League of Extraordinary Young Women: Danica Oliva

Danica’s passion for film began while completing her degree at Western University for Film Theory in London, Ontario, and has now brought this passion to the online world of film making and media. She created content for social media platforms during her time at the Cannes International Film Festival 2015 and the Toronto International Film Festival 2015, which combined her passion for film and interest for the online world together. 

She is now a happy graduate from the Post Production, Post Graduate Program, at Humber College 2016.

Describe what you do, why it's important to you.

I am a freelance video editor, photographer and videographer. After completing my post graduate program in Post Production I have been very fortunate to have been involved in a variety of projects. I am so lucky to call my hobby my full time job now. It’s been the extremely rewarding because I get to practice my skill set in different forms of both production and post production. Being a freelancer is important to me because it enables me to have complete control over my career and take on many roles. Every week is different, I am always meeting new people, working for different projects and creating great content. I have been involved with music videos, commercials, weddings, social media creation, and producing.

How does your role empower you?

Being my own boss, creating my own schedule, and taking on projects that I’m passionate about have made me embrace being a freelancer, rather than fear it. I can’t say this lifestyle is for everyone, but it’s been the most fulfilling job I have ever had. There are jobs I never thought I would be a part of and other jobs I didn’t know existed. It’s a great way to try new roles while building a portfolio and skill set as an artist. More specifically, this role empowers me because I am constantly pushing myself to create a better skill set for myself. I am always learning new ways to prep a commercial, upgrade a camera or photoshop to perfection.

What advice do you have to other young women looking to get involved in your field of work?

The stigma of women in the post production world is a fine-line and can be a controversial conversation. I think it is important to mention that while teams I have been fortunate to work on have been male dominated, I do see women making a more prominent presence in post production as I learn more about the industry. I believe women and men have different outlooks on particular projects. Having a female editor is an advantage to many post production teams for this reason alone; a female perspective can be a great advantage.

With that said, ladies, be nerdy! Be as technically savvy as you possibly can. Although my industry requires creativity, none of that matters if you cannot execute your vision technically. For anyone wanting to get into post production, make the effort to learn the technical requirements to be an assistant, this will be another way to gain professional respect within this workplace. It is no secret that there is a stigma around being a female in post production, but don’t let that stop you or intimidate you from apply to those jobs you truly love.

Who is your biggest role model, why?

I’m always finding woman to look up to for inspiration for many different reasons. I have recently met peers in my workplace who are just soaring with experience and knowledge. Though I do have to mention Jane Goodall and Shannon Wild. It’s women like them that push me to travel more, doing what I love to do for organization I am passionate about.

If you could go back to your 16 year old self, what would you say?

Keep doing what you're doing. I would have been in high school at this time, a time where I made my most precious friends. Those friends I still call my best friends today. They were always supportive of my passions and were probably my first “muses” to photograph in my early photography days. Looking back I was always focused on creating something that was bigger than myself.

When I was 20 I decided to create myself into a brand and I this has kept me focussed on my passions. It all started with a blog to showcase my work. At that time it was the best way for me to develop my interests in photography; looking back it was probably the best decision I ever made. I knew what I liked to do but wasn’t sure how to make that hobby into a job, or if there even was a job for all the roles I enjoyed doing. My blog started as Olive Dee Photography, since then it has grown to Post Services and Videography. It’s a great space I am always returning to for personal projects and now, actual work.

Why do you think groups like YWiB are important?

Groups like YWiB are important because they bring conversation to the stigma surrounding issues of equality within the workplace for women. Equality is a grey-area in my industry, but the more conversations that are being had, the more awareness to issues that women face within post production are discussed. I do think there is a change in our culture towards women in post production. I’ve asked men in my industry if they see this inequality, and they definitely do, but they are aware and want to close the gap. That type of answer was refreshing.

What can our readers do to help you?

As a freelancer I am always meeting new people and would love to meet you. You can find my work and contact me through my website www.olivedee.com, Instagram @danicaoliva, or Facebook @OliveDeePhotography.