Life Fine Tuned at Athens Friday
“Life Fine Tuned,” the independent film produced and directed by Stetson alumna Nina O’Keefe May ’74, will be screened Friday, Dec. 20, 6:30 p.m., at the Athens Theatre, 124 N. Florida Ave. in downtown DeLand.
A graduate in fine arts and humanities, May credits Stetson with giving her the preparation and guidance she needed to be successful in the entertainment industry. She began working in radio, working on a daily radio show. Her career 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. 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. May and her husband, Colby May ’75, also a Stetson alum, met when they were students at Stetson, and now reside in McLean, Va.
For ticket information, contact the Athens Theatre (386-736-1500) in downtown DeLand.