New York City is without a doubt a global mecca for film production. But how many of those films are made for entertainment and commercial purposes, versus pure enlightenment and honoring this city’s greatest legends?
“In this golden age of issue-focused documentaries, we strive to stand out as a character-based filmmaking production company,” says David Williams, president of Real4d and NYC-based filmmaker.
He created Real4d as an LLC to research, film, and produce the passion project, titled Uncommon Woman. And with that, Real4d.NYC was born as a website.
Williams gives us a rundown of the film: “The business started with a conversation between two opera and film lovers who wished to honor one of the world's first women opera directors, Rhoda Levine. She directed the world premiere of Porgy and Bess in South Africa. And the world premiere of Der Kaiser von Atlantis, an opera discovered after World War II in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. The composer and writer had been murdered in Auschwitz. At 88 years old, still living in her NYC apartment in the West Village, Rhoda is the subject of our film which is now in post-production.”
From conceiving the idea to hiring a film crew, the underlying theme of Uncommon Woman has served as Williams’ North Star. “Filled with teachable moments for those who want to know more about the history of women of influence, and those who care deeply about the arts and the lives that make them, An Uncommon Woman is a master class,” says Williams.
But film production is so much more than shooting artistic scenes, compelling interviews, and editing together beautiful, historic footage. Creating a film requires entrepreneurial grit and a knack for fundraising.
“Our feature-length documentary has completed all filming and now seeks financing supporters to complete editing and post-production,” says Williams. “All financial support for the project is fully tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsor, Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) in Brooklyn, New York.”
As a former executive director of a nonprofit, Williams is aware that networking is key for raising money, but ensuring a digital presence for the project is equally essential. Williams launched Real4d.nyc, a domain he obtained for free via ownit.nyc, as a creative hub for Uncommon Woman. In addition to sizzle reels and an About page to give visitors a sneak peek into his project and the life of Rhoda, the website also features a Scrapbook that offers behind-the-scenes of the project, with shots of interviewees and film crews. Perhaps most importantly, is the Donate tab at the top, a button that may be the key to whether or not this documentary will come to full completion.
The post-production budget is broken into two funding tranches, $50,000 and $35,000.
William’s goal is to premiere the film on Rhoda’s 90th birthday, June 15, 2022. Although fundraising amid uncertain times seems like a lofty goal, Williams is driven by his passion for storytelling, and that many others will also believe “that this woman’s life must not be forgotten. Nor overlooked.”