The Rapidian

Bradley Productions emphasizes storytelling, collaboration

A young local film production company approaches wedding videos as storytelling and creates short films for the nonprofit sector.

Bradley Productions

1451 Front Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Facebook: Bradley Productions
Phone: (616) 920-0008

Hidden within a light industrial block on Front Avenue housed in a remodeled furniture factory, Bradley Jansen has assembled a team of filmmakers, photographers, musicians and storytellers under the umbrella of his company Bradley Productions. The company specializes in filming weddings and commercial projects- however, they have other aspirations as well.

“There was definitely a dream from the beginning to share other kinds of stories,” says Jansen. “For us, we just wanted to be able to do that in a video form and to be able to share stories that way. The Kala Project came out of that and as a result we are a pending 501c3 nonprofit waiting for final confirmation from the government. When we do get status we will be a full non-profit in terms of helping tell stories without needing to charge money for it.”

"Sam I Am" is a recent video produced for the Kala Project. The short film follows the trials of Sam Ekkens, a 4 year old boy who was born with half a heart. The film premiered at a fundraiser for Sam and his family to assist with the costs of treatments not covered by insurance.

“Their friends stepped up and put on this big fundraiser and as a result we were able to put a video together sharing the story of Sam and his family,” says Jansen. “It’s our most recent video and the most true to what the Kala Project is about. All of the videos we have been able to do have been kind of mind blowing in terms of just how humbling it is for us to be able to see these people and organizations and be a part of it and share something that’s so powerful.”

Jansen and his crew got their start filming and photographing weddings after college where Jansen studied Business Communications at Calvin College.  

“Together we just started working on joint projects and it eventually turned into us having lots of projects and eventually we said we should turn this into something real.  Now we’re a business and we’ve turned into a creative production team.”

Jansen attributes the success of his company to his creative team and their philosophy of collaboration with an emphasis on storytelling. He explains that he saw a need for greater collaboration among creative professionals in the community and hoped to bring them together through his production company.

“In the video world oftentimes everyone is just brought in for a project but not everyone’s on the same page or coming with the same values, mindset and mentalities going into it. For us, our whole team is very talented,” says Jansen. “If we are making a wedding video or a commercial project, whatever it is we want to help share someone’s story and tell it in a genuine way that speaks true to them. So with a wedding we want couples to walk away and not just feel like a camera was set up on a tripod in a corner but that this is the story of them. This is their love story.

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