By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
Keith Bailey works in the film and television industry as an SFX artist, still photographer and screenwriter. Together with his business partner Eli Logue, who is also a local actress and stunt performer, they started Fairylight Studios Inc. which is the first LGBTQ- owned and operated film production company in the USA that produces both scripted and unscripted television series and films. Peach caught up with Keith to talk about the importance of having an LGBTQ voice in the current entertainment landscape.
Why is it important to have an LGBTQ-owned and -focused production company?
Having an LGBT owned production company is crucial because even though Hollywood and the film industry have a reputation for being liberal, they really aren’t when it comes to hiring and protecting LGBT employees. Most open members of our community can’t get work. Some have even received death threats for coming out in the industry. You have to be pretty famous already to come out as LGBT and not have it impact your career.
Of the many projects Fairylight Studios are working on, several have already been greenlit for production or a pilot – what are they?
Currently, we have three reality-based programs greenlighted for production. Queer Across America, which explores LGBT life across the country and has visited Atlanta once before. Beautiful N Bizarre is a review of the world’s most beautiful and most unusual Bed and Breakfasts; and finally, Out There which is an LGBT paranormal investigation program. We also have a scripted Vampire Series that is in pre-production.
Which one project are you particularly excited about?
All my projects excite me, or I wouldn’t be doing them. If I have to pick a favorite, it would be Queer Across America because we get to educate people about the LGBT community and show that there is more to us than sex, parties, and bars.
Georgia’s thriving movie and TV industry is being challenged with continued legislative attacks on the LGBTQ community and an extremely restrictive abortion law possibly being signed into law. How does this affect the movie industry now and in the future?
Georgia’s bigotry laws and anti-abortion laws make filming here more difficult. There is a wave of actors and actresses actively boycotting productions in the state, as well as a growing number of highly skilled crew members. No amount of tax incentives is going to counteract not being able to get top names or skilled crews. Film will leave the state if it continues on this path, and as North Carolina found out, the film industry dollars and the jobs they provide have a huge impact on the state economy.
Do you have any upcoming shows/projects you can share with us?
Yes, we have some more things slated for production over the next few years. On the reality TV front, we have The Royal Treatment, which is a whole new kind of drag competition. Geeks on the Go which travels to the world’s largest Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Fandom conventions, and Model Americans that give men and women who work in life-saving or life-changing jobs the chance to launch a modeling career.
In scripted work we have the before mentioned Vampire Series, an LGBT version of Cheers called Bar Flies, and we are in talks to possibly produce a Sense 8 spinoff.
When and where can we see a Fairylight Studios production?
It will be late in 2020 before the first of our shows can be seen. Most of them will be available on Prime Video. I’m pretty proud of the fact that we are one of the few companies that have been given that opportunity.
Anything you’d like to add?
In October Queer Across America will be in Atlanta filming for Pride. So, if you see us running around town, be sure to say hello. Who knows you might just wind up getting you