HCFmedia is not only a starting place for companies on their video production and distribution journey but also a starting place for female directors. Melinda started here as a Unit Production Assistant in 2015. Quickly, she advanced to Unit Production Manager and then to Director.
“Filmmaking is my second career after a lifetime in marketing for nonprofit and high tech. I started at HCF as a production assistant fetching coffee and Jamba Juice, watching and learning how production works. HCF supported my growth into unit production manager and just last fall my first project for them directing a video for the nonprofit Open Arms. HCF provided solid mentoring for me to grow my skills. It is an all too rare opportunity, but reflective of the commitment HCF has for supporting women in film.”
Melinda has a strong kinship with the nonprofit client and spearheads our nonprofit video department. So far, she has directed 3 nonprofit films since becoming a director. Two out of three of these videos are still in post production, but here is a look at the Open Arms Perinatal video that Melinda directed alongside veteran Hand Crank director/dp Andrew Preston. This video was also largely subsidized by the HCFFree program in which we cover all or most of the production costs of videos for nonprofits that we believe could really use a video.
In her spare time Melinda is an independent producer with several documentary films in development that cover topics including suicide prevention, autism and the Seattle Seafair Clowns. Her enormous heart shows in her lifetime of collaborating with cause-driven organizations.
“What drives me are the stories of the individuals lifted up by nonprofit organizations and the tireless, dedicated staff behind the scenes day after day doing the work to improve and support-— sometimes even save— lives. They’re making the world a better place for whole communities, women, children, those with few resources. What could be more rewarding than helping them do more good?”
Fearlessness is what she attributes her success to. Easier said than done, she gives excellent advice to females thinking about entering the male dominated film industry.
“It’s not news that film is a male-dominated industry. There is some high profile awareness these days which seems to be opening up new opportunities for women to direct and crew. Yes, keep networking to get onto crews, but also find ways to make your films, even if that means using your smartphone and three of your besties.”
A shift is upon us. One towards the cultivation of more females in leadership positions within the film industry. Ways you can support this shift is by supporting organizations like Reel Grrls and Women in Film. They provide mentorship opportunities, educational resources, and a place for women to connect with other women in the field.
Pictured: Director AJ Winslow, Director Melinda Hohlbein Loeffler, Producer Jim Pidgeon