producing | writing/directing
WINTER 2021
ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT Erin Buckley READ

Slide Self-Producing with Erin Buckley Erin is a writer-director whose digital series PLATONIC is available on YouTube now. The New York Times called the series “a bite-size version of ‘Girls’ or ‘High Maintenance’” and AfterEllen said, "With mellow lighting and a lively soundtrack, Buckley created an aesthetic worthy of Sofia Coppola – and on an infinitely smaller budget.” Her short film CC DANCES THE GO-GO premiered at Frameline and is playing at 17+ film festivals internationally and nationally in 2020/2021. Erin won this year's Alan Ira Dusowitz Award for Best Emerging Filmmaker of Short Film at TIGLFF, was a fellow at MacDowell in September 2019, and recently played a supporting lead in the feature film EITHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT. She was raised by an actress and trained as an actor; in Erin’s projects, roles for actresses are plentiful and female and LGBTQ stories are primary. MFA: Yale School of Drama. BA: Stanford University. Study Abroad: Oxford University. UCLA Professional Program in Writing for Television. erin-buckley.com
What are you doing now?

I wrote and directed PLATONIC, a short-form digital series that is available now on YouTube. You can check it out here: platonicseries.com. And my short film CC DANCES THE GO-GO, which stars Stanford alum Rebecca Whitehurst, is playing the festival circuit after premiering at Frameline in June. Right now, I’m working with my managers to develop PLATONIC into a half-hour series, and I’m writing two screenplays: OLDER LADY and ASHRAM. I’m 38 now, and I’ve found what I want to be doing for the rest of my life: writing and directing original work that centers women, LGBTQ people, and diverse casts and collaborators.

What was the transition from college to the working world like?

I wrote and directed PLATONIC, a short-form digital series that is available now on YouTube. You can check it out here: platonicseries.com. And my short film CC DANCES THE GO-GO, which stars Stanford alum Rebecca Whitehurst, is playing the festival circuit after premiering at Frameline in June. Right now, I’m working with my managers to develop PLATONIC into a half-hour series, and I’m writing two screenplays: OLDER LADY and ASHRAM. I’m 38 now, and I’ve found what I want to be doing for the rest of my life: writing and directing original work that centers women, LGBTQ people, and diverse casts and collaborators.

What was the transition from college to the working world like?

I graduated a year early from Stanford, spending my last quarter abroad at Stanford in Oxford, where I got to play Viola in Twelfth Night at St. Catherine's College. I headed straight to the Yale School of Drama, where I got my MFA in Acting. After grad school, I moved back to New York, had a stint in LA, and — after auditioning and acting for five years — I got the itch to learn creative producing. I worked for Sheila Nevins at HBO Documentary Films and Oskar Eustis at The Public while HAMILTON, FUN HOME, and HERE LIES LOVE were on. And while working in producing, I started writing and directing my own work.

How does art theory/practice manifest in your life?

While we were shooting CC… and PLATONIC, I was focused on moment-to-moment scene work and was always incorporating my training as an improviser from Drama 103 and SImps! Acting, writing, producing, and directing are nothing if not exercises in being present. That training is gold.

What advice would you give to current students at Stanford today?

I would encourage them to self-produce! I think making your own work gives you a helluva lot of agency. I’d also encourage artists to find a way of making a living that allows you to sustainably make your art. It’s important to have time and brain space for creative work. Set your life up so that is possible in the long-run. Set yourself up to be able to persevere.