Kelly is a self-taught writer whose first screenplay garnered many accolades and earned her an agent and manager just two years after deciding she wanted to be a screenwriter. Since penning her first feature script in 2015, she's written two pilots and three features– which made it into the hands of A-list actors and producers including Jennifer Lawrence's ex-agent and current producer - a feat in and of itself! In 2020 & 2021, Kelly was invited to judge the Los Angeles Television Script and Film Festival, where her pilot, "Badass" was a finalist, and was asked to join Ron Howard's Imagine Impact Writer Forum, which is by special invite only. Her second pilot, "33 Weeks A Prude" was voted top 6 comedies of 2019 at the Los Angeles Comedy Film & Screenplay Festival, is currently #1 on Coverfly's Redlist for comedy pilots of 2020, and was a semifinalist in the 2020 PAGE Awards, where there were over 6,000 entries. When she's not screenwriting, Kelly works as an advertising copywriter and art director and aspires to be a vegan.
SCROLL DOWN TO BOTTOM FOR MOST RECENT AWARDS
Gold Winner: "Glitches"
Top-3 finalist: "Glitches"
Top-10 Finalists for Drama "Glitches" (Over 8,000 entries)
2nd Rounder: "Glitches" "GIRLS" TV spec (Over 9,000 entries)
Glitches - Honorable Mention
"Glitches" Comedy Grand prize winner
"Glitches" Official Selection
"Glitches": Top 10 finalist
Top 5: "Glitches"
Badass & 33 Weeks A Prude, Second Rounders
33 Weeks A Prude - top 50
33 Weeks A Prude - Top 3
Glitches (DRAMEDY FEATURE)
Blacklist Review: This is a wonderfully written script on many levels. It wouldn't take a big budget to pull it off and at the very least the project should prove to be a strong writing sample in its current state. There's sharp dark humor within the action, dialogue and scenarios that Penny gets into, and this is amongst heavy and dramatic themes as well. It's a heart-wrenching story with a triumphant ending after the audience sees some very tragic scenarios play out. The dialogue is fantastic and realistic. The relationship between Penny and Tab is unique and carries the second half of the script very well. At the end of the day, this script definitely deserves attention from industry readers and could be related to WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE meets AMERICAN BEAUTY.
"Glitches" Fresh Voices Grand prize winner
https://www.fresh-voices.com/index.php/glitches-by-kelly-beck-byrnes-takes-fresh-voices-grand-prize Fresh Voices has awarded Kelly Beck-Byrnes’ dramatic-comedy “Glitches’, the Grand Prize Winner of the 2016-17 Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition from over 1,200 entries received.
Kelly’s script has garnered rave reviews across the industry recently advancing in several big screenplay contests including Page and Austin, before ultimately taking home the Grand Prize Award of the Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition this week. Growing up in a small town outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Kelly moved to Los Angeles 20 years ago to work in advertising. Kelly is a self-taught screenwriter now finishing her third screenplay.
Glitches, her second script, is best described as What’s Eating Gilbert Grape meets
Juno. It is a coming-of-age story about a young girl named Penny who moves with her father from California to the cornfields of the Midwest after the loss of her mother and their home. Unable to fit in with her new surroundings, Penny rebels by beginning a relationship with her autistic cousin and clashing with her new classmates and family. “Kelly’s delightfully engaging voice is present on every page adding color, authenticity and layer upon layer of emotion to all the characters and their choices”
Chairman of the Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition, Joel Mendoza, commented on the win, “Glitches is a heartfelt story that leaves you wanting more. Kelly explores a world rich in relatable themes, memorable characters, and emotionally complex scenarios. It had a deft mix of pathos and humor stitched into every scene. Above all however, Kelly’s delightfully bold and engaging voice is present on every page adding color, authenticity and layer upon layer of emotion to all the characters and their choices.” In winning, Kelly takes home the $3,000 Cash Award as well prizes from various industry sponsors. Fresh Voices is a Hollywood literary Consultancy and Annual Screenplay Competition.
Badass (DRAMA PILOT)
A grief-stricken double-amputee finds a new lease on life when a group of kindhearted prostitutes tap him to be their new pimp.
Blacklist Review: The devil lives in the details, and this pilot thrives in all of them. It's so incredibly distinct and tells a tale with such a clear, and coherent voice that it truly was refreshing to read. Every scene has its place. Even the opening dream, it all is so meticulously planned and laid out that it became a rewarding experience to read as the audience started to understand the meaning in everything. One of the biggest successes that the pilot had was capturing the experience of being lower-middle-class without fetishizing it. It does a great job at showing how expensive being poor is, and one catastrophic event can change your entire life for the worst. The pilot might be gross and shocking at times, but it cares deeply about its characters. It just shows their existence and how numb they are to everything because they've gotten used to life at this level. Dale is an incredibly hardworking son and watching him slog through this awful life is heartbreaking. Watching his mother be the shell of the person that she used to be and even showing how his father has abandoned his family all highlighted the proper amount of despair for the audience to understand the world they're living in.
BADASS is an elevated drama that would most appropriately exist on streaming services. But it could certainly find a place on high-brow basic cable channels like FX and of course on premium channels. The dream sequences bring a strong creative aspect to the project, and the drug use, minor violence and sexual candidness would likely keep it from commercial success. It's a stable drama that would definitely find an audience.
This is a very dark comedy, but the character is so empathetic and real that it makes the world work. This could find a home on networks like FX, or AMC, as long as the show has a good narrative going forward. This has a more comedic toned Breaking Bad vibe.
33 Weeks A Prude (COMEDY PILOT)
A rebellious teenage girl moves from California to Georgia and struggles to fit in at her new high school amongst an uptight culture run by religious and celibate girls.
Blacklist Review: 33 WEEKS A PRUDE is a hilarious pilot with a unique and well-developed young female lead. NORA is an active lead, and there's no doubt about that. She comes into this school and new town, and a ton of stuff happens to her, but she causes a lot of this plot to play out as well. This is accomplished effectively, as we see her, in the end, decide to take matters into her own hands with RAQUEL. One of the most interesting sides to Nora's character, however, is that she has a softer and more vulnerable side as well (even if she doesn't always show it). The audience is able to see this through her self-consciousness that she hides fairly well -- or in her rash decision making. An example of this would be when Tyler calls her a buddy and she starts to send him nudes immediately. The satire on religious kids doing uptight and conservative things is laugh out loud funny more than a few times in this pilot. "You can come with us to the J.Crew sale this weekend" as Raquel's peace offering - and, "Whoreful".
This takes a high school dark comedy world and gives it an original twist (in regards to the religious themes and the Sisterhood of Celibacy). This cliffhanger in regards to the Sisterhood of Celibacy is a very good idea. The writing makes for an entertaining read that does an effective job of keeping tabs on a ton of characters. There's something very topical about this project. When TV Producers look for ideas they tend to want to know "why now?" and the idea of a more liberal brother and sister getting tossed in with a bunch of conservative peers resonates as something that would be interesting to see come to life "now".
Kelly's also an advertising writer/art director by day and an animal rights activist by night. Follow her on Twitter @stellasmission and help change animals' lives for the better. Or better yet, don't eat them.
"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are
- Mahatma Gandhi