Diane Bell, Award-winning Screenwriter and Director Talks Openly On Overcoming Obstacles, Embracing Your Creativity, And How to Stand Out, Episode 21

Diane Bell is an award-winning screenwriter and director, who growing up didn’t think that was possible. In this episode, she shares how she overcame personal and professional obstacles in order to become a screenwriter. She describes how affirmations helped her, what she learned about embracing creativity (and how you can embrace yours), as well as, talks about how to stand out from the crowd, especially if you are in a sea of like-minded professionals. Diane also leaves us with some insightful and profound thoughts and questions, like, “How far are you willing to go to make it happen?”

Diane’s first feature, OBSELIDIA, premiered in Dramatic Competition at Sundance, where it won two awards, and went on to play at festivals around the world and be nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards. Her second film, BLEEDING HEART, a drama starring Jessica Biel and Zosia Mamet, premiered at Tribeca, and is widely available on Amazon Prime and Hulu. Diane’s most recent feature, OF DUST AND BONES, has also been featured in festivals.

Diane started her career in film as a screenwriter (before that she was a philosophy student and a yoga teacher), and she has written numerous commissioned and optioned scripts, including two with renowned director John McTiernan (director of Die Hard and The Hunt for Red October).

Diane has been lucky enough to be a participant in the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, as well as the Women in Film/Sundance mentorship program, from which she learned tons.In addition to writing and directing films, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge to empower and inspire other filmmakers. Diane loves helping others break through their obstacles and achieve their dreams. Since 2014 she has taught workshops on how to make a successful indie film, and is thrilled to share this material in her book. If making movies is your dream, don’t let anything stop you!

Tune in to hear Diane’s thoughts pertaining to:

  • How she went from thinking this was impossible to I am possible even in show business. (4:43)
  • When Diane realized cinema could be a possible career path, her first interest in writing screenwriting, and the negative doubts she battled. (7:06)
  • How yoga helped her build a new sense of self before becoming a filmmaker. (9:25)
  • Diane shares her original Mickey Rourke idea and later how she decided to go to the Cannes Film Festival and sought out Mickey Rourke to give him her script. (11:31)
  • A key question for all scriptwriters (and even professionals of all industries): How far are you willing to go to make it happen and invest? (16:42)
  • Diane details the ups and downs of her first feature-length film. (16:51)
  • What courage has to do with creativity and how our natural state is to be creative, not afraid. (19:08)
  • Diane talks on the envious nature and criticism of artists’ work. (22:46)
  • How to get to a place of feeling as though you and your work matters. (27:18)
  • The affirmation that helped Diane get through writing her first screenplay. (28:47)
  • The process of screenwriting, working through the first draft (aka the vomit draft), and how to know when you’re done. (34:08)
  • Diane talks about emotionalizing affirmations. (35:52)
  • One of the many lessons she’s learned as a screenwriter, including, how the world receives her work is not in her control. (45:59)
  • An insightful piece of advice for screenwriters and directors: make the movie, not for fame or for money, to make the movie you want to make. (56:08)

I asked Diane: In this market of content overload, how do you make yourself stand out? This same idea is one I’m asked as a career coach to marketing professionals so I was curious if Diane had any insights that are transferable across our audiences. 

Hear what Diane says to a marketer whom I coached and is interested in producing her own film and is hoping to stand out.


Listeners, I want to personally invite you if you are a marketing professional….one who works in a corporation or agency to schedule a 60-minute breakthrough session right here for free:

It is during that 60-minute session that we will focus on your career today (i.e. the challenges that you are solving), where you really want to go (i.e. the challenges that you rather solve) and precisely what it will take (i.e. your game plan) to close the gap and make your dream marketing career a reality. This conversation is absolutely free. Apply for the call today because life is now not later….

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Melissa Llarena

Melissa helps movers and shakers up to those in the corner office rediscover what makes them unique so that they can land their dream job in a forward-thinking company where their ideas are listened to, valued, and supported.

She brings insights from having worked in 16-business units (including Human Resources) in NY, Paris, and London. Additionally, in her former corporate career, she worked on billion-dollar brands for P&G and on IBM for Ogilvy & Mather. Later, as the founder and CEO of Career Outcomes Matter, Melissa created a 3-step “sellable strengths” process which has been the centerpiece of her clients' results.

Melissa applies this method consistently to support mid-level professionals up to the c-suite to get into Fortune Global 500 organizations and agencies. She studied Psychology at NYU and earned her MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

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