Dionna McMillian: Film director & Writer

Dionna McMillian is a film director and writer. She is best known for her short film, Love, New York, starring Sydney Morton (Netflix’s She’s Gotta Have It). Love, New York, screened at multiple film festivals, was featured on Issa Rae's #ShortFilmSundays. Her current project the web series the “The Next Right Thing” is currently on the film festival circuit. It was also nominated for Best Pilot at the 2018 NYC Webfest. Dionna holds an M.F.A in filmmaking from American University. In addition to freelancing as a director and editor, Dionna teaches Avid Media Composer at New York Film Academy's Los Angeles campus.  Dionna has also taught editing for NYFA in Beijing, China; Doha, Qatar; and Mumbai, India. Her overall goals are to make content that entertains and inspires viewers. She hopes to work as a director and content creator on episodic work and feature films. Dionna has two short film projects that will be released soon as she develops longer form work.

My Goal of the Day: I'll think of one to three specific things that I want to accomplish. I try not to get bogged down by small tasks and errands.  In general I make an effort to fully focus on one thing at a time. This includes spending time with family and friends. I think whatever is at hand deserves my full attention.

My Thought of the Day: To be grateful for my accomplishments and my loved ones. I try to take some time each day to acknowledge my blessings. This often centers me.

My Action of the Day: In general, it is to be efficient. I try to consider the most significant actions I can take in a day that will have the most positive impact on reaching my goals.

What do you love most about Your City?

The weather. I just moved from New York in September. Waking up to a super sunny day never gets old to me.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

My favorite breakfast meal is eggs benedict with salmon. I’m so new to LA that I haven’t found a favorite restaurant here, yet. If I were to answer this question about New York, I would have to say the crab cakes with spinach benedict at Tom’s Diner in Brooklyn, which is my favorite diner in the world.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM –Unless I’m on set shooting a film, I'm asleep. However, I try to avoid shooting before 8:00 am. I just feel like everyone’s more refreshed if we can start the day around 8:00 am.

10:00 AM -I work as a freelance director/editor and an adjunct professor. So, what I do at this time of day switches from week to week. If I’m working from home then I’m planning out my day. If I’m not at home, then I’m normally teaching editing in Avid Media Composer to a class full of students. If I’m in neither the classroom or home, then I’m directing a project or editing one.

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

Bricks and Scones in Larchmont Village has a great B.L.A.T sandwich that comes with a salad. I always try to eat my meal before the person I’m meeting with arrives. I'll normally only drink coffee or tea during meetings if I can.

7:00 PM -I’m finishing up working on one of my projects. The other thing I’ll do is chat with or meet up with  friend around this time. As it draws closer to 8:00 pm I’ll start making dinner if I’m not eating out already. When I’m being less of a homebody, I’ll go to a networking event or I’ll go catch a movie.

11:00 PM - I’m winding down any work that I’m doing at this point. Around this time I’ll typically turn on a movie or show to watch before I head to bed.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

I know it’s not the most exciting answer, but water. I think I drink a little less than a gallon of water a day. It’s not for any particular health benefit or diet, I’m just genuinely thirsty.  I’m getting thirsty as I type this! What I do rely on to get me through a day is, candy.  I’m not especially picky about what type.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

Instagram is currently my most used app. My favorite Instagram accounts are really my friends' accounts. However, I’m assuming I should pick someone outside of my immediate circle here, so I’ll go with @moshoodat. She’s a New York Based makeup artist/creative artist. She often features darker skin woman in her work, her use of makeup and styling always creates a gorgeous effect. I’d love to work with her at some point.

What should everyone try at least once?

Driving a drop top convertible down the Pacific Coast Highway on a beautiful, sunny day.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

I love getting “lost” in populated areas of metropolitan or large cities.  Especially, if it's out of the country. Since Los Angeles is still new to me, I take the time to wander around here. I'll stroll through my neighborhood, or I'll take a Bird (an electric scooter) to my destination. I find that walking through an area gives you a better sense of it.  As long as I feel safe, I'll explore any part of an urban area that shows me the character of that city.

My Deed of the Day: To be of help to someone in whatever way I can.

My Tip of the Day: Take a moment to really enjoy it.

My Pic of the Day:


IG: @dionnafilm
Twitter @dionnafilm