Women Auteurs Doin’ Their Damn Thang

Success doesn’t come overnight. Sometimes life has to suck really badly, so you can make good art or even get a chance to showcase your potential to others. If you’re Pamela Adlon on Wednesday night’s Film Independent Directors Close-Up panel, Auteur TV: The New Creators, you keep it real with the audience and say, “It took me a loooooonnnnnnng fucken time to get to where I am. I’m 50 now.” Imagine what that means for the rest of us with creative ambitions. We must remain disciplined. Write every single day (even if it’s crappy) because there aren’t any shortcuts in the entertainment business strong enough to fully sustain a career. Ultimately, your work must speak for itself.

Too often I hear creatives wanting to make it to the next level quickly—expedite the transition from point A to point B in their lives without putting in the work. The kind of work that requires sleepless nights, puffy eyes and a non-existent social life for months at a time. You see, somehow the accessibility to more social media platforms and ability to make products quicker and cheaper has been both a good and bad thing. It has opened the floodgates, but also cultivated a new outlook. While more content is made, there’s an entitlement culture that has surfaced and with it birthed the ideology, “If I get enough likes or my video goes viral, someone will notice me. I’ll get a huge development deal and sit on money bags for the rest of my life.” When in reality, the journey is likely otherwise. We all saw Emma Stone in La La Land.

That is why when Pamela along with her co-panelists Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Aline Brosh McKenna (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), and Issa Rae (Insecure) spoke for two hours the other night, I absorbed their truths like a sponge, soaking in their advice and understanding what made them such badasses in the industry. They are women who are extremely dedicated to their work, have persisted despite rejection and being told “no” many times, and most importantly, they are not overnight successes like people may assume. They are living proof of the journey.

Below are a few takeaways from the panel:

“Finding a place to get feedback is critical and shoot a proof of concept.” – Rachel Bloom on the importance of knowing your television pitch inside and out and providing supplemental footage to executives

“Be accountable to something…take the long-form approach you know and adapt it to television” – Aline Brosh McKenna on transitioning from writing for features to television and maintaining a discipline

“It just has to be you.” – Issa Rae’s advice to aspiring writers looking to create content that reaches wide audiences like Insecure

“Today I say it may be bad for my life, but good for my show.” – Pamela Adlon on taking hindrances as an incentive to enhance storytelling

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