Kurt Krauss grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan where at a young age he developed a love for swimming, sailing, and mariner's lore. Krauss' love of movies sprung from classic films that his father brought home. His mother, a musician, played in the pit orchestra for many of the high school shows, and as a family they'd watch musicals and cinema classics together. Around 5th grade Krauss had his first audition for Oscar Meyer on their national talent tour, but it wasn't until high school, first as a stage actor, where he fell in love with acting.
At age 18 Krauss was introduced to the film scene when Pete Schwaba (Host of Director's Cut, A Guy Thing) cast him in the indie comedy "The Godfather of Green Bay". Big opportunity came his way again in 2008 when Michael Mann brought Public Enemies (Universal Pictures) to the Midwest. Krauss was cast as Spencer Garrett's stand-in as Dillinger gang member Tommy Carroll. And, yes, he did meet Johnny Depp, and even made him laugh!
In college, Krauss saw the real value of entertaining audiences, but also the positive impact the industry could have on people through storytelling. He adopted the mantra "Use the Arts to Open Hearts" and wanted that to be an important part of any of the films he created.
In his senior year at UW-Green Bay, Krauss finished the script for "Confessions of a Sailor", working closely with the film's storyboard artist, director of photography and friend Scott McFarlane. They miraculously met a production budget of $20,000.00 through fundraising, donations, and low interest and no interest loans. Production ran back-to-back summers of 2010-2011 and late winter/spring of 2012. Nearing its original premier date of Father's Day 2013, the project file was corrupting, and in a heartbreaking string of screening cancellations and exhausted budget, Krauss had to begin the edit again from the raw footage.
Needing a change, Krauss put his videography skills to use in San Marcos, Nicaragua where he filmed an appeals video for Guadalupe Gardens' fresh well water project. That began many lifelong friendships, and ongoing humanitarian projects in the country for Krauss and friends including medical missions, building projects and teaching CPR/First Aid.
Back on the acting/modeling scene, Krauss caught the eye of viewers in the CW14 Star competition (Top 5) as well as talent agents Paul Evenson, Heather Arendt, Lori Lins, Brandis Ohlsson, and Susan Wehmann. Krauss can be seen in TV commercials and print ads. It also re-opened doors for dramatic acting in independent film where Krauss starred in short films such as "Rose of Sharon", "Bury Me", "Ascension" and "Rotary Redemption" and feature film "Through Eyes of Grace" (post-production).
Behind the camera, Krauss began working for Creative Edge Productions as a production coordinator and art director in 2015 helping create dynamic TV commercials and industrial/corporate videos. Returning to independent film, Krauss' most recent work as art director can be seen in Chandler Wild's "The Dancing Monkey" (2023). Krauss produced feature "From the Furnace" (2019), 2nd unit producer on "Mr. Thursday" (2018), and continued re-editing "Confessions of a Sailor".
Ten years and seven cuts later, "Confessions of a Sailor" was finally first seen by audiences at the Door County Film Festival in February 2023! Now officially on its film festival tour, "Confessions of a Sailor" was recently nominated for an MLC Award for "Best Midwest-Made Feature".
2023 turned into a fast-paced year for Krauss as he is also now producing "The Last Rung on the Ladder", a short film adaptation from the Stephen King short story. Adaptation writer Max Blaska received rights for the story through Mr. King's "Dollar Baby" program. A copy of the film will be sent to Mr. King and his organization in June 2023 as well as future not-for-profit film festivals. "The Last Rung of the Ladder" adaptation is co-written by Blaska and Karla S. Bryant, and is directed by Jeff Blankenship.
Besides being an adaptation from one of the world's favorite storytellers, "The Last Rung on the Ladder" has the opportunity to be an important conversation piece about mental illness. "The Last Rung on the Ladder", like "From the Furnace" and "Confessions of a Sailor", is an opportunity to Use the Arts to Open Hearts.
Looking ahead, Krauss will begin preproduction on the feature film "Amphibious" in July 2023.