Did you always aspire to be in the job position you currently hold?
No! For as long as I remember, I wanted to be a psychologist. It wasn't until well into my career in organisational psychology that I realised I had a strong creative drive that wasn't being met. I was determined to find a career that could satisfy my fascination with human behaviour (the thing that drew me to psychology) and my creative needs. It took a lot of trial and error to figure out that that was in filmmaking!
What have you done since leaving CTHS?
After graduating from CTHS, I went to university to study psychology, but in my second year I came to the realisation that it wasn't for me. I didn't know what else I wanted to do, so I stuck with my degree and took A LOT of electives, hoping that one would pique my interest. I ended up graduating with a degree in psychology, still unsure of what it was that I wanted to do with my life. I then went on to work in organisational psychology, all the while spending my spare time trying my hand at different activities and areas of interest. I came across filmmaking and instantly fell in love with it. It ended up taking me 13 years to figure out that film producing was what I wanted to do!
Describe your average workday...
I work on a bunch of different films at any given time, all of which are at varying stages of production and all of which come with their own requirements and challenges. My average day usually depends on what film I need to prioritise and what hat I need to wear so that the production can continue to move forward. Across all films and their stages of production, my role always comes back to two things: people and stories.
Producing involves finding great stories to tell, hustling for money to tell these stories, assembling the best creative team for the story, managing the needs of the cast and crew by giving them the tools they need to do their job, meeting the expectations of the executives who are bringing in the money, and most importantly, delivering a film that audiences will want to watch. Everyday I chip away at these tasks until the films are out in cinemas!
Please share some words of wisdom for today's students…
Like a lot of my classmates, I felt the pressure to choose a path for my future straight after high school... which is a lot to ask of a teenager! I'm a strong believer in forging your own path in your own time. If your path looks like a squiggly line, then it just means that you can bring lessons and experiences to the table that haven't been brought before. The world is getting more competitive, and already we're seeing that it's no longer enough to only have certain qualifications. What will help you stand out is your own individual journey. So don't worry if you don't know what you want to do straight after high school!
Any shoutouts to a special teacher or subject you think really helped?
I was lucky to have teachers that were supportive, patient, and fair, who cared for our education and were determined to give us a leg-up when they could. I remember my senior grade German Studies teacher, Mr Wade, taught without judgement and always adapted his teaching style to benefit each individual student. To this day, this is something that I am conscious of whenever my job requires me to explain to or train others.
What were the greatest lessons you learned at CTHS that you have carried with you into your career?
We’re all on our own journeys, carrying our own burden, and fighting our own battles. We don’t always know what someone else is going through, so we’d all be best to be kinder to each other, exercise empathy, and avoid comparisons.
What piece of advice do you have for students today given your experience in the working world?
It's all about attitude! When entering the workforce, keep an open mind, a willingness to learn, and a desire to challenge yourself. And if you want something, ask for it! Reach out to your network, your bosses, even your idols and inspirations - you'd be surprised how many people will be willing to help you out. On that note, feel free to reach out to me if you are interested in a career in film!