On her way to becoming one of Hollywood’s most prominent black female writer-directors, Gina Prince-Bythwood has heard the appropriate part of her “no” word.
However, the director of the “Old Guard” says that overcoming the fear of failure is the key to his success. As a young man he walked the basketball court with the same swagger he walked to every meeting to fight against his own self-doubt.
During a virtual roundtable hosted by the Television Academy Foundation and exclusively covered, Prince-Bytewood said, “I literally shudder before the meetings.” Diversity. “Walking in a house is scary and you have to convince people to pay millions of dollars and you have to believe that and convince them that you are the best person telling the story, but you do it out of curiosity.”
Prince-Beithwood took part in a private conversation Wednesday night with the Foundation’s 50 summer interns. The conversation, hosted by his longtime friend Mara Brock Achilles (“Black Lightning,” Girlfriends, “The Game”), was held to celebrate the “Old Guard” – which is on its way to becoming one of Netflix’s most watched movies to date – and because of the Prince-Bythewood Foundation. An alumnus of the internship program (the paid internship program has been running since 191; Prince Bythwood was an intern in 1991).
This conversation was when students were asked questions, people asked for advice on finding a job during COVID-19, and how Prince-Byrthwood and Brock Achilles took to navigating Hollywood as black women when a white man’s perspective dominated the industry. Prince-Byrthwood began by acknowledging Hollywood’s constitutional racism, saying, “There is no doubt about it.”
“The first thing I did was write the instruction I wrote. And I did it because I realized that very quickly no one sends scripts directly to me, so I have to create my own opportunities, ”Prince-Bytewood explained.“ I was the first listener. I have to write what I want to see and then I hope others will want to see it too. But the story about us [people of color] The hardest thing to make in this industry. “
Prince-Bytewood also discussed his progress in the action genre and hinted at instructing the pilot for Marvel’s “Clove and Dagger” as an important step along the way.
“I went on to say, ‘I like action movies. I love Marvel movies. [But] I will never get a chance because Hollywood will not succeed. ‘My little boy is telling me’ How can I not see myself as a superhero? ” I think I’m an artist like ‘Wow, I’m’ and I’m not giving my boys what they need and what they want, ‘”Prince-Bytewood recalled.
Shortly after this realization, however, came the call with a script for the Marvel Freeform show.
“I went into that room with such crazy emotions, because I have no steps in my biography or visual effects. So, [I thought] ‘What can I sell? What can I push? ‘And I knew I could carry on a great character and story,” he said. “And they liked what I said about my vision for the Marvel TV that I sat down with, and really, the action thing never comes to the fore.”
“I have learned a lot [‘Cloak & Dagger’], But it also started to get me into conversations, talking to Marvel by the side of the film and then I went to the ‘Silver and Black’ room. And it was a huge deal, ”he continued.
Although the Sony-Marvel film didn’t make it to the end, Prince-Bytewood said, “I worked on what I learned that year and a half, I was able to take on the ‘Old Guard’ so that it wouldn’t be this giant jump, it was just A step. “
“The idea of everything in this city and the fact that I was suddenly considered a woman who ‘likes and can act’ – although I never shot anything, it doesn’t matter – I was on that short list now , “He said.
“So when the ‘Old Guard’ happened, Skydance was working more intentionally than a female director for the property.” “But the other surprise was, when I walked into the house, they said I was there for ‘Love and Basketball’ and ‘Out of the Light’.” The two films they liked – and what they wanted in dramas they wanted in ‘Old Guard’, to make it look like an action drama as opposed to an action film. “