Amy Shepard

Roto/Paint Supervisor
Industrial Light & Magic

What made you focus on roto and paint?
That was 20 something years ago, it was a little more entry level at that time. It was more creative than the job I was doing. I'd gotten tired of editorial, wanted to do something more creative, and as I was asking around work that seemed to be a good entry level position and then it just turned into a career. It got more paint intensive and that became a lot more fun.

How do you plan to help advance the idea of more women in the industry?
Promote the women that want to be promoted would be a good place to start. I mean, I know women who haven't been promoted who really wanted it. I'm not sure why. So they could start promoting women a bit more when they show an interest. I know it's not necessarily up to them. People are used to working with who they want to work with and have worked with over the years. But maybe get some women to try.

There's the argument that people say we need to hit a quota of 50/50 men and women. But there are also people who say you should just hire the best person for the job. What are your thoughts and feelings about that?
Well that's a tricky one. I think in this particular industry, in a creative industry, people who are qualified and good at their job is what's really important. Luckily, we have a number of women and men. Our department is probably 50/50. I feel like there's a pretty good balance of men and women.

Were there ever times where you felt like being a woman may have impacted your career, or have you ever felt professionally excluded because of it?
I'm a supervisor, and I've been a supervisor for a long time and I'm perfectly happy doing that. There have been a couple of events where the boys were more included. I won't bring up specifics, but there definitely have been times that it felt like a bit of a boys club for sure.

Any words of advice you have for future generations of women interested in VFX?
At first, I was thinking about that. Would I tell people to go into this industry? Because after 20 some-odd years of doing it, things really do start to hurt. But I would say go for it. There's great opportunities out there now. Take care of yourself though. Exercise. Get away from your desk as much as you can, but go for it. It's a lot of fun and there's plenty of opportunities out there.

Learn More About Amy!

Years in Visual Effects: 22
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA