The Brothers Broad
Brothers Aja and Kaelan recently founded a production company, Broad Brothers Production, but the pair have been making movies since they were four.
By Terry Nguyen, University of Southern California
Two minds are certainly better than one, especially when it comes to the creative field of video production and cinematography.
Broad Brothers Production is a two-man video team made up of twin brothers Aja and Kaelan Selbach-Broad, sophomore Film majors at Syracuse University.
The Broad brothers have been involved in the world of video and film since the unimaginable young age of four, but have only recently begun to work on their professional portfolios. Since 2014, the duo has won or placed in numerous film contests, and they have begun dabbling more with diverse styles and untraditional content in their works.
The brothers have shot everything from client videos and concert recaps, to music videos, short films and documentaries. Their portfolio boasts collaborations with video companies featuring big name artists in the music industry, such as The Chainsmokers and Marshmello.
The future is too far ahead to predict a clear-cut path for themselves in the film industry, but the Broad brothers believe that as long as they continue to create video, they will be content in the work they produce.
Note: Answers preceded a name are specific to that individual.
Broad Brothers Productions has been alive as long as we have — we’ve been slapping it in the credits of our projects since we were four. Officially, we just piloted it this year as an outlet to create all of the video and media we do outside of school, since we finally had enough professional work to show for ourselves.
Film is a constant battle of egos and film school is no different. Learning to navigate the world and having the skills to actually show off and contribute is what it’s all about, and Syracuse is one of the top at doing that.
Because we grew up together and learned the ins and outs of the medium together, being twins has given us trust more than it has given us rivalry.
The most difficult thing about being a twin filmmaker is fighting about a shot all day and then having your brother win, and then seeing that that shot really made all the difference.
Aja: At this point, because I know Kaelan’s strengths, when I need something done on a project that I would normally really only trust myself to do, I can get Kaelan’s help and know it will be up to my standards. Being twins also makes our stuff better I think, because we’re not afraid to constantly be critiquing one another.
Aja: I can’t define a moment where I was like, “And then I realized I wanted to be a filmmaker.” It was more of just having every element of film excite me so much my whole life that there was never really another option.
Kaelan: It has never felt like a choice. It’s the only thing I have ever wanted to do with my life. There has never been a time when I have questioned it.
Kaelan: Creative inspiration is a hard thing to pinpoint, usually coming out of nowhere when you’re doing something aimless like driving, or brushing your teeth. Sometimes when I listen to music my brain just makes cinematic stuff to go with it, and sometimes that stuff turns into an idea.
This love for just getting our hands dirty with cameras and lights and computer-editing software has made it so we just kind of jump in whatever types of films or videos that we possibly can. We’ve made everything from commercials to wedding videos, PSAs, music videos, documentaries, short films—you name it.
Working with clients has been a huge thing for us, mostly because it pays and has given us the opportunity to put money back into Broad Brothers Productions. This gets us new equipment which leads to better videos, which leads to more gigs; it’s a beautiful cycle.
We love making concert recaps; we’re both so into live music that merging these two passions is really fun. Narrative film will also always have a special place in our hearts — it is what we are in school for after all.
Making videos for some of our favorite musicians has been really cool, so I think those have been the most “interesting” projects we’ve done. This past year alone we have had the opportunity to shoot acts like The Chainsmokers, Marshmello, Herobust, Jackie Greene, Mike Gordon, Rubblebucket—just to name a few, all of which have been personal favorites of mine for years.
I think we’ve gotten the most visible attention for our concert recap stuff. Our video for Marshmello has almost 8,000 views in just about a month or so, and our short recaps that we make for Creative Concerts promo company consistently received a few thousand views in the days following their releases.
Back when we were kids, those “How did they do that?” moments got us playing around with in-camera editing, and re-creating old Star Trek tricks — making ourselves disappear and stuff. Nowadays it’s trying to re-create really nice, Hollywood-looking camera movements and trying to color-correct our content to really pop off the screen.