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#ArrayNow: Filmmakers’ best tweets from a day of advice and reflection

Ava DuVernay’s Array film collective kicked off an engaging and worthwhile tweet-a-thon this past Thursday with more than 50 filmmakers pulling up.

The Twitter takeover included brilliant auteurs such as Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape of Water), Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman), Jon Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), Julie Dash (Daughter of the Dust), and Matthew Cherry (Hair Love), just to name a few.

It was a day of advice shared, motivation given, reflection prompted. It was a day for fans to ask their favorite filmmakers questions.

It served as an opportunity for filmmakers to talk amongst each other, share their love and respect for their contemporaries, and ask questions in a forum available to everyone.

We wanted to take a deep dive into the tweet-a-thon dedicated to the hashtag #ArrayNow, because this immaculate advice and sharing of experiences cannot slip through the cracks.

All aspiring filmmakers and creatives should heed advice and inspiration from these tweets. To help out, we took a look at several themes throughout the tweet-a-thon.

Enjoy the process, revel in the grind.

It is natural for aspirational creatives to start to feel impatient at a certain point. Especially, when their process has not yielded a significant amount of direction and freedom. But be patient fam, your big break often comes at a time when you are least expecting it.

The blunt truth is that the majority of people (even the most talented, successful, and prestigious) started on the ground floor and worked their way up. Yes! On the way up, there were hiccups and doubts, minor setbacks. but all of those moments served as inspiration for major comebacks.

Be patient, and enjoy the process. This is sometimes when you learn the foundation that will carry you to your greatest heights.

Patty Jenkins, award-winning director of Monster and Wonder Woman, shared some advice for aspiring filmmakers.

Lulu Wang writer and director of the acclaimed The Farewell shared similar advice.

Enjoy the process, revel in the grind.

It may seem tedious and boring now, but years down the line when the foundational blueprint is created, you may see it as “romantic in retrospect.”

Representation is crucial.

For women and people of color in general, there are fewer progressive opportunities in the film industry (arguably all industries) compared to white males.

Ava DuVernay, a tireless advocate for justice, invited a diverse group of individuals to speak for #ArrayNow. Many of them had stories and advice for maneuvering in a world where the playing field is not set fairly.

As Jenkins said, it is not enough to just hire a diverse crew and lead of a project. “We” need to bring in women, and other marginalized groups and delicately listen to their story, the way they want it to be told.

Women and people of color are not props to advance an agenda of perceived inclusiveness. Their stories deserve to be heard in the way that only they can tell it.

Still, a collaboration on #ArrayNow of such a wide range of individuals shows that there is a diverse group of people in the film industry working to promote equal opportunity.

As Wang says, it is also important to work and make strides within the world you create in. Pushing for more representation does not disable one from creating their story.

If anything, the project can be a beacon of hope that underrepresented individuals can use to advance the mission of equal opportunity and representation.

Be confident in your process.

In any industry, it can be extremely nerve-wracking to head a project and dole out responsibility and tasks to a wide range of individuals.

Now in film, picture doing all that but giving instruction to some of the most prolific and accomplished stars in the world.

Fear is temporary and meant to serve as the impetus for something greater. These filmmakers speaking during the tweet-a-thon shared what it’s like to be in charge of a project, and how creating a project in your image means you must be confident in your process.

Cathy Yan, director of Birds of Prey, was just one filmmaker who shared some thoughts.

Enjoy the process, be mindful of representation and fairness, and take direction. As a filmmaker, the onus is on you to create something special.

Ava DuVernay’s Array film collective launched an amazing day of advice, reflection, and introspection from some of the top filmmakers in the world. We are gracious to see that these talented individuals are still creating, still staying positive and interactive in trying times.

We will leave you with Julie Dash’s beautiful tweet celebrating film and “a continuum of cinematic majesty.”