Instagram: @Hustle_City_Akeel

By Fabiola Cineas

 Standing at a commanding 6’5”, Akeel Nelson maneuvered his way around set with the boom strategically suspended above the talent. Nelson showed everyone that there is more than what meets the eye when witnessing a boom operator in action--holding a boom pole takes resilience and loads of arm strength. He was the star of the set’s one-man sound department and gave his creativity to other departments as well. Read more about Nelson and his work on the set of The Nurturing of Men below.


How’d you come to work on the set of The Nurturing of Men? I worked with Lionel on the set of Fangirl some time back. He was pretty controlling as an AD on that set, and we didn’t really communicate on a personal level. So I was shocked when he approached me for my contact information when that project was over. He told me he would get me more work. And after that he called me a few times to work. And ever since then we’ve been working together.

And what was your chief role on the set? I was the sound department.

How did the set of The Nurturing of Men differ from other productions you’ve worked on? I had never looked into being in the sound department. So being in that role on a set was new for me. I’m always flexible so it worked, but sound was just never something I talked myself into. But now I realize how important it is and also how much fun it is.

And what were your impressions of the script? When I read the script I felt like it spoke to issues that needed to be addressed. Like having self-control as a man. I felt like it was something I could identify with. It’ll be a good thing to see.

What qualities do you look for in a director? A good director works hard and stays true to the vision. If he sees something more coming out of the story, something more that his actors are allowing him to see and he is also able to let things evolve, those are the kinds of qualities that make a powerful director.

Did you see those qualities manifested on set? I definitely saw a lot of discussion between the actors and the director. They were trying to figure out how the actions would play out best, and they were trying to do what feels natural. Everyone brought their own experiences into the process.

So it sounds like you are open to different opportunities in the field. How did you get your start in the industry? I went to Old Westbury for Media Communications. That wasn’t exactly “in the industry” but it was a start. A friend of a friend brought me onto Fangirl and ever since then I haven’t left.

So what keeps you going? There’s something different everyday and I have access to a lot of things I wouldn’t normally have access to. This has kept me pushing.I feel the real world is better than school. I learn so much; everyday has a new lesson for me.