Today’s Shero Spotlight is one of my best friends, Kenzie Keaton! Ever since we became friends, I’ve watched Kenzie THRIVE in the film industry. Not only is she an incredibly passionate and driven person, but she is also a two-time Ohio University 48-Hour Shootout winner, was accepted into BOTH the South by Southwest OHIO program [before COVID-19 canceled it] and the OHIO in LA program and is currently working as a production intern on an upcoming indie film! Kenzie inspires me every single day and I am so excited to have her on the blog ❤
When did you first become interested in the film industry?
My high school had a career tech program and one of the classes was media. So, I took that for two years and it kind of showed me every aspect of media, like film and broadcasting, and that’s when I got into film and realized that could be a fun career.
What was it that drew you into film?
I always was really into TV shows growing up and I got super into series and movies, so I just thought it was really cool to be able to get involved in the behind the scenes work of those projects.
What experience did you gain from student organizations and projects?
I was involved with AVW Productions at Ohio University and we would make anywhere from four to six films per semester. I was usually an editor on them, but then toward the end, I kind of broadened my horizons a little bit and I was producer and director of photography a couple times and last year I was director of human resources for the organization as a whole.
What has been your biggest accomplishment to date?
I would have said it was getting into the OHIO in LA program, before it was canceled, and it’s still happening virtually, but I think now, I would probably say the internship I’m working for now just because I kind of applied to it on a whim. I didn’t think I would get it and it ended up being the only internship I heard back from, and it’s been a really cool fit for me.
What are some of your responsibilities as an intern in the film industry?
My title is production intern and it’s remote so I’ve done virtual street casting through websites like Yelp and Facebook and I would look for people who have the potential to be extras in the movie. Now, I’m working on location, so I’m just going through real estate online to find soundstages and locations for the film and then people who are in Los Angeles currently are getting assigned to call those places and visit them.
How has your internship differed from the expectations you had for it?
The fact that it’s remote was not expected. When I think of an internship, I think of going in and doing all of these things and running errands for people. So, just the fact that it’s remote is already a different experience and then my title is production intern, so in my head that’s like a lot of in-person stuff. So, I wasn’t really sure what was gonna happen but it’s kind of nice because now I’m getting experience in pre-production which is not really what I’m interested in or good at, but now I’m learning new skills and am doing a lot more than I thought I would.
Have you faced any obstacles as a woman in the film industry?
I have talked to older women in the industry and I have asked them that same question because I’m just curious about their experiences and they’ve said they’ve definitely faced obstacles, but within the recent decades, it’s gotten a lot better and the percentage of men to women has gotten better. The only thing I’ve experienced personally is in AVW there were a lot of times where I was the only girl on set. So, I kind of just had to like learn to like make myself heard and that kind of helped me come out of my shell, too. In general, I’m not very loud or sociable but I had to force myself to be to make sure I was so that I wasn’t overlooked.
What advice would you give to girls who may be in a similar position?
I feel like there’s a lot of mansplaining in this industry, so just don’t let that put you down. If you know something and you’re confident in your knowledge, don’t let someone else try to tell you that you’re wrong. If you’re right, you’re right. Let them know what you know and take charge.