We had the good fortune of connecting with Stacie Hawkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stacie, what is the most important factor behind your success?
As a writer and director in the entertainment industry, the word ‘no’ is a constant. Being able to hear rejection and keep pushing forward is a necessary skill to achieve success in this business.
My first feature, The Rise and Fall of Miss Thang, was a labor of love. I faced a lot of hardships when trying to get it made. From difficulty raising financing to cast and crew members dropping out at the last minute. In spite of all this, I kept moving forward and eventually got the film finished. It went on to win awards and get distribution.
In this business, you have to be able to ignore the naysayers and learn to build a team of positive people who will help keep you focused. No one can stop you but you.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a writer and director of film and tv projects, I focus on stories that explore the diversity within the Black American experience. I have written and directed several short films and one feature length film. I love stories with a strong female protagonist who is layered and flawed but working hard to make their mark on the world.
I am currently shopping a pilot series and gearing up to shoot my next short film this fall.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love the Leimert Park neighborhood. The cafes and restaurants in the area are great and it’s a hub of African American culture in Los Angeles. They have several outdoor festivals throughout the year where you can hear live music, eat good food, and buy from local artists.
Another great place to visit is Manhattan Beach and specifically Bruce Beach because of it’s historical significance to Black American history.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My biggest shoutout goes to my family because they help keep me grounded and motivate me to keep following my dreams. My parents and sisters are the first people to hear many of my ideas and the ones who I look to for moral support when things get tough.
Kirk Shannon-Butts, a fellow filmmaker, who I met in film school, is like a brother to me and has been a great sounding board for my ideas, and always reads and gives honest feedback on my projects. I also have a group of close friends (the DGC!) who are always there for me with whatever I need.
Networking is a huge part of this business and being a member of several organizations has helped me tremendously. Groups like Alliance of Women Directors, Film Fatales, and Women of Color Unite have given me access to resources, mentors, and educational events that normally would have been very difficult, if not impossible to acquire.
Other: https://www.allianceofwomendirectors.org/awd-members/director/staciehawkins/ The Rise and Fall of Miss Thang on Tubi TV https://tubitv.com/movies/506106/the-rise-and-fall-of-miss-thang