April 24, 2023 by Maddie
Getting to know our newest Nonfiction Filmmaker, Madison Cattle:
Since I was young, I had my eyes set on film with absolutely no clue how to get there. I figured, might as well start with what I’ve got. As a hobby, I taught myself how to make AMVs (Anime Music Videos -cool, yeah I know) on Windows Movie Maker with YouTube tutorials. Editing became an obsession and made working in the film industry more realistic.
At Eastern Washington University, I was led by wonderful professors who taught me all aspects of film. Together with my classmates, we powered through assignments as a team, often having late nights at Zip’s for that last kick of energy. After graduation, I found myself having to ask the stressful question that strangers will ask you, “okay, now you have an art degree…how the heck do you find a job?” Luckily a month later, a job opened up on the show Z-Nation as a Production Office PA. I jumped at the chance and was hired!
After years of work towards film, finally getting into production was absolutely incredible. I was like a kid in a candy store! Thankfully I worked with great bosses and co-workers who taught me the ropes whenever they had the chance. On larger sets, I worked in the office, on set, and at basecamp. On smaller productions I got to work as producer, gaffer, grip, sound, camera, art, editing, directing, just about whatever I could get my hands on. All of this combines into a “Swiss-Army Knife” skill set which will be forever developing.
Working in the industry has its upsides, but it has its downsides too. You learn quickly the work periods are feast or famine. As I worked my way up into a union position, less work was available to me in Spokane. This led to a moment of serious debate about my future. Through a friendly connection, I was guided to Rogue Heart at just the right time.
A small team of gals looking for another addition to help bring local stories to the forefront, sounds like fun! On International Women’s Day (my first day) we hit the ground running. All of my skills have been put to good use, from camera work to organizing to editing. One project that sticks out in particular is Stepwell, a beautiful sculpture that is opening in my favorite park on May 6th. Collaborators came together through multiple challenges, from lumber shortages to weather, and overcoming them to create something spectacular. Stepping into the sculpture feels tranquil and removed from the world, until you climb to the top and see the falls below.
Since I’ve started, I’ve already witnessed the completion of Stepwell; seen the inside of an underground water reservoir that has a park on top; toured the Sonderen Packaging warehouse; and explored beautiful conservation spaces destined for public access! Much of my career has been not knowing where to begin, but jumping in anyways! With Rogue Heart, it’s been fun taking the plunge! Who knows what’ll happen next? 😊