Moonlighting with Beccy Kellond and Shayne Brookstein
Over the years, the GPN family has grown, evolved, and changed, as life itself does. What has been remarkable to witness is the amount of women who have stepped into leading roles in different production companies throughout the world. Over half of the GPN production companies are now run by women.
We’d like to showcase a special pair of business partners way down low in South Africa, Beccy Kellond and Shayne Brookstein, of Moonlighting. Moonlighting is one of the companies that has been with GPN since its inception.
Moonlighting was founded thirty years ago by Philip Key as an answer to a need for a production service company in South Africa. Both Kellond and Brookstein joined about 15 years later and have now taken the reins alongside Financial Director and co-partner Nolan Roussouw. They continue to offer full production services across all media to clients around the world.
Their work ranges from TV series, documentaries, commercials, music videos to feature films. South Africa offers a stunning backdrop to film in with its wide range of locations, both urban and natural.
Neither Kellond nor Brookstein come from a film background and both accidentally found themselves in the film business. Brookstein, a South African native, was always drawn to film but there wasn’t much of a film business in South Africa when she was growing up, especially not on the production side of things. She began working as a receptionist for a film company early in her career which very quickly led to her coordinating projects for local directors. Once she was on the inside, she found herself in different film production roles and has worked in almost all areas of film production- from documentaries, feature films, and music videos to commercials. She is now a partner and the Executive Producer at Moonlighting.
Kellond, who hails from the UK and funnily enough has a degree in Russian, married a South African and has been settled in stunning Cape Town for over twenty years. Kellond initially found herself working in marketing for Moonlighting and was not involved in the productions in the capacity of a filmmaker. She is now a partner and while more involved in all of the productions, still focuses on marketing as well as sorting out film visas and immigration for their international clients.
Moonlighting, being in the southern hemisphere, has its high season from October to April (but they do love doing jobs in the winter). Brookstein oversees the production side of the business from bidding to production for all projects. They have a team of freelance line producers who regularly work on individual projects as well as two full-time line producers that Moonlighting employs.
The company culture of Moonlighting is one of diversity and inclusivity. “We aim to employ the best people for the job while actively pursuing a policy of employment equity to ensure diversity throughout the company. As a team, we strongly believe that you cannot run a business responsibly, or ethically, in South Africa without this policy along with a deep recognition of the need to empower” explains Kellond. South Africa as a nation has a strict set of standards that all companies must uphold to promote racial and cultural diversity within.
This policy is increasingly relevant with many international clients wanting to ensure that there is as strong a female presence as possible within the production team & crew, a diversity of cultural backgrounds, and a racial representation of South Africans working together on projects. As South Africa moves forward as a leading nation in the African film world, many eyes are on it to see how it incorporates the diversity of races/cultures into the business of film.
At the moment, there is a heightened awareness of women’s place in film. The production side of South African film has a hearteningly strong female presence with many women running their own companies. Moonlighting’s company culture has been uncomplicated regarding equal treatment for women. This has given them a lot of access to be able to lead, create, and produce.
Both women are passionate about their work and their company. They like the ever-changing atmosphere of film and the energy that comes with it. As members of the GPN network, they are also very thankful for the connections and people that GPN has offered them. Like many of the GPN family, they are in an active WhatsApp chat group that is both supportive and helpful. Through these work connections, they’ve established friendships and professional collaborations. This helps to keep the wheels of production and creativity turning for themselves and the other companies in the network.
Looking ahead, Moonlighting will continue to work as it has been for the past years- with integrity, honesty, and making it a priority that the client gets what they need and want out of a production. There is currently a dynamic movement and flow in Moonlighting and they are looking forward to seeing what the future holds.
Learn more about Moonlighting