D’Angela Proctor is the Founder of Undaunted Content, a minority and women’s certified consulting firm and production company aimed at empowering diverse voices in entertainment. She recently executive produced and directed “Keyshia Cole: This is My Story” (Lifetime), executive produced “The Holiday Stocking” (Hallmark), “Line Sisters” (Lifetime), and “Eggs Over Easy” (OWN). Undaunted Content is currently working on a host of projects, including collaborations with Netflix, Lifetime, and Hallmark. She is the former CEO of Justin Baldoni’s Wayfarer Entertainment, Head of Production & Business Development at Code black, a Lionsgate Company, and Head of Original Programming & Production at TV One. Proctor also consulted for such clients as Ava DuVernay’s Array Filmworks, Hulu, Kendrick Sampson’s BLD PWR, a confidential production company, and SPAC. Proctor is also a recipient of several industry awards, including seven NAACP Image Awards, a GLAAD Award, and NAMIC Vision Awards.
Before becoming a network executive, Proctor was a film and television production veteran, having co-owned and operated Strange Fruit Media for 15 years. In this capacity, among many independent projects, she served as an executive producer and creative consultant to BET at the helm of multiple projects, including NAACP Image Award winner “Sunday Best.” Before entering the media business, the Houston, Texas native practiced labor and employment defense law at Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she litigated cases for clients in the banking, public utilities, and corporate sectors. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Spelman College and a Juris Doctorate and Master’s in Leadership from Duquesne University.
We had the unique of opportunity of sitting down with D’Angela to discussion her early start, what’s important to her and the future of her platform.
Outside of the entertainment world, who is D’Angela Proctor?
Outside of entertainment, I am a mother, sister, daughter, and friend. In the professional realm, I am an advisor, investor, and VC enthusiast. Above all, I love God.
Take us back to the very beginning, when did you realize you had a passion for creating and sharing the stories of others?
In retrospect, I’ve always had a passion for creating stories and experiences. Although I may not have had the precise terminology to express it, my journey as a producer and storyteller began in elementary school when I directed and produced a Christmas play featuring superheroes like Wonder Woman. As I progressed to high school, I continued my creative pursuits by organizing and producing parties. I would rent local venues, hire the hottest local DJs, handwrite the flyers, and distribute them at sports events. The themed parties were a huge success. Even as the editor of my award-winning high school newspaper, I laid out each issue with a ruler, X-Acto knife, and glue, honing my storytelling skills through journalism. I also won an essay contest that allowed me to be the Mayor of Houston for a day. My passion carried through to my time as the Social Chairperson of the Student Government Association at Spelman College. I organized and produced events throughout the Atlanta University Center, producing fashion shows and hosting parties. Looking back, my journey has been a continuous exploration of my passion for storytelling and entertainment.
How exactly did you get your start into film and production?
The path to my film and production career began with a significant shift in my professional journey. After completing law school and working at a prominent law firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I realized my true passion lay in creativity. Seeking opportunities in the entertainment field, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia, hoping to pursue a career in entertainment law. However, when I couldn’t find a job in that field, I interned at LaFace Records, where I reconnected with a former classmate from Morehouse College. This classmate introduced me to my future business partner, who ran a successful concert booking agency. Spending time with her at her company, we observed the burgeoning music video business in Atlanta, with various record companies flying in directors and producers to create their artists’ music videos. Recognizing an untapped opportunity in the market, we decided to launch our own production company, focusing on producing music videos. During the first year of operating Strange Fruit, one of our directors sent us a script to give to Jermaine Dupri for potential financing. Rather than doing so, we cobbled together the money and flew to Los Angeles to make a movie. These steps marked the beginning of my journey in the film and production industry.
Tell us about your company “Undaunted Content”?
