A Conversation with Producer Nina May Nov02

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A Conversation with Producer Nina May

Renaissance Women Productions, a project of the Renaissance Foundation, is a non-profit 501c3 organization that produces award-winning films, documentaries, TV shows, and shorts. For the past 10 years, their mission has been to work with new and undiscovered talent, particularly women, to give them the opportunity to break into the film industry. The students, interns, and enthusiasts that have come through the foundation have produced everything from TV shows, to commercials, documentaries, educational, and even feature films. The foundation is the brainchild of writer/producer/director Nina May.

In light of the recent, unnerving news regarding sexual impropriety in the Hollywood establishment, BuddyHollywood.com managing editor, Mike Parker, recently had the opportunity to chat with Nina about her vision for Renaissance Women Productions and the future of the film entertainment industry.

Mike Parker – Tell me a bit about how and why Renaissance Women Productions was launched.

Nina May – We started the foundation as an alternative to feminists who decided they were speaking for all women. Being female doesn’t make us a single political group, and no one organization should have a monopoly on speaking for women. We believe Renaissance women are intelligent, and informed, and are perfectly capable of speaking for themselves. We launched Renaissance Women Productions, because there were so many young women who wanted to work in the industry, but who were not comfortable with the Hollywood dynamic, where they were afraid they would have to compromise their integrity just to get a job.

Renaissance Women Productions is a faith-based organization where people are safe. They can express their opinion on faith or conservative politics without fear occupational reprisal. Everyone here is able to learn and expand their craft without judgment.

Parker – RWP offers something of an apprenticeship for young filmmakers, is that a valid assessment?

Nina – Yes. We have professional crew members that the students shadow. They are trained in every phase of production, from writing scripts and narration, to set and costume design, staging, filming, and editing. They are given the opportunity to be in front of the camera, as well as behind it. From pre-production to post, they are even responsible for sound and music in the projects they produce. We’re very proud of our finished products.

That doesn’t mean everything is easy. Its challenging to get everyone on the same page. Sometimes we’ll have to shoot the same scene over several days, thinking outside the box, solving problems that you can’t just throw money at. We see a problem and solve it on set.

Parker – So, is Renaissance Women Productions just for women?

Nina – Oh, no. We have lots of guys involved with our productions, particularly in crew positions. But we do put an emphasis on women, because we wanted to attract and encourage women who didn’t want to compromise their morals.

Parker – Tell me about your episodic series, “Daily Bread.”

Nina – “Daily Bread” is a post-apocalyptic story with a twist. Unlike most of its counterparts on the market today, which depict the civilization-ending event as man-made and results in mass destruction, zombies and incurable viruses, “Daily Bread” posits a natural phenomenon as the cause. And it’s hopeful. It’s about thriving, not just surviving. It’s set in a world where all electric power is completely knocked out, making things like cell phones and the Internet obsolete. We wanted to target Millennials, the first generation born with a cell phone in their hands. We wanted to see what would happen if we ‘unplug’ everyone.

Parker – Is “Daily Bread” available for people to watch, or is it in Coming Soon mode?

Nina – “Daily Bread” is streamable and downloadable on Christian.Cinema.com, VHX, RWPVideo.org, Amazon.com. It’s also available on DVD for folks who don’t have access to high speed Internet. We’re pondering going the broadcast route, but we need to weigh the options.

Parker – Last words?

Nina – We would love for people who want to learn the editing and behind the scenes production to join us. We keep a file of resumes, pictures and clips. We’d love for anyone interested in becoming an intern or who just wants to learn more about what we do to visit us online at http://www.renaissancewomenproductions.com

With all the stuff that is happening in Hollywood, all the intimidation, it really shows that what we do is needed. There is a need for other companies that allow actors to be safe, to work without the stress of having to compromise their integrity in order to work.