In conversation for Variety’s “Directors on Directors” series, Regina King and “Queen and Slim” director Melina Matsoukas share how their make-it-work attitudes have paid dividends as they crafted their feature directorial debuts.

“When you’re in it, I really feel like it’s a mental war. You’re fighting for every shot, for every moment, for everything,” Matsoukas notes. “It’s not easy, it’s not for the weak.”

King’s piece of historical fiction centered on four of history’s most legendary men — Malcolm X, Jim Brown, Cassius Clay and Sam Cooke — and Matouskas’ romantic drama about two young people on the run after a traffic stop gone bad, have a few obvious connections. Both films are about legacy, community and are love letters to Black people, but that’s not the only reasons that the films are alike.

It’s also not just because Matsoukas is an exec producer on HBO’s “Insecure,” for which King directed the Season 3 finale “Ghost-like.” Ultimately, King and Matsoukas belong to a special order of visual storytellers: Black women taking charge behind the scenes and working to make a way for those to come after them.

Watch the full conversation above.