Navy Veteran Heading to Hollywood

Leukemia survivor finds new life, and roles, through writing

October 20, 2016

YORK, PA – Retired Navy Senior Chief Kurt Brindley has been writing all his adult life; but for most of it, his writing has been regarded by him only as a passionate hobby. It wasn’t until death came calling five years ago in the form of, first, leukemia, and then second, lung disease as a side-effect result from his bone marrow transplant, that he ever seriously considered becoming “a real writer.” But even after publishing a novel, two poetry collections, and an inspirational book based on his battles with his illnesses, he still feels a bit odd when trying to assume the role of a serious author.

However, the Southern Pennsylvania-based author now needs to get used to some new roles, as well: those of screenwriter and movie producer.

Last year, after struggling unsuccessfully to break through the fast-growing self-publishing market, he made a decision on a whim to try his hand at adapting one of his short stories into a screenplay. That whim proved for him to be a most fortunate one.

For it wasn’t long after he shared the screenplay with family friend Colin Bates, a Los Angeles native and graduate of both Baltimore School for the Arts and The Julliard School, and who is best known for being Mr. Stephen Daldry’s personal pick as the first American Billy Elliot in Elton John’s West End production of the musical Billy Elliot, that things began moving fast in Brindley’s unexpected advent into the movie-making business.

Fast forward to today when, in less than a week, Brindley will make his way out to Los Angeles to meet up with Bates to begin the production of their short film LEAVE, a story set in 1994 about the harsh, and sometimes violent, environment awaiting the first female sailors authorized to be assigned to US warships. It is a story informed by Brindley’s own twenty-year career in the navy, and one which is timely considering that women have just recently been authorized to be assigned to all-combat related duties in the military.

“If you would have told me last year that I would be heading to LA to produce a movie captained by such a creative female director from Amsterdam and talented actors from hit TV shows such as CBS’s Limitless and TNT’s The Last Ship, two of my favorites, I would have never believed you,” said Brindley when asked about his new-found film-making roles.

The filming of LEAVE is scheduled to begin at the end of October. Brindley hopes to introduce the short film to next year’s circuit of film festivals and, through them, find investors who are willing to back a feature-length production of the project.

With so many different directions Brindley’s life has taken over the past several years, we can only wonder what lies ahead for him and whether he will ever get used to all the new roles he has gathered along the way.

For more information about the short film LEAVE, you can visit