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Imeh Esen

What does a day to day in the life of a filmmaker look like?

Okay full transparency here. I am also working on a novel in addition to running A Lady’s Voice Network, so my day involves both. The thing with being a storyteller is that most times you wake up in the morning with a scene running through your mind, coupled with a strong need to start writing. However, I usually resist as I need to channel my energy and also marinate on the ideas running through my mind. My daily three to four-mile walk/jog helps me with that. It’s followed by a shower and breakfast before I actually start working. The activity for the day depends on the project of top priority but I either write or curate films, edit a movie, or have meetings with my partner or vendors. I do make sure I meet certain metrics each day, even if it’s not related to revenue. That could mean writing 1000 words in my novel, contacting at least three producers to license their films, or editing a 10-minute block of footage. I think it’s important to have daily small achievable goals, so you feel a sense of accomplishment. 

Advise to someone wanting to be a movie writer or director

  1. First ask yourself how much you really want it and then be honest with yourself on how hard you will work for it.
  2. Volunteer on some film set to do anything. That way you are around other filmmakers, make connections, and discover if you really like the reality of the business vs the fantasy. If you want to be a writer, read books on screenwriting and read lots of screenplays (a lot of free ones online) as you practice writing yours. First shorts, then feature length screenplays.
  3. Assemble a small crew of your friends from school, a networking event, or a film set you worked on and make lots of short films – – shorts, not feature length. Have fun with it and don’t take yourself too seriously because you will make lots of mistakes at first. The experience and lessons learnt from making your short movies will be your personalized film school if you can’t get into an accredited program in film school. Keep making those films until you get good enough to submit to festivals. These festivals can expose your film to industry leaders and if you place well can be a great calling card for future work.
  4. About film school: if you can afford one do so but choose one with a strong film community around it. Film school is a place to learn the craft, get access to free gear, and make a ton of contacts that can propel your career forward.
  5. For writers: Write your screenplay and once it’s good enough, submit it to screenwriting competitions. This gives your writing exposure.
  6. Keep networking until your knowledge increases and your craft is strong enough to merit someone actually paying you for your service.
  7. Keep believing.

What movie or book inspired you?

The book that really inspired me was A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce. The novel chronicles the awakening of the author in a religious environment, and how that awakening helped him loosen up to become the successful, classic writer he is known as today. Personally, it taught me to be okay with my voice and to resist any noise that could box my unique expression.

The movie that inspired me was The Usual Suspects, directed by Bryan Singer. As a director and writer, it showed me how a story can be simple and inexpensive, yet clever, entertaining and intriguing. It’s a good model for independent filmmakers that are also budget conscious.


At this point we can only offer opportunities for learning and exposure on our movie sets. Inquiries and interest can be sent to {Producer: alvnfilms@gmail.com}


Producer: alvnfilms@gmail.com

Website: www.alvnetwork.com

Imeh Esen

I’ve always been a day dreamer for as long as I can remember. My childhood was spent in my head, and in novels. Although in my early years I was on the science path, I made a switch in my early twenties to follow my heart and tell stories. The medium of film was my choice to do so. That was more than ten years ago. Those years saw its fair share of challenges and difficulties, mingled with excitement. The excitement is the joy of seeing a screenplay turned into a finished movie, and the look of appreciation in a viewer’s eyes. So, who am I? I am a mother, wife, and friend, and a storyteller with a unique voice to share women’s stories. My digital platform, A Lady’s Voice Network, ALVN, does just that; using movies and the written word to share women’s stories, for insight and growth.