Watch: Ava DuVernay’s Filmmaker Keynote Address At 2013 Film Independent Forum | Shadow and Act

via Watch: Ava DuVernay’s Filmmaker Keynote Address At 2013 Film Independent Forum | Shadow and Act.

I haven’t seen any of Ava DuVernay’s work yet, but I loved this keynote address and think it’s useful for anyone who is a media creator/artist. (She’s also directing an upcoming episode of Scandal, episode 308, so I’ll get to see a bit of her style then.)

All of the things that we try to do while trying to move forward in the industry is time not working on your screenplay [insert what your art is & what you’re supposed to be doing to work on it]. All the time you’re focusing– trying to grab– ‘I need this, I need this, I don’t have this–‘, you’re being desperate, you’re not doing. All that stuff is not active, it’s not moving you forward. All of the so called ‘action’ is hinging on someone doing something for you. Does that make sense? […]

The only thing that moves you forward is your work. […]

If you channel your desperation towards things you have, it’s passion. If you channel it towards things you don’t have, it’s desperation. It’s stagnation. […]

My whole thing, what I want is to be making films as a senior citizen. When I look at senior citizens making films, they’re only white guys. There’s no black, female Woody Allen. Or Mike Nichols. Like Clint Eastwood? Just imagine a bad ass black woman, walking like Clint, ‘I don’t care! I’m gonna say whatever I wanna say!” You’re old as hell, you’ve made a gang of films, say what you wanna say! I wanna be her. Old and making films. American women making films, black women making films into old age, actively and consistently. I wanna be Werner Herzog, I have so many films, I don’t know their names. I wanna be that. […] I just want consistency and longevity.

Watch the whole thing, you may get a nugget of something.

 

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ConStar Studies Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

Issa Rae is living the dream these days. Create your own YouTube show, have it become a viral sensation, get people like Shonda Rhimes to get you to write stuff with/for them, get your own show picked up by HBO! This is one of the new models of this age for writers and actors to get their work out there. And this is especially inspiring because she is a black woman. It’s hard for non-industry connected people of color to get in the business (I don’t know Issa Rae’s connections but the thought still stands for me) so having all of these avenues is a blessing. And it’s great to see someone out there making the new system work for them. I still need to finish season 2 of misadventures of Awkward Black Girl but I will and I hope Issa’s show does well. We need more black television (it seems to me that we’re at a serious low in the number of black scripted television shows) and we need more television that showcases the different sides to black women in general.