Where are you from, where are you located now, and what are your ties to WV?
I am from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I moved to West Virginia in 1999 to work at WSAZ-TV as a reporter and anchor. I’ve remained in West Virginia because I think it’s a great place to raise a family. My husband and I reside in Charleston with our two daughters.
What was your first job in the industry and what was the experience like?
My first job in the industry was doing 24-hour news updates at WGAL-TV. I had the overnight shift on the weekends. It was a great learning experience and an ideal opportunity to start building the resume reel.
When did you join the production team at MotionMasters?
After more than a decade in the news business as a reporter and anchor, I joined the production team at MotionMasters in November 2005. Currently I’m the Senior Producer.
What project has challenged you the most, or are you most proud of? What were you responsible for?
The project that challenged me the most, and the one I am most proud of, is the documentary “Moving Monument: The West Virginia State Capitol.” In broadcast news, I was more accustomed to working on short stories with a tight deadline. A documentary was the complete opposite. There was a learning curve, but one that I enjoyed. I was responsible for fundraising, coordinating and conducting interviews, setting up video shoots inside and outside the Capitol at different times of day, and ferreting through archives to find images and video to help support the documentary’s narrative.
I’m proud of the documentary because I think it’s a great example of storytelling. The documentary takes viewers inside parts of the capitol that are typically off limits to tour groups. Compelling interviews and a strong script are punctuated with fantastic archival video and sound effects along with beautifully lit footage of the Capitol grounds. The program was produced in 2008. It’s still being shown on West Virginia PBS and is used in many West Virginia studies classes. Just last year, my oldest daughter watched the documentary in her 8th grade class.
What advice would you give someone wanting to work in the film industry?
Work as an intern. If possible, do multiple internships. They provide a great opportunity to learn, network, and determine what part of the business fits you best. Internships can be the road that leads you to your first job in the film industry. They’re also a great way to find a mentor. Select an internship venue that has a good reputation among former interns. Remember to be flexible. Video shoots don’t always go as planned. If you want to work in the film industry, you need to be willing to adapt to change, be quick on your feet, and never stop learning!