clients how to best structure their dreams.

Driving into a wall of smoke while people were being evacuated. Smoke jumpers sharing life lessons before skydiving out of airplanes into forest fires, perhaps never to return. Experiencing the impact of international government contract bidding processes to provide wildlife land management solutions. That was childhood. Next came the entertainment industry.

People have always shared intense stories with Keely, including dreams of tech innovation. Adopted into a family of international forest firefighting engineering equipment and chemicals manufacturing, this chain of command workflow structure complements artistic brainstorming sessions and technical operations planning that her team brings to launch any project.

Her early career includes the infamous Tommy Wiseau cult classic, The Room, whose notorious behind-the-scenes legends were developed into the feature by James Franco and the writers of 500 Days of Summer. This wildly-hyped project world premiered at the 2017 Austin Film Festival to critically acclaimed reviews.

Keely’s love of Halloween and sci-fi complemented her work lighting serial killers on Gacy then later on Dahmer, starring Jeremy Renner. His performance earned him the Independent Spirit Award Nomination for “Best Lead Male.” This role caught the attention of Kathryn Bigelow, who cast Renner in The Hurt Locker, for which she won the 1st Academy Award bestowed upon a female director at the 82nd Academy Awards (2010).

 

Background

By 22-years-old, Keely achieved her life’s dream when her work in stage management and film set lighting on the pet projects of A-list celebrities and cinematography crews resulted in being invited to work at the Sundance Institute Director’s Lab. As one of the youngest crew members in attendance, Keely studied how to workshop film projects alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sally Field, Ed Harris, Wendie Malick, Melanie Lynskey, Miranda July, Patrick Fugit, Robert Elswit, and other visionaries.

Months later, AOL hired Keely to combine her post-production, web design, and PR skills into a demanding role as technical point of contact for global ad agencies in the rapidly changing internet media industry.

 

And the Daytime Emmy Award Goes to… LIVE 8

An estimated 3 Billion people watched a live broadcast Keely worked on called Live 8, a world charity super-concert created by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure.

Live 8 won a Daytime Emmy Award— the 1st ever granted to an internet production. At 24-years-old, Keely project managed the technical requirements for the largest media advertising operation in history.

Keely coordinated a team of 70 foreign translators to build live website content from 10 concerts in real time. More than 1,000 musicians performed at the concerts, which were broadcast on 182 tv networks and 2,000 radio networks.

Live 8 won a Daytime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Video Content for Non-Traditional Delivery Platforms” and a Webby Award for “One of the Top 10 Moments That Changed the World.”

 

AOL Welcome Screen Promotions and AOL Online Video Sponsorships

Keely launched AOL Welcome Screen Promotions then was promoted to undertake the launch of AOL Video Sponsorships. As the production point-of-contact for multiple regions of media sales teams, movie studios, corporations, and ad agencies, Keely was responsible for trafficking videos sent via ever-changing physical and digital formats.

She collaborated with research scientists to devise encoding specs and implemented a new digital trafficking system within the production group and ad operations, scheduling the encoding of hundreds of videos into thousands of websites.

This occurred during the critical time in internet history when AOL transitioned from a “walled garden” to a free content service in the pre-YouTube era. Keely coordinated the demands of all the AOL sales regions to implement new video workflow with top global ad agencies; this resulted in a 40% revenue growth.

Keely applied her obsessive study of new video software technology and excelled due to her team building capabilities and fearless approach, held together by a witty sense of humor.

Her team contributions were evaluated by the speed at which she launched hundreds of video sponsorship campaigns of varying technical degrees, while working with software developers specializing in post-production to implement sales packages according to scope, deal size, past performance, and other analytical measurements.

 

UFOs

Keely coordinated media assets during the AOL sponsorship deal for coverage of the Ansari X PRIZE for Suborbital Space flight.

X PRIZE won the Space Foundation’s Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award in 2005. The award is given annually to an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to public awareness of space programs. Its Board of Trustees includes Elon Musk, Amir Ansari, Larry Page, Wendy Schmidt, James Cameron, and other visionaries.

As the technical production point-of-contact for media sales teams and ad agencies, Keely spearheaded meetings with media moguls. She provided post-sales support in both production and post-production teams.

Keely learned best practices during daily conference calls with the world’s finest advertising creative directors. Together, they solved engineering challenges within the multi-million ad networks and ever-changing AOL media landscape.

 

Software Engineering Groundwork and Awards

As the sponsorships producer, Keely worked with international ad agencies to design entertainment sponsorship content and project manage their online marketing campaign launches.

Keely also worked closely with Warner Bros on the software development of an electronic mastering system for large scale content customization, transcoding and distribution.

This created the foundation that resulted in a Technology and Engineering Emmy Award in 2012.

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) Broadband Committee contacted Keely to participate in setting industry standards for web design, online video, and user experience design.

These studies occurred over a period of several years and led to what is now known as UX Design.

 

At its zenith, AOL’s membership was over 30 million members worldwide. Keely assembled cross-functional teams to streamline the encoding of hundreds of graphics and video assets for 20 weekly campaigns averaging $2.5 million per week. This resulted in a 40% revenue increase during the transition from a paid site to sponsorship-driven business model.

