Three dynamic women who have staked out successful careers in the film production industry will inspire your female students to explore new career pathways.
Female role models help get this career on the radar of women and girls because they’re able to see someone who looks like them on the job. The video reveals the personal experiences and insights of successful women working in this field.
Film production and related industries employ millions of people. Increasing numbers of women are establishing rewarding careers in the traditionally male-dominated film production field.
Career Options for Women -- Film Production:
This 24-minute video features profiles of three women with successful careers in film production:
- Vali Fugulin, a director of short films and documentaries
- Braydon Haggardy, a camera assistant specializing in underwater cinematography
- Cynthia Greer, a technician who repairs and maintains movie cameras.
Additional information from co-workers and supervisors supplements each job profile.
Meet the role models featured in the Film Production video:
Vali Fugulin is a director of documentaries and short films. She was motivated to make films as the ultimate creative expression. While being a director is very creative, it also requires business sense. Unless you have a big team behind you, there is a great deal of time spent on organization, funding submissions, budgets, contracts and personalities.
Vali encourages other women to enter the film industry. She says it’s important that women express themselves through film so everyone can benefit from the female point of view. It gives the world a chance to see life in a different way. Vali isn’t sure what she wants to do in the future, but she does know that she wants to stay involved with the creative side of the business. “What appeals most to me about my job is the creativity, imagining things then translating them into images.”
There’s a lot of work that goes into just getting ready to film. Once the prep work is complete it’s finally time to shoot. Shooting can be simple or extravagant depending on if you’re producing a fictional film or trying to capture reality with a documentary. The hours Vali works vary depending on what projects she has on the go. Production, for example, can be very time consuming and somewhat unpredictable. When Vali isn’t heavily into production or post-production, she directs her time and energy to her young son, Leo.
Braydon: Film Assistant
Camera assistant Braydon Haggardy works regularly on dry land but is also one of only a few women who specialize in underwater camera work. She parlayed her love for scuba diving into this unique focus on the film industry with some specialized training and a lot of hard work. While the film business keeps Braydon very busy, she also has her own company Turtle Films, which produces underwater documentaries. All that and a family, too!
Although Braydon likes her job, in the future she wants to do more acting and go on to produce underwater documentaries. Her advice to others is to be patient. Sometimes it takes a while to get into the film industry, but you just have to remain focused. “This is a great job. You go places, meet interesting people and you work around a flexible schedule.”
Securing a position in the film industry can be difficult, but when the demand for production people is high, odds are good you’ll get a shot. You usually begin as a trainee through the union and work your way up. Whatever experience you get prior to that, however, is really an asset.
To do her underwater filming, Braydon has to wear all the dive gear plus deal with a camera or lights, depending on her role in the filming. Working on-set as a camera assistant pays the bills in a big way, but her passion lies underwater.
Cynthia: Camera Technician
Camera technician Cynthia Greer’s original goal in the film business was to direct meaningful movies. Her hands-on experience in film equipment rentals, however, evolved that goal into something she could really hold on to - camera equipment repair. While Cynthia likes the regular employment and reasonable hours her job offers, there’s still more than enough production pressure to deal with. Camera equipment has to function properly or there’s a lot of high priced talent on set waiting around for Cynthia to fix it or bring another camera.
“If you like cameras, there are lots of opportunities in this field. This position also offers job security, which is important to women with families.” Cynthia usually works a regular 40 hour work week, but in the summer the hours are longer because that's when the film industry is booming. Then she can work up to six hours of overtime a day.
Cynthia has to be meticulous when it comes to making sure the camera is in proper working order. And, since the cameras are so crucial to production, the inspections don’t stop when Cynthia’s done. Next, the customer comes in and double checks all the equipment again. To be a camera technician you need to pay close attention to detail. Cynthia is good at her job because she is a perfectionist. She enjoys going over every detail until she is satisfied that the camera is in proper working order.
Run time: 24 minutes total, including three segments of approximately 8 minutes each.
Format: DVD. Closed-captioned.
Note: Videos are interspersed with Canadian salary and labor statistics, which are similar to the numbers in the United States.
Policies: There is a no-return policy on these videos.
Grade level: Middle School, High School, Two-Year College, Four-Year University