Women in film production doubles at DePaul University

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Young women in Chicago are leading the way when it comes to the future generation of filmmakers. Coming off of the Oscars excitement, more women than ever are studying to become perhaps the next award-winning director.

At DePaul University's School of Cinematic Arts, numbers tell the story. The number of women enrolled in cinematic arts has doubled at DePaul in the past five years.

"Even when I started four years ago, so many classrooms were dominated by men, now when you walk into a Production 1 or Production 2 class, it's 70 to 80 percent female which is super, super amazing," said DePaul Student Casey Autey.

Casey Autey is one of now many female studio technicians working at the school's soundstages. A recently started groundbreaking student group is has also helped to increase the number of films by, for and about women.

"I feel like a lot of stuff is actually starting to happen now that our numbers are rising," said Autey.

"Women have their own stories to tell, in different ways than men do. It's about getting our stories out there, getting our creativity heard. I'm so excited," said DePaul student Lauren Simpson.

But there is also something to celebrate for all aspiring filmmakers. Dana Kupper, who started working as one of just a few female camera technicians and now teaches cinematography, said filmmaking is more accessible than ever.

"All the barriers that used to exist, finding a distributor... to make a film was super expensive. Those things are starting to fall away. We're getting people making movies, putting it out to the audience who wants to see it, super exciting times," said Kupper.

The film students today use pretty much the same equipment as the pros.

In fact, their studio is right next door to a few major TV productions going on right now the city.

The message to everyone is that if you have an idea, get it done.
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