Keely received the Ted Leonsis Project Management Award for undertaking a massive encoding project, integrating the constantly evolving online video technology formats into sponsorship units for all ad agencies, Warner Bros, Sony, Viacom, and other movie studios during the acquisition of Advertising.com, a network of 3,000 websites.

 

Hitting the Delay Button on the Kanye West F-Bombs

Keely coordinated video sponsorships encoding while working broadcast control room on AOL Music Live Concert Broadcasts on Kanye West, Green Day, Josh Groban, John Mayer, and others.

Other packaged sponsored productions included Mark Burnett’s “Gold Bar Online Treasure Hunt,” pitch materials to launch TMZ.com, and the new AOL “Moviefone – Unscripted,” where movie stars interview each other while taking live questions.

Celebs included Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Orlando Bloom, Cameron Crowe, and it is a mainstay press junket.

 

Film Producing

Keely followed through on her early career goal of working as an indie film producer by applying her experience toward helping her friends produce 2 USC Master Thesis Films. These projects had combined budgets of $90K.

Improving upon her love of post production timed with the entry of high end 4K digital camera workflow, Keely also worked on the producing team for Heathens and Thieves, which premiered at 9 film festivals, won 5 awards, and multiple distribution deals.

 

Agency Work

William Morris Endeavor Talent Agency hired Keely to help launch the new creative services department sponsorship workflow for rock concert festivals. She organized research statistics and conceptualized new branding for artists into sales presentations used by A-list Hollywood agents. Exhibiting grace under pressure, Keely learned how to manage 1st world problems such as being asked for creative input regarding web technology ideas to promote Nine Inch Nails or new branding ideas to promote Prince.

 

Rock and Roll

Keely also spent time in the concert production world on festivals for AEG Live Goldenvoice.

The 1st LA Weekly Detour Festival in Downtown LA, which attracted 200,000 fans, and the Bamboozle Left Festivalsurrounded Keely with the famous Coachella Music Festival production management crew. They taught her skills in team leadership, time management, and how to accomplish dreams.

 

Business Management School

Keely devoted her life toward learning new skills while working on high-profile projects. AOL offered 100% tuition reimbursement for Keely to complete her Bachelor of Science in Management. She chose the closest university to the production office where was on-call 24/7: The Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and Management.

Pepperdine quickly accepted Keely into their business school program due to her career and academic achievements. She worked full-time as a producer and attended school full-time.

 

Startup Experience

Keely next balanced her time between Silicon Valley and LA, while trying to form the perfect incubator to launch various start-up ideas.

As a result of this experience, one colleague went on to engineer the post-production media data management software used by David Fincher on The Social Network, whose editing team won an Academy Award.

 

Producing an Ultra Low Budget, Award Winning Western

Yet another one of Keely’s great technological challenges resulted in 9 film festival premieres, 5 awards, and distribution deals.

This “labor of love project” posed a large risk both financially and technologically, the indie film Heathens and Thieves.As a well-seasoned risk taker by this point, Keely decided to help her friends with production working many roles as Associate ProducerRED camera DIT, and Data Manager.

Keely created the digital editing workflow on location for 6 cameras plus asset management for the photography publicity assets. She recruited film crew and established excellent relationships with the locals in order to locate resources during production. She worked during the day as the digital imaging technician (DIT), helping the camera department troubleshoot software issues, download footage from various formats, and project manage production office tasks.

Keely ran 24-hour data backup cycles in order to format hard drives to keep the production on track with no delay. She ran dailies for the producers, directors, and cinematographer, organized camera footage, and maintained the post production equipment.

Challenges ensued. The new RED camera technology had just hit the film industry; the software was brand new and there were no nearby electronics stores as they were on location, however, Keely handled the pressure with ease. Also, despite the uncertainty caused by the untimely passing of Patrick Swayze and the media frenzy during the middle of filming, Don Swayze completed the film.

Keely was drawn to helping her friends produce Heathens and Thieves because of the historical significance of the Chinese railroad settlers during the 1880’s gold rush in Northern California and the powerful female lead played by Gwendoline Yeo. Heathens and Thieves, directed by Megan Peterson and John Sinclair, was also executive produced by Steven Riley, Visual FX producer to Clint Eastwood for over a decade.

 

Video Gaming Company Co-founder

As a result of her interest in creating jobs during the great recession and her passion for smartphone technology, Keely co-founded a mobile app gaming start-up in 2011 whose 1st launch featured character art by Emmy Award-Winning Director and Animator, Ron Noble, of Rugrats and Wild Thornberrys.

 

Digital File Management Software Workflow

In order to fund her gaming company, Keely worked as a post-production data analyst consultant for Disney and VH1.

She repaired critical Arri Alexa Camera software issues while on the visual effects team for Freelancers, “One of the Top 30 Most Anticipated Movies on IMDB,” starring 50 Cent, Robert De Niro, and Forest Whitaker.

 

From Serial Killer B-Movies to Serial Entrepreneur

Keely Grigel is a serial entrepreneur active in the Silicon Beach Start-Up community, Arizona business growth strategy, and the Downtown Culver City revitalization initiative.

She is interested in RSS technology and loves discovering new trends in software development. She enjoys teaching others how to apply technology to their ideas. This includes working with business owners to design websites, mobile apps, and implement strategies to achieve their goals.