Every year the Women of Cinematic Arts puts on a killer conference with a line up of current power house players in the Industry. On the whole, there are a ton of USC alumni and most encouraging – WOMEN in key creative roles. Aside from hearing personal anecdotes on blockbuster movies and shows, it is also a great forum to catch up with up-and-coming peers in the industry.
I’ve been a volunteer for the WCA for the past four years and at every Forum as well. I’m a bit of a junkie to these events. But the value isn’t with the face time with these Industry elites – it’s really with the connection to the women in the audience.
The WCA is now about 700 members strong with a wide variety of people in various stages of their career. From current students to working freelancers to young execs – We cover the spectrum. And we also hire each other. The Forum is always a great place to reconnect with old friends and new, and to seek out new opportunities.
I have to quote one member – an old friend of mine whom I started film school with back in ’05 – Kate Powers (MFA Screenwriting ’07 – now a writer’s assistant on Breaking Bad). Her thoughts on the Forum:
As I write this, I am sitting at my desk, doing the *exact job* I dreamed of
landing when I started at USC — and I’m reasonably sure I couldn’t be here
without the guidance and lessons I’ve learned at these industry forums.
Kate is super talented, and I know she is going to be writing in the room on a show in the next five years, for sure. I’ve had the privilege to direct her work which always had witty dialogue and fun comedic action twists that keep audience engaged. If not for the WCA – I might have lost touch with Kate.
Yesterday I was able to touch bases with people I haven’t seen in over a year – and in some cases over 5 years! All dynamic women with a lot of new exciting projects or job opportunities before them. Many women were exchanging cards and figuring out how they can help each other in their objectives. That was when it occurred to me…the WCA had achieved it’s goal. Women supporting women in this industry.
I left yesterday feeling invigorated, as though I got a shot of adrenaline towards my goals. The keynote speaker, Linda Woolverton, said you have to live your dream and every day work towards that goal no matter how discouraged or alone you may feel. If you want to write – then write! And as it turns out, most of the recent phenomenon “Alice in Wonderland” was written in the bathroom to avoid persistant animal distractions. With organizations like the WCA, I feel a breath of relief, because it IS HARD and LONELY – but with them, that supposedly insurmountable mountain seems more like a challenging hike.
Thank you to all the volunteers and the School for all the hard work of putting on the Forum. As always – top job ladies!
Published: October 10, 2010