Undaunted Content was founded in 2019, building upon my 20+ year experience in the entertainment industry. Initially, Undaunted Content was established as a consulting vehicle, where I lent out my services as a consultant in the entertainment field. Previously, I had owned and operated Strange Fruit Media, a production company, for over 15 years. Additionally, I had served as Head of Original Programming and Production at TV One, a cable network, and held a position as a studio executive at a Lionsgate business division. After consulting for several months, I became the CEO of a social impact production company. However, after Covid-related issues impacted that role, I saw an opportunity to re-imagine Undaunted Content as a full-service production company. Since its reinvigoration, Undaunted Content has been involved in various notable projects. We executive produced “Eggs Over Easy,” a documentary focusing on infertility in Black women. We also executive produced “Line Sisters,” an original movie for Lifetime, “The Holiday Stocking,” an original movie for Hallmark, and most recently, “Keyshia Cole: This Is My Story,” a Lifetime movie. Undaunted Content continues to create impactful and compelling content while providing expert consulting services to clients in the entertainment industry.
Why is it important for your firm to focus in on sharing the stories of minority women?
While Undaunted Content may tell stories about minority women, its primary objective is to provide opportunities for Black storytellers to have their voices heard and talents supported. Undaunted Content aims to work with Black talent in telling all types of stories, no matter the origin. Just as white people can tell Black stories, Black people can and should be able to tell stories about and featuring white people. Undaunted Content is driven by the mission to fearlessly and authentically portray diverse perspectives.
You have been apart of so many amazing projects, what message do you hope women takeaway from your work as a whole?
While Undaunted Content is just getting started, its body of work reflects the complexity of life and the diversity of human experiences. Through our projects, we aim to convey the message that life is seldom black or white and that embracing the concept of “yes, and” allows for a more nuanced understanding of various issues. We want everyone to take away the idea that multiple perspectives can coexist and that people, especially Black people, are not monolithic. Instead, we represent a spectrum of experiences and cultures. Undaunted Content seeks to tell stories that resonate with the fullness of humanity, capturing the voices and experiences of marginalized communities, including Black women. By doing so, we hope to inspire audiences to see the world through a broader lens and appreciate the richness and sameness of the human experience.
You have worked with multiple companies in different sectors, what would you say has been your greatest lesson thus far?
The greatest lesson I’ve learned throughout my diverse career, from being an attorney to a television executive, studio executive, producer, and director, is that every step of my journey has served a purpose. Looking back, I realize I was always right where I was supposed to be at the right time. Each experience, whether practicing law or owning a production company, has acted as a building block for the next opportunity.
Practicing labor and employment defense law improved my abilities as a businesswoman and producer. Running a production company and working as a seller made me a more effective buyer while heading original programming and production at TV One. My roles as an executive producer, showrunner, and television executive prepared me for my role as a studio executive at Lionsgate. My tenure at Lionsgate reinforced my confidence in my abilities to succeed in the media industry anywhere I went. My time as a consultant further shaped my readiness for a C-suite position, and once I held that role, I realized I was more than capable of doing so.
All these experiences culminated in the creation of Undaunted Content, a venture that draws upon all my previous experiences. Looking back, I feel a deep sense of confirmation that I was meant to move forward with my own company, benefiting from all the knowledge and expertise gained on my journey. This realization reaffirms that I am on the right path and exactly where I am meant to be.
What advice do you have for the next group of young entrepreneurs looking to get their start in the entertainment industry?
My advice is to be fearless for the next group of young entrepreneurs looking to make their mark in the entertainment industry. I named my company “Undaunted” as a constant reminder of the courage required for success in this business, and the same holds true for any entrepreneurial venture. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart or those who shy away from risks. It is a journey for the brave, those willing to be bold, face challenges head-on, and embrace uncertainty.
What is next for D’Angela Proctor?
My focus in the coming months is to hone my skills as a director. By adding directing to my toolkit, I am strengthening my positioning in the entertainment industry. Being a multi-hyphenate in this business can be crucial to running a successful full-service production company. In addition to honing her skills as a director, I am also actively seeking the financial resources to scale Undaunted Content.
What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles?
In my view, a pretty woman who hustles possesses courage and determination and recognizes the value of a strong team. She acknowledges when she needs support and builds a team around her. As a leader, she knows when to take charge and when to listen to others’ perspectives, fostering collaboration. She measures her words thoughtfully and conveys her ideas effectively. She balances grace and assertiveness. She exemplifies strength yet remains approachable and empathetic.
Connect with D’Angela:
Social Media Handles: IG: @deeproctor & Twitter:@Dee_Proctor