Peace West: Changing the World of Film
Peace West is going to take the world of film/directing by storm and we have the pleasure of sharing her interview with you today! Peace has an amazing web series (F*boy from Hades) and she has an equally amazing story. Check it out!
How was your childhood, as in what influences (negative/positive) shaped who you are today?
My name is Peace and I’m a 22 year old Nigerian female who has aspirations of taking the world of television and film by storm. I felt it necessary to mention not only my age and nationality, but also my gender because these three things already work to my disadvantage. As we know the film industry is centered around patriarchy but I don’t think that many people know that as a Nigerian woman, I have a lot of doubters who don’t take my profession of interest seriously or see it as a necessity. I want to be that beacon of hope for little girls like myself.
When did you know you had a passion for film/directing?
Growing up I had a strong affinity for television. I wanted to be an actress. I remember on the way to church my father told me I was going to be a doctor. I was only 7 years old but at the time I thought whatever he says goes. Over the years, I still appreciated television and even took acting classes but that dream seemed distant. I always was a writer, however. I had a blog, did a couple poems when I was feeling emo and voiced my opinions on social media. It wasn’t until college that I realize I could make money off my strengths and other people’s weakness. I wrote papers and though I hated it at the time I think it really prepared me for who I am today and who I will grow to be. My sophomore year of college I challenged Issa Rae to retreat back to her writing style in season one of her original web series, Awkward Black Girl. She then challenged me to write the script for the next episode myself. I think she mistook me for a lazy fan who wouldn’t take her up on her offer. I wrote the script and she gave me feedback. Fast forward to two years later. I had changed my major from Communications to Nursing because I knew that doing so would make my parents happy and I honestly lacked focus with what I wanted to do with my Communications degree. I did not get accepted into nursing school and this was a blow to my ego. I remember crying and something told me to go through my emails and read the script I had sent Issa Rae. When I read what I wrote two years prior, it instantly made sense that this what I needed to be doing with life. Not getting accepted to nursing school was the best thing to ever happen to me. I have since then, changed my major to Communications Studies and Sociology minor and have created a web series that I am immensely proud of. Truthfully speaking I never wanted to be a director. I am a screenwriter. But in order to adequately bring my vision to life I found myself wearing multiple hats in order to get the job done.
How did your parents and friends react to you wanting to start a career in film?
My friends are very supportive of my dreams because they recognize my talent and passion for this field. The only family member that knows about my show is my younger brother, and though he supports, our relationship is so distant that I don’t understand how he truly feels about the web series. I still have not found the courage to tell my parents because I still believe they think I’m gonna use my degree to apply to law school. I want to show them F*boy from Hades but I know they won’t understand or appreciate it the way that they should. One day, when the content of my show is not as vulgar I plan on showing my parents what I have been working so hard on because I want them to celebrate my success with me.
What are your future goals, as far as your career ?
My plans for the future are to make F*boy from Hades the best web series it can be. In a perfect world, someone who can do something with the series, will notice the show and invite me to join the ranks of a popular show on prime time television (preferably Prison Break) as a writer. I want to write a movie that will win Gabrielle Union or Kimberly Elise an Oscar. I would also like to create my own show or chain of shows and follow in the footsteps of Shonda Rhimes. I’m sure that on my journey to accomplishing these things I will find more things that I want to do and work towards achieving those goals as well.
What advice do you have for young girls who are struggling with what they love to do and what their parents want them to do?
I believe that everyone’s journey is different so I can only offer a response that helped me that I hope will assist others. I would advise young girls who are battling with doing what they love and what their parents want, to continue to pursue their interest. The passion and dedication you exhibit will outweigh the doubt or disappointment they may feel. My parents knew nothing about my web series but began to ask questions once they saw that I was always away on set and absent for large quantities of time. Good parents always take an interest in their children’s interest. As a child you have to understand your parents’ desire to want to see you excel. And as owner’s of your own destiny you must do everything in your power to excel in all that you do in order to make them proud.
To contact Peace, visit her on Twitter @PeaceWest to check out her web series visit her YouTube Channel, Peace West Productions.