For the fourth Big Tell Filmmaker Profile, we introduce David Kennedy, a veteran filmmaker documenting the musical talents of local folk and roots singer Lance Canales.

From his wide portfolio of work, to his numerous accolades and his decades of experience, David Kennedy is a well-established filmmaker in every sense. Born and based in Fresno, David’s interest in filmmaking dates back to his days in kindergarten. After studying and working in the film industry, he graduated from UCLA with a degree in film and has since become an accomplished content creator with over 20 years of experience.

In addition to being a videographer, David is also a director, editor, photographer, motion graphics expert, and screenwriter at his film and television production company, Radiator Media. David has worked with big names such as Dreamworks, Disney, and Panavision/Technicolor, and his film work has been seen in over 10 states and eight countries on channels such as ESPN, ABC, FOX, CBS, and NBC, to name a few. David is a three-time recipient of the prestigious American Advertising Awards (ADDY) Best of Show Award, as well as a four-time recipient of ADDY’s Best TV Commercial Award. However, David’s expertise isn’t just in shooting commercials, as a short film he shot in Fresno was a finalist at both the Cannes Film Festival and France’s Deauville Film Festival Prize.

Radiator Media’s clients include many familiar, local names, including China Peak Ski Resort, San Joaquin College of Law, State Center Community Colleges, and Table Mountain Casino. 

David Kennedy with Radiator Media’s PR expert, Cindy Wathen. (Photo courtesy of Cindy Wathen)

David’s work has been influenced by numerous big names in the industry, such as Terry Gilliam, Wes Anderson, Federico Fellini, Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, Francis Ford Coppola, and Darren Aronofsky. Some of his favorite films include Birdman, Wolf of Wall Street, Black Swan, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. His biggest source of inspiration comes from music, particularly of the techno and “chillwave” varieties, but he’s a lover of all genres. This love of music is what introduced him to Lance Canales, a Fresno-based folk and roots singer and the subject of David’s film for The Big Tell, presented by Bank of America.

David first heard Lance Canales perform six years ago and was blown away by his talent. Lance rose from humble beginnings as a farm laborer in the Central Valley to a musician of prominence in the international music scene. In less than a year, he’s performed at over seven music festivals; most recently, he returned from touring in the Netherlands and Germany. Lance’s most recent album, The Blessing and the Curse rose to number five on the European Americana music charts. Elmore Magazine wrote that Lance, “seems to summon the spirits and ghosts that travel with the migrant workers in California’s Central and San Joaquin Valleys. Other writers like Tom Russell and Dave Alvin has created some vivid observations about these people and this area in their material, but, having grown up there, Canales delivers first-hand observations, and in doing so, puts forth one of the grittiest, sweatiest vibes you’ll hear on any record.”

(Photo courtesy of Radiator Media)

For David, being selected as a winner for The Big Tell, presented by Bank of America, provides him with another opportunity to do what he loves most: creative work. David hopes that his mini documentary, which shares the same name as Lance’s last album The Blessing and the Curse, will inspire audiences. “I think [Lance’s story is] an inspirational story of someone pursuing his dreams who has come from poverty and a real place of hardship, yet [has] still [striven] and succeeded,” David said. Keep scrolling for some screenshots from David’s upcoming mini documentary for The Big Tell, presented by Bank of America!

The Central Valley Community Foundation, in partnership with CMAC, wishes to congratulate David Kennedy for being chosen as a winner for The Big Tell, presented by Bank of America. Make sure to mark your calendars for The Big Tell Showcase on October 20, 2017 and come out and support these local creators!

To connect with David Kennedy, please visit Radiator Media’s website, or visit them on Facebook or Twitter.

To connect with Lance Canales, please visit his website.