Hollywood Screenwriter Writes Her Next Act at the Academy

A blonde woman poses with one hand in her pocket. Around her are palms and other greenery, with a single story red building behind her enmeshed in vegetation

June 3, 2022 | Sam de Leve

Ingrid Eskeland-Adetuyi is no stranger to the industry machinations of Hollywood. A working screenwriter for more than five years, Eskeland-Adetuyi has sold scripts like action feature Twin Blades, and even as a graduate student at USC Iovine and Young Academy, she has multiple projects in development, building new worlds. 

Yet she couldn't help but notice how out-of-sync Old Hollywood has become with the rest of this world. "The entertainment industry is one of the last relics of LA: lack of communication, not much transparency — not even seeing transparency as a value or as a positive," she says. The nature of the system, as she saw it, disempowered creatives.

Eskeland-Adetuyi yearns for a better way, and that longing came into focus when she first saw Wonder Woman in 2017. Watching the strength and comradery of the Amazons, her thought was not "I wish that I could write this," but rather, "I wish this was not fiction. I wish that this was real."

With that, she moved from worldbuilding in screenplays to worldbuilding in real life at the Academy. 

"Coming into the Academy, I had certain goals for what I hoped that I might learn. I hoped that it would make me a better filmmaker,” she explains. “In a lot of ways it has: in terms of stepping into that leadership role.”

As a screenwriting graduate from Chapman, Eskeland-Adetuyi's previous curriculum focused more on three-act structure than formal business and leadership education — and her industry experience sharply separated creatives from financing. 

"What was always scary to me was the idea of business being something so opaque and so daunting and so big and so inaccessible," she shares. 

But her experience with professors at the Academy changes all that. In Eskeland-Adetuyi's Business Essentials class, her instructor Aswin Pranam pushed her past the apprehension around numbers and accounting. 

As he motivated her, she realized, "We're talking about marketing, we're talking about business models, we're talking about creative things." With that revelation, the sharp separation fell away as she accessed her creativity and applied it to business. With every subsequent class, Eskeland-Adetuyi gained confidence. 

"Your competence makes you feel very confident,” she says. "I think that's how I started to feel like a leader."

Promo flyer for an app promising "Authentic friendships that empower you: Tens matches you with other inspiring women so that you can fulfill your greatest potential. Whether you are seeking an accountability partner, or just that true friend that you can be vulnerable with, Tens will find you the best matches based on your authentic-self, interests and future goals using our proprietary algorithm." Next to the text is a mockup of a smartphone app showing a card of a woman and her personal information.

So when the time came to build a better world for her Academy capstone, Ingrid Eskeland-Adetuyi stepped up. Over and over in feedback, Eskeland-Adetuyi heard echoes of her own desire for a less transactional “old boys club” culture. So her solution, her Amazonian world, is a women's community-building and networking platform: Tens. Designed to provide a better way to network than what she experienced in Hollywood, Tens is a mobile app that helps connect inspiring women looking to make empowering friendships. The concept is Eskeland-Adetuyi's way of creating "a different type of networking that [was] organic and supportive and loving."

Between hosting pre-launch events, consulting with algorithm and networking specialists, designing the mobile app, and plotting out her business, Eskeland-Adetyui is pouring her heart into Tens.

Her vision makes it all worth it: "My hope and theory is that being surrounded by amazing people who are growth minded will make you a better person and will make you grow."

Even as she develops Tens and prepares it for launch, she isn’t giving up the screenwriting life entirely. She's simply growing into more

Her business cards used to say "Screenwriter." 

Now? "Worldbuilder."

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