Gina Prince-Bythewood

Gina Prince-Bythewood

Director & Screenwriter


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.’


By Roadtrip Nation

Gina Prince-Bythewood

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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.”


High School
Film/Cinema/Video Studies
University of California-Los Angeles


Director & Screenwriter

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

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
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:

Film/Cinema/Video Studies


The Noise I Shed

From Teachers:

"You are rejected from UCLA film school."

Challenges I Overcame

Drugs / Addiction
Racial Discrimination
Gender Discrimination

Interviewed By

UCLA Roadtrip

UCLA Roadtrip

UCLA Roadtrip