Black Wonder Woman was the theme in the air at The DGA African American Steering Committee’s Tribute to director Gina Prince-Bythewood. On May 25th, Gina made history when it was announced that she would be directing Spider-Man spin off “Silver and Black”. She is the first African American woman to be at the helm of a major superhero blockbuster film! Then a week later Wonder Woman drops and grosses $103.3 million domestically and $228.3 million worldwide directed by a woman! It is truly an amazing time for women in filmmaking. Between Wonder Woman and honoring Gina, I’m feeling pretty confident about taking over the world!
As the theater filled up I felt such a joy to just be in the room, to stand in agreement with so many folks to honor, celebrate and recognize the “quiet storm” that is Gina Prince-Bythewood. She truly exemplifies grace, talent and light! As I watched the video package on her career, listened to the incredible speeches made by colleagues and friends, and leaned in for the talkback moderated by Robert Townsend my brain was just spinning. I laughed, I cried, I was overwhelmed with joy and inspiration. The speeches kicked off with Sanaa Lathan as she walks us through her road to Monica Parks. Lena Waithe gave us a hysterical story from her assistant days with Bythewood, and her mission to get Whoppi Goldberg on the phone. I’m convinced Susan Fales- Hill needs her own sitcom after her description of Gina’s oversized men shirts and baggy jeans to cover all the junk in the trunk in the writers room. Bestie Felicia D. Henderson’s gives us tales of Gina being a ride or die who always rides the bus when the limo breaks down. Aisha Hinds from Mrs.BytheWood’s latest epic television event, Shots Fired took us on a journey of walking in your purpose that had the whole house holding back tears.
Many know Gina’s journey began in the writer’s room of “A Different World” yet she had a burning desire, to direct. The first film she ever directed happened because she simply asked. She didn’t necessarily believe anyone would give her shot, but she wrote it and put herself out there and the producers said YES!
Take away: ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT! As I mentioned on my last post, 13 Reasons Why, I wrote my first short film. Listening to Gina be so transparent about her fears as a writer, resonated so much with me.
“Does anyone even want to see this story” – Gina Prince- Bythewood.
That’s exactly where I was with my script. I was questioning is it good enough? Fear started creeping up as I thought about the actuality of making this story yet being in this room gave me a peace about it. THIS IS TOTALLY NORMAL! Gina is a lover of music and creates a playlists for all of her scripts. I almost lost it, because there is definitely a Broken playlist on my Apple Music right now! Having that “mirror” moment that a woman I have so much admiration and respect for has a habit in her writing process that I have as well. That was a confirmation for me. I love it when God’s whisper happens! Events like these keep the hope alive in a town that can be really difficult.
THANK YOU DGA AFRICAN AMERICAN STEERING COMMITTEE!
AND THANK YOU GINA PRINCE BYTHEWOOD
FOR ALL OF WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU DO!