Film produced by alumna at Athens 12-20
Stetson alumna Nina O’Keefe May ’74, can say with confidence that she has achieved many of the goals she had set for herself, working in the entertainment industry. But she is very happy now to share her latest accomplishment with the Stetson University community. Life Fine Tuned, an award winning, family friendly film, was produced by May, and will be screened at the Athens Theatre on Dec. 20. The Athens is located at 124 N. Florida Ave., DeLand. The DeLand premier is open to the public. You can learn more about the movie (the promotional poster is pictured, right) at LifeFineTuned.org, and RenaissanceWomenProductions.com.
May began working in radio, working on a daily radio show. Her career slowly began to escalate as her prior job at the radio station expanded to television where she began producing and hosting her show. During this job, May spent a great amount of time in the editing booth, producing the shows the way she wanted them to be presented. She used this time to learn how to edit, using a new program called Final Cut Pro. Her skills and natural talents working with film led her to begin creating small, then larger, documentaries. Through her educational non-profit company, Renaissance Foundation, May and her coworkers began training interns, teaching them how to edit and produce documentaries. After years of directing, producing and editing documentaries, TV shows, commercials and educational films, May and her coworkers decided to create a feature length film.
Initially intended as a training tool through which the interns would learn the many different aspects of the film and entertainment industry, the feature, Life Fine Tuned, is the culmination of their efforts. The interns were able to shadow a professional crew and complete tasks both in front of and behind the camera, giving them the opportunity to gain an understanding of this field in a way that was completely hands-on.
The actors in the film were required to show acting talent, but they had to be undiscovered, having no agents or managers. May described the hiring process as similar to TV’s American Idol, where people, often unknown, audition and have the opportunity to learn from experience while getting their name out there. May said she was pleased to give all of the students who participated in the making of the film such a great opportunity.
Life Fine Tuned is the recipient of many awards, including the Top Applause Award at the 2012 International Family Film Festival in Hollywood, and has served as a great starting point for those who took part in its production. “At least half the cast and crew have gone on to other projects and many now have agents and managers,” she said. “The experience this film gave these members has allowed them to emerge into their careers.
“Stetson was a wonderful experience where I was exposed to many creative outlets and it is where I learned to write and express my thoughts for a variety of outlets,” May said. “I learned to write commentary as well as creative works. It was a great atmosphere to grow, develop and explore,” she said. Graduating in fine arts and humanities, May credits Stetson with giving her the preparation and guidance she needed to be successful in her chosen field. May and her husband, Colby May ’75, also a Stetson alum, reside in McLean, Va.
For ticket information, contact the Athens Theatre in downtown DeLand.
by Courtney Allbee