With female produced and directed projects breaking box office records and garnering awards like never before, I am proud to witness a time where women are taking the lead in the film and entertainment industry. Although there have been narratives of negative experiences, I strongly believe that we are living in an age where female triumphs are starting to outshine the struggles.
Between finding your place, knowing when to take the jump to the next step and making your creative voice heard, the road to success is not linear but it is achievable. It’s time to start focusing on the positives, learn from the past and inspire the next generation of powerful women. In honor of International Women’s Week, I am happy to share my career story and join the ranks of empowering role models inspiring the next generation of female leaders in the entertainment industry, or any industry they might choose to pursue.
My Career Path
Nowadays, I am fortunate to find myself working with some of the top networks and talent in the entertainment industry as VP of Production at Brightlight Pictures. For the past six years at the company, I have had the privilege of planning, coordinating and executing TV and Film projects, working with external studio partners to the likes of Netflix, Disney, NBCUniversal International, Amazon, ABC, Fox and Voltage. I attended Capilano Film School in North Vancouver on a bit of a whim, unsure of the direction I wanted to go with my career. Upon completion, I submitted my (very short) resume to Brightlight Pictures to become Shawn Williamson’s assistant, and it was the best decision I ever made.
I found a home at Brightlight, a company that took a chance on me at such a young age and recognized me for my hard work – regardless of my gender. The company consistently fosters talent, both male and female, and provided me with the challenges to tackle head first and countless opportunities to grow. I worked my ass off and it paid off.
Embracing The Opportunity
In a short period of time, I moved up and onto bigger and bigger projects (and budgets), standing my ground as a strong female in a competitive industry. It has always been very important to me to be a good leader and role model, channeling some of my biggest female inspirations (Reed Morano, Kelly Oxford and Ava DuVernay, to name a few).
Through my work at Brightlight Pictures, I have not only been given the opportunity to shine in my role, but also foster my abilities into bringing female stories to life through the projects I take on such as The Murders, LITTLE PINK HOUSE and the upcoming Mighty Ducks series for Disney+ starring Lauren Graham which tells the story of a single mother balancing a busy work life while coaching her son’s hockey team.
Here’s My Advice to Those Aspiring
If I could pass on one piece of advice to women starting their careers in entertainment, it would be to keep telling their stories and sharing their experiences. While my experience has been a positive one, I recognize that this is not the case for all women who enter the entertainment industry. It can be a man’s world out there, and while the challenges will come and go, it’s amazing to see the increased recognition women are getting in their fields. Because there are so many particular aspects about the female experience, it is so important to continue sharing our stories with the world, remaining true to that unique perspective. There is inspiration all around us, it’s just how you look at it.
We’re in This Together
So, what does the future hold? Between diaper changes in my biggest role yet as a new mom, and a few new series in the works, including Upload with Greg Daniels, I have a full plate and a heart to match. I feel unbelievably lucky and proud to be the woman – mother, sister, daughter, aunt, wife, friend and producer – I am today. I will always do my part to support other women so that they are able to have the same narrative – to work hard, to be recognized and to creatively tackle every challenge that comes their way.
This guest post was authored by Arielle Boisvert
As VP of Production, Arielle brings over a decade of production experience to her position at Brightlight Pictures, having worked with both independent and major studios like Fox, Disney, Sony, Voltage, ABC, Netflix, and Amazon. Arielle served as co-producer on the feature film COLOSSAL (Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis), producer on the biopic independent feature LITTLE PINK HOUSE (Catherine Keener, Jeanne Tripplehorn), and executive producer on the feature film STATUS UPDATE (Ross Lynch, Olivia Holt). She produced the limited series VALLEY OF THE BOOM (Steve Zahn, Bradley Whitford) for STX TV and National Geographic, and DESCENDANTS 3, a Disney Channel original. Most recently Arielle produced the crime drama series THE MURDERS for Rogers and Muse Entertainment, and the upcoming Greg Daniels comedy/sci-fi series UPLOAD for Amazon Prime Video.