With our Women in Media Awards only weeks away, B&T has paired up with the Australian Directors’ Guild (ADG) to showcase the fabulous recipients of their Commercial & Content Directing Mentorship program.
This program supports the promotion of female directors in a male-dominated industry by pairing them up with mentor companies – and perfectly aligns with what the Women in Media Awards is all about; making sure women in this industry get recognised for their efforts, as well as a fair shot, and a seat at the table.
This year, eight up-and-coming female directors were paired with top commercial production companies. Read more on that here.
Our last profile featured the lovely Aimee-Lee Curran, and this week it’s on to Vanessa Gazy, who’s been paired up with Scoundrel Films.
How did you become involved with the program?
I have been working as a writer/director, primarily in the film and music video spaces.
Lately I have found myself drawn towards commercial work – not only is beautiful work being made in advertising, but commercial work provides important opportunities to practice one’s craft and to work with some of the industry’s most experienced professionals.
I became aware of the initiative last year and this year felt like the right time to apply for me. So I did, and was thrilled to be selected.
Which company/who have you been mentored with?
I am at Scoundrel Films. Scoundrel do such beautiful, high-end work and I’m very lucky to have been selected for a mentorship with them.
So far I’ve been lucky enough to be on set alongside two of their extremely talented directors – Sydney-based James Dive and Berlin-based director Daniel Warwick.
What are you most looking forward to about the mentoring program?
So far it has been exciting and eye-opening to be welcomed into the Scoundrel office and to be invited on set. The directors and producers I have worked alongside have been very generous with their time and their knowledge.
As a director, it is very rare to be given the opportunity to watch other directors at work, so I feel very privileged to be able to observe such talented creatives. A lot can be learned by observing.
Scoundrel have already given me opportunities to pitch, and I’m looking forward to further opportunities to grow and evolve in the company.
What are you excited to gain from having a mentor?
I’m excited to gain more hands-on commercial directing experience from this mentorship, to continue to hone my craft as both a director and a writer, and to become increasingly comfortable with the pitching processes.
Do you think the program will help your career? Why?
I certainly believe that this program will help me to progress as a commercial director. The team at Scoundrel are supportive and at the top of their game, and I see potential to grow with them!
What was the best advice you’ve ever received?
Simple advice prior to directing my first major short film, given to me by my supervisor at the time – who happened to be director Samantha Lang, now president of the ADG and one of the main proponents of the Commercial Mentorship program. She said, “Fortune favours the bold.”
What advice would you give to young, aspiring women?
Women make excellent directors – I’m surrounded by examples of that in the work of my friends, teachers, mentors and peers.
So take the bull by its proverbial horns and aim high. Generate as much work as you can, apply for opportunities as they come along, be curious, be courageous.
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