Today we’d like to introduce you to Whitney Skauge.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in the early 90’s in Los Angeles with a single mom who was putting herself through law school. The television and VHS player become my babysitters and mentors very quickly. Growing up with a young parent is tough because they are still figuring things out and aren’t ready to pass along lessons to you. So I had to find a different method.
For me film and filmmaking has always been about access. Access to other parts of the world. Access to people who looked, loved and thought like me. It was my bridge to something better. So I really never considered doing anything else. I’ve had a camera in my hand since I was 6 or 7. It started out with home videos and then moved into documentary and now my work is centered on creating a link between politics, aesthetics, documentation and community.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It 100% has not been a smooth road. I grew up in a rural part of the country where the entertainment industry isn’t really a realistic career path unless you are a rich white dude. And it’s like that in a lot of places. I didn’t go to USC or NYU. I went to a public liberal arts school that could barely support our small student body. I really had to find a way to be a self-motivator which is extremely difficult.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
As an independent filmmaker, it is kind of weird to think of yourself as a brand or company. I’ve tried to be really intentional about the people I collaborate with and the projects I take on. I’m lucky enough that I’ve always had a 9-5 job to pay all my bills which allows me to be more selective about projects — but it’s also a huge limiter. You get exhausted and lose time.
But I mostly focus on making work that has a lot of heart. I grew up making home videos and that vibe has never left my work. I always try to make things that feel like they just happened. Not a lot of production. Part of that is being smart financially but it’s also about just working with what you’ve got and finding inspiration in normal life. I really do believe everyone has a story worth telling. As creatives it is our job to be tuned into the world, to notice those stories and advocate for them. I’m really sensitive so that tends to come up in my work and my approach with my work. It’s a blessing and a curse.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
That’s an interesting question. I’ve never really thought about that. I think more than anything my career has been about patience. I had to be really strategic about staying in the film industry, promoting myself as a filmmaker and also getting myself jobs that could pay my bills but also advance my career. That’s tough but I think because I had a bigger picture in mind I’ve been able to come out on the other side.
- Website: www.whitneyskauge.com
- Phone: 3233760946
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @whitneyskauge
The photos with dancers are from a music video with LA-based artist “TwoLips”.
Check out the VoyageLA Podcast: