AAF Seattle Speakers Series: Women in Creativity

Here’s an interesting stat we hope improves with the next evolution in advertising: In a society where 80% of the buying decisions are made by women, women make up just 3-4% of ad agency creative leaders. So in a business that lives or dies based on a woman’s decision, it most often men who are figuring out the best ways to engage that audience. Crazy right? We think so.

This week, there’s a great event held by the AAF Seattle Speakers Series that explores this subject in detail. Speakers include Mary Knight, Executive Creative Director at Hydrogen, Kerry Antezana, Freelance Creative Director/Copywriter, Mary Olson, Brand Director at Seattle University, and Laurie Fritts, Freelance Creative Director/Copywriter. This prestigious panel will be moderated by Hillary Miller, the VP of Global Strategic Services at Wunderman. Should be great stuff and HCFmedia looks forward to seeing you there.

To honor ‘Women in Creativity’ as a whole, we’d like to introduce you to one of the mainstays of HCFmedia, editor Leslie McCullough. Leslie has been with the company since ground zero back in 2006, and has watched the company grow, hiccup, then grow again (with more hiccups certainly in the future). To say that we couldn’t get along without her is an understatement.

“I’d always thought of something ‘creative’ as just a hobby,” she says. “I had no idea you could actually make a living at something creative like film until I started to edit. It’s being creative at the most basic level, being able to control emotion and pace, the pauses, to make the viewer see a particular point of view or feel something. You have tremendous power, and it’s your responsibility to honor the actors and the story to the best of your ability. To find truth in the work.”

Leslie has been involved in the editing of some of our best work, including “9/11 Happened to Us All” – which garnered a Gold ADDY® and got a million hits in just over two week across Youtube and Yahoo!.

“I always have some trepidation at the beginning of a project, a little unsure and wondering if I can truly do justice to the story. However, I find that if I start a project systematically and work through to the creative, things seem to work out. It’s a long involved process – but one that I really enjoy.”

To Leslie and all the women out there who are slaying dragons, keep up the good work. Or, as Leslie likes to say to quote her favorite movie, “May the force be with you.”

Women in Creativity, indeed.

Author: Chris Donaldson

Chris Donaldson is Executive Producer at HCFmedia. Can film making change the world? The Short Answer: Yes.