How Writer-Director-Activist Duo Bush+Renz Write
#PodcastersForJustice Writer-director duo and activists, Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz (AKA Bush+Renz), took a timeout to chat with me about storytelling to amplify social justice, hanging out with Jay-Z, their debut feature film “Antebellum,” and why you need stamina to make it.
“When we conceived Antebellum, we did not – could not – envision the way that systemic racism would break through to force the meaningful conversation we desperately need. But it has.” – Gerard Bush
The duo have been together for 12 years and got their start in advertising in Miami. After losing the taste for producing champagne commercials they pivoted to their “… passion for telling powerful stories of the disenfranchised, marginalized, and underrepresented.”
After their police brutality PSA “Against the Wall,” starring Michael B. Jordan, went viral, their paths shifted toward Hollywood.
Their chart-topping, timely, debut feature film is “Antebellum” starring Janelle Monae, a “… psychological thriller showcasing the stark reality of being black in America.”
Variety named the film a Top 10 Best Film of 2020 and called it, “… a wickedly effective horror-movie metaphor for white supremacy’s enduring grip on American society.”
Bush+Renz’s mission is to amplify weighty social justice issues including climate change, LGBTQ equality, women’s equality, voter suppression, mass incarceration, and more.
If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews. In this file Bush+Renz and I talked about:
- Their unique perspectives and how they came to work in politics and social justice
- How Antebellum began as a short story
- The exhaustive research that went into their first film and the prescience that made them believers
- What it’s like to be tapped by HBO
- And more!