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Backlit:  Shining a light on those who work behind the camera

BACKLIT is a collaborative effort between WIFVNE and High Output Academy with a mission to shine a light on those working behind the camera.

The BACKLIT videos aim to demystify the industry as a whole and the Lighting and Grip & Electric departments specifically. The goal is to empower and inspire those who are interested in being involved in the industry and to showcase experience and insight from established professionals. This is accomplished in two ways:  by providing a low-stress/high engagement on-set "learning lab "experience, and by producing videos for distribution through High Output and WIFVNE channels.

Carissa Spatcher has been a member of IATSE Local 481 since 2008, and a local 52 member since 2011. She is a grip who has worked on such major productions as Don't Look Up and Orange Is the New Black. Before becoming a union member, Carissa worked as a repair technician at High Output, welding, fabricating, and repairing equipment. Carissa is a passionate activist and advocate for worker's rights in the entertainment industry. When she is not tackling creative challenges on set, Carissa spends time with her family, works on vintage cars and guitars!

Rhode Island native and film grip Carissa Spatcher discusses the technical aspects of her job including being a part of the local film union.

Rhode Island native and film grip Carissa Spatcher shows us typical grip equipment that you might find on a film set in one of our grip trucks.

Rhode Island native and film grip Carissa Spatcher talks about the importance of networking in the film industry.


Maddie Staszak is a cinematographer living and working in the Boston area. is currently a freelance Cinematographer. Previously, Maddie worked as an in-house cinematographer for Wayfair. As a full time employee, she has helped develop the visual language of the global brand by shooting TV commercials, Online Videos, and Social Content. Before that, she worked at several different rental houses in Boston and Los Angeles. Shortly after graduating Boston University, her career kicked off when she was admitted to the Panavision Hollywood 2-year program. There, she gained deep understanding of professional cinema cameras and how to use them. She moved on to work in the camera department on several large productions in LA, including independent features and a TV show. 

Boston based Cinematographer Maddie Staszak discusses her technical and artistic perspective on the film industry including her work with Wayfair and Panavision.

Boston based Cinematographer Maddie Staszak discusses dollying and lighting.

Boston based Cinematographer Maddie Staszak discusses the importance of networking in the film industry.

Boston area director and cinematographer, Elisa Garcia has a passion for the arts. Specializing in film, Elisa strives to bring people together in order to create complex projects that are only possible through creativity and collaboration. She's also a painter; her works usually contain a message that is up for interpretation. Elisa is one of the founders of the Greater Boston Artist Collective (GBAC).

Boston area director and cinematographer, Elisa Garcia discusses the technical and artistic process of her work.

Elisa Garcia discusses some of her go to lights and modifiers for filmmaking.

Elisa Garcia discusses the importance of networking and collaborating.

WIFVNE Member Jaina Cipriano is a Boston based artist communicating with the world through photography, film and installation. Her works explore the emotional toll of religious and romantic entrapment. She is is also the founder of Finding Bright, a design studio specializing in set building for music videos as well as hosting events that bring the Boston art scene together. Jaina creates her photographs in built sets, forgoing digital manipulation because she believes creating something truly immersive starts with the smallest details. A self taught carpenter, Jaina loves a challenge and her larger than life sets draw inspiration from the picture books and cartoons of her childhood. Jaina studied at The New England School of Photography and has been exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions around New England.

Jaina Cipriano discusses the technical and artistic process of her work.

Jaina Cipriano discusses some of her go to lights and modifiers for filmmaking and photography.

Jaina Cipriano discusses the importance of networking in the art world.

WIFVNE Member Amanda McGrady got her start as a filmmaker shooting horror flicks on MiniDV. She began working in the industry while attending Emerson College where she earned a B.A. in Visual Media Arts. Her fascination with cameras grew when she took a job in a busy rental house. Even though she came up as a digital shooter, she still loves shooting on film when possible and is inspired by practical FX and good old-fashioned movie magic. Over the years Amanda has shot a variety of projects including feature and short films that have screened at festivals around the world.

Cinematographer Amanda McGrady discusses her technical and artistic perspective on the film industry.

Cinematographer Amanda McGrady talks about the importance of networking in the film industry.

Cinematographer Amanda McGrady demonstrates some of her go to lights for filmmaking.



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