We had the good fortune of connecting with Melvin Graham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melvin, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
I believe my company Render Squad Industries LLC, helps the community and the world by creating films and media to tell stories that go untold. With a camera and audio equipment, we take on issues that are not often highlighted or showcased on popular platforms. In a very clever and innovative way, we’re able to inform and inspire people visually. Currently we have a Docuseries in production titled Black Business LA, where we highlight Black-owned business, tell their story, and cover the importance of Black American economic survival. As a filmmaker that owns a production company, I strongly feel that the content we produce must speak Black issues and present it in a proper light.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is life through pixels. It could be telling a story through film, media, or voicing my viewpoint on social media platforms. The intended purpose of my art is to inspire and use it in ways to get my community to react by thinking. What sets me apart from others is that I know my purpose, and I’m not guesstimating when it comes to creating content specifically for Black Americans.
I’m most proud of finding my lane or niche in life, where I know in many ways, I’m making an impact rather large or small. Being a product of dedication and hard work allowed me to navigate life in ways where I didn’t become a prisoner of my own shortcoming. It wasn’t easy, considering all the sleepless nights of studying and staying inspired by criticism, though criticism is necessary in being a compelling storyteller. My company, Render Squad Industries LLC, is built on the principles of hard work and dedication, while daring to be a creative visionary despite starting without the best financial circumstances.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend were visiting Los Angeles for a week, we would go to Manhattan Beach and enjoy the beautiful views followed by Lemert Park to engage in cultural experiences and activities. We would go to Simply Wholesome, Earle’s of
Crenshaw, Smakked, and Stuff I Eat in terms of restaurants. Some of the most fun places to go, from my viewpoint, would be Murphy’s Ranch, Naples Island, and concerts at the Hollywood Bowl in non-pandemic conditions of course.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to Umaar and Sharon Norwood of Nappily Naturals in Lemert Park. A husband-and-wife team recognized there were not enough culturally inspired natural beauty and health stores in their community. With the plethora of challenges Black Americans face economically, Mr. and Mrs. Norwood represent a change in terms of investment and growth health-wise that is extremely important.