Writer and Director, Regina Hoyles, Talks Bringing NAPS To Life| PWW
Being able to have shows and movies to relate to is one thing, but being the creative genius behind these works is another!
NAPS is a web series that I ran into a few months ago and I had the amazing opportunity to interview creator and executive producer of the series, Regina Hoyles!
Along with dealing with the behind the scenes, Regina also plays the main character Maya. The series captures the life of the recent college grad trying to reach her dreams as a writer/director while also dealing with her natural hair. If you want to get to know more about Regina and the series, keep reading.
Originally from the south suburbs of Chicago, Regina recently made the big move to LA after receiving her Bachelors in Fine Arts from New York University’s Tisch School of Arts.
“My life these past few weeks and honestly the past few months have shown me that I’m honestly bi-coastal often hopping between Chicago, NY and LA. I mainly act, write and produce right now but I’m also a video editor and singer.”
Regina had aspirations to be in the film industry at a young age and finally began her journey at 9-years-old.
“Honestly a lot of how I got started is because of my parents especially my mom. She went ABOVE and beyond for me more so than I think the average parent would when it comes to a child wanting to be an entertainer.”
After being exposed to the lights, cameras, and action of it all, Regina continued on into the adulthood with her parents continuing to support her dreams. Inspired by many great actors like Raven-Symoné and Will Smith, she continues to hustle to make her dreams her reality.
Bringing NAPS to the Web
“It started as an idea a couple of years ago that I just wrote down, then one day in my studio apartment in NYC while my co-executive producer was over, I started to tell her more about the idea, and she was like really encouraging and suddenly it turned into me writing a bunch of stuff down and outlining, and brainstorming with her and then about a week later I sat up one night and just typed up all 6 scripts in one sitting and thus, NAPS was born.”
Watch Official Trailer Above
With NAPS being her first large scale production it definitely became a learning experience. Bringing the series to life she knew she couldn’t do it alone and looked into her network of friends and people she could trust to help bring the series to life.
“One of the biggest lessons I learned is how incredibly helpful it is to have a director. It fully makes sense to me looking back why shows utilize directors in different episodes even when the main character is also the EP or the showrunner. It is just very helpful to have another eye and if they do their job really well, they will only elevate what you have envisioned. Also, assistant directors save LIVES. That job is something SERIOUS so shout out to all the assistant directors out there.”
Navigating As A Millennial Through Film
When it comes to creativity having work that is relatable can go along way. The main character, Maya, has experiences not only inspired by Regina’s life, but they are also some that most young black millennials can relate to when reflecting on their life. Not only does the series deal with natural hair, but it also deals with life after college, getting into your dream career, friendships, and much more.
“…It was an experience I knew very well. My time in college very much became one giant experiment when it came to my natural hair so I would be balancing this while also being a student and a creative in the world so it always felt like this extra layer that not everyone had to deal with.”
“Something special happens when you make the work personal. Often times you hear that the more specific you get, the more universal your work becomes.”
With being an independent filmmaker and content creator standing out and getting all your hard work recognized is a task in itself. There are no instruction guides to the industry, but there’s always gems that can be dropped along the way to keep that spark in every creator.
“The minute you hone in on exactly what it is that YOU know, people will start tuning in.”
“It’s very rare that people want to be a part of the journey as it’s just beginning in the trenches but people LOVE to get on a moving train. Also, when you find those people who DO drag through the trenches with you expecting nothing in return, keep them close. They are special”
Though the film industry has been progressing when it comes to proper representation there is still work that needs to be done and barriers that need to be broken. There will always be a story that needs to be written and told and it’s important that it’s being told properly.
“There’s something unsettling about me going to panel after panel where I listen to prominent creators of color speak and then I look to the right or left of me where their team stands and 9.9 times out of 10 I turn to look at a wall of white.”
When asked what barriers she wants to break through and changes she wants to see in film she said:
“MORE PEOPLE OF COLOR BEHIND THE SCENES. Behind EVERY scene. And if I’m being even more personal, more BLACK people behind the scenes. The five that I know you can name off the top of your head are not enough. We have Black people behind the scenes currently who are putting in SO much work and are also encouraging there to be more. Don’t get me wrong there are some AMAZING teams behind some of today’s biggest celebrities/entertainers. And I see these teams at the numerous events I attend (agents, managers, PR etc.) supporting their clients.”
NAPS is only the beginning for Regina and her team. The series continues grace the big screens of many festivals such as NYC Web Fest, Big Apple Film Festival, ITVFest, and many others. When asked if there were any more projects in the works she said:
“There are! When I have more to show for it I will speak on those things but RLH Productions currently does have a working slate of projects.”
Outside of following her passion I wanted to know what Regina enjoyed doing when she’s not creating.
“I truly do enjoy going to the movies. And I’m talking about actually GOING. I love sitting in a movie theater and go on a lot of movie dates with my fiancé. I also love to cook. It’s a creative experience and I’m actually pretty good at it. I also love to eat so there’s that.”
I couldn’t end the interview without knowing what being a phenomenal woman means to a girl boss like Regina:
“Knowing that who you are is not an accident and that what is for you is for you, always.”
Watch the series