How to Successfully Fail in Hollywood

A deal is struck, who will win? Let the epic failures begin.

Synopsis: Ellie (C.M. Conway) is a bottom-feeder actress at the end of her rope in Hollywood, when a life-changing event happens with her gay, Latinx friend Ben (Adrian Gilbert). A surreal twist unfolds with comedic results, blurring the lines of fantasy and reality, as she unwittingly becomes the key to a new take on Tinseltown where failure is the star.

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We are currently reviewing our options in release and distribution.

Our film screened at the American Film Market (AFM) in November, 2022! #AFM2022

Our new video about adventures at AFM:

Quotes about, "How to Successfully Fail in Hollywood:"

“…true, funny and enlightening…” – Dan Taylor, Pulitzer-Prize winning Press Democrat

“Conway brings so much life to the film each moment she is on screen.” – Noah Abrams, NPR (KRCB)

“… very touched by Conway’s characterization of both grit and vulnerability.” – Eleanor Nichols, Executive Director, Sonoma Film Institute

“In terms of raw guerilla filmmaking talent, C.M. Conway has few contemporary rivals.” – Gordon Durich, The Hollywood Times


Our film was selected by the renowned Sonoma Film Institute (SFI) in 2022. We're honored to be among the groundbreaking, award-winning films and filmmakers presented at SFI. We were also awarded "Hot Film in the Making" by the Roy W. Dean Grant; and featured in The Hollywood Times, Press Democrat, NPR, KRON4, KSRO, U.S. News and World Report, OwlGuru and Circle Around.

Our trailer is at the top of the page, the smaller video embed (with 'Play Trailer' title) is a live studio interview with our filmmaker on LIVE! in the Bay on KRON4.

Descriptors: Comedy, drama, witty, poignant, women, friends, Latinx, LGBTQ+, dreams, Hollywood.

Anticipated rating: PG

Visit our IMDb page by clicking the 'Website' button on this page.


  • Please visit our IMDb page for cast and crew credits.
    IMDb Page
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Comedy, drama, women, Latinx, friends, Hollywood, dreams, LGBTQ+
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 54 minutes
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    4K, RED (SCARLET-W) RAW, Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography

C.M. Conway discovered the love of filmmaking in elementary school, when a substitute teacher filmed each student hopping out of a barrel. Then, edited the footage to look like an endless string of barrel dwellers.

“How to Successfully Fail in Hollywood" is inspired by her years in Los Angeles and combines roles as first-time executive producer, director, screenwriter, editor and protagonist.

Ms. Conway has been interviewed on various media outlets. Her 26-episode storytelling series was internationally acquired by Audible, a subsidiary of Amazon, Inc. She’s overseen multimedia projects from $160,000 – 1.7 million, with an unerring eye of unearthing revolutionary stories of women, marginalized cultures and communities.

Ms. Conway was raised and resides in the Bay Area, California. She studied for years in Los Angeles with Julie Ariola, the acting coach for many notable actors.

Additional training includes entertaining the children of many celebrities and directors in Hollywood.

Because if you can hold the attention of a room full of screaming toddlers, the sky is the limit.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

If you've ever had colossal failures on the way to a dream, this film is for you!

Our female-led film is a social agent of change, breaks barriers, and embraces funny failures. We're inclusive of the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities; portray authentic, non-stereotypical depictions and a champion of gender equity.

Our big-hearted, bootstrapped film had a super-micro budget and was a community, grassroots effort of a hardworking skeleton crew and large cast; including local businesses that provided locations. Shoot locations also include Los Angeles, notably in front of the iconic Hollywood Sign.

Beneath the tales touting how to succeed in Hollywood, hides the crucial information of what NOT to do. That’s where the gold is buried, uncovering the pitfalls and pratfalls. Time to unearth the treasure.

A cinematic ode to the 95% of struggling artists trying to make it against all odds on their terms; while navigating truth, fantasy and identity in Tinseltown.

Who better to tell this witty and poignant story, than those who know Tinseltown the best – the outsiders.

Because face it, failure is funny. Especially when it’s not happening to you.