Gina Prince-Bythewood

Gina Prince-Bythewood

Director & Screenwriter


Skydance

Encino, CA USA


When you get those ‘no, no, noes,’ you can sometimes start to believe them...but there will be somebody out there who will see what I see. It’s about fighting for that one ‘yes.’

Videos

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Gina Prince-Bythewood

Highlight
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01:06
Gina Prince-Bythewood HighlightInterview Highlight
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04:45
InterviewThe Interview
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01:08
Being Shy, But DeterminedWeb Exclusive
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01:11
Follow Your PassionWeb Exclusive
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01:52
Fighting Against StereotypesWeb Exclusive
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01:09
Transitioning From Screenwriting To DirectingWeb Exclusive
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01:33
Seeing Yourself Represented In MediaWeb Exclusive
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00:55
Advice For People Pursuing A Career In The Entertainment IndustryInterview Excerpt
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01:51
Dealing With Self-DoubtInterview Excerpt
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01:09
Stay True To YourselfInterview Excerpt
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00:47
Overcoming RejectionInterview Excerpt
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Milestones

Milestones

My road in life has been direct.
Grew up Pacific Grove, California.
Was adopted at three weeks old.
When she was seven years old, her family’s TV broke and her parents decided not to replace it—she began reading up to 20 books a week, which she says sparked her love of writing and stories.
Attended UCLA, where she received her degree in film and television studies—was initially rejected from the film school, but she appealed the decision and was granted admission.
Got the opportunity to intern and apprentice as a writer on the television show “A Different World.”
After writing for television for over five years, she decided to take a year off and wrote the screenplay for “Love & Basketball.”
After having the script get turned down by every major studio she pitched it to, Sundance ended up taking on the project and gave her the resources to direct and develop the film.
She has also directed films such as “The Secret Life of Bees” and “Beyond the Lights” and recently directed the pilot episode of Marvel’s forthcoming superhero show, “Cloak & Dagger.”
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Film/Cinema/Video Studies
University of California-Los Angeles
Career

Career

Director & Screenwriter

I'm a director & screenwriter known for "Love & Basketball" & "The Secret Life of Bees."

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Film
Film
Writing
Writing
Communicating / Sharing Stories
Communicating / Sharing Stories

Day to Day

As a director, I go through shots, am the first person on set, have breakfast, walk through the day, crew and cast arrive, do a rehearsal, then start shooting. At the end of the day, I thank the crew, watch dailies of the previous day's work, create a shot list, and go to bed.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

You need to have a gift for storytelling. Have stamina. Have an insane work ethic. Have people skills. Have swagger. Believe in yourself.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Learn your craft. Put in the work.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Film/Cinema/Video Studies
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Teachers:

"You are rejected from UCLA film school."

Deal with it by allowing the voice in your head to be louder than the voices outside of it. In retrospect, it was great at setting the tone for my career because I had to overcome "no" and fight my way in.

Challenges I Overcame

Drugs / Addiction
Drugs / Addiction

I've used writing and directing as a form of therapy by telling stories which touched upon my struggles. My hope is, in being honest about those struggles, they can inspire an audience who may be struggling with the same thing.

Racial Discrimination
Racial Discrimination

The film industry is notoriously not diverse or inclusive. However, my job working on "A Different World" exposed me to the normalcy of having women of color running things and made me believe that I could do it too.

Gender Discrimination
Gender Discrimination

There are not a lot of directors who are women. It is an incredibly hard industry to break into and thrive in as a woman. You have to have a lot of stamina.

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