Nicco Renna has always loved to tell stories. Now the 2012 Baylor graduate is doing something he never thought possible: he is telling stories as his career.
After college, Renna worked on the set of “Fixer Upper” for its first season, but independent storytelling was always in the back of his mind. With this goal he created Orature Media. His company is based out of Austin and tells the stories of people from all over the world through documentaries, books and audio pieces. Their website describes the company as,, “driven by a passion to chronicle the stories that shape our lives.”
Renna dates his love of storytelling back to when he was 5years old, but developed his passions and skills further at Baylor in the film and digital media program. In fact, he said one of thing that drew him to Baylor is its history. Renna said he loves that Baylor was established while Texas was a republic and he loves the deep Texas roots within Baylor.
“In film, a lot of people say a degree is pointless, but I wholeheartedly disagree,” Renna said. “I have a deeper appreciation for the art because of my education. There is no way I would be where I am today without Baylor and without my education.”
Currently, Renna is working on a film called “100 Years of Change: The Story of the Last Century Told by the Centenarians Who Lived It.” Renna said the film highlights several centenarians who remember World War I and fought in World War II, grew up during the Great Depression and saw the Great Recession, learned how to drive behind a horse and now can hail a cab by pushing a button on their phone.
One of the main subjects of the film is the second oldest living veteran, Richard Overton.
“He is a whiskey-drinking, god-fearing, good old Texan who happens to have fought in World War II and has lived to the age of 109, soon to be 110 come May 11,” Renna said. “He has not let his age slow him down. He still lives at his house that he designed and built in the ‘30s, and has an extremely active social life.”
Through this film, Renna said he hopes to highlight the amazing stories the everyday American has and show how important it is to record their history.
Kathy Guarino heard about the work Renna was doing through a family friend. She fell in love with the idea of a documentary to remember her family by and decided to ask Renna to come to New York and make a documentary around the celebration of her mother’s 90th birthday.
“This film is by far the most amazing thing I have ever been part of,” Guarino said. “The film they made for us is amazing, even people outside of our family are mesmerized when they watch it.”
For that documentary Renna talked to 19 of Guarino’s family members and commemorated celebrations and remembered times of tragedy the family members faced in their long lives.
“I love seeing the families remember their good and bad times and see that they stayed together through it all and came out better for it,” Renna said. “Stories are what drives us. History should never be forgotten and I hope I can help people remember.”