DREAMFINDERS: Former Imagineer Brandon Kleyla on Creating Trader Sam’s & Pandora!
Brandon Kleyla, better know as Trader Brandon to fellow tiki lovers and friends, has always been obsessed with the intricacies of pop-culture and, over time, he’s become a part of it himself.
From acting on Nickelodeon shows at Universal Studios Florida as a kid to creating a feature documentary on Indiana Jones fan culture, Brandon’s career has more twists and turns than a pulp adventure novel. Eventually, it all lead him to Disney Imagineering where he became one of the main creative forces behind both Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar and Grog Grotto as well as set decorator for such places as Pandora: the World of Avatar.
A unique episode, host Nathan Hartman was arranging to interview Brandon around the time the quarantine began and, since he was having people on his Instagram feed to chat anyway, he invited Nathan on to interview him live. So fair warning, the audio is a little different this time around, but well worth your time.
Brandon chats with Nathan about his time as a Jungle Cruise Skipper, what it’s like working with Joe Rhode, and they deep dive into all things Indiana Jones.