The year is 2018 and, in this world of ours in the year 2018, women are taking their places in the forefront of our society. The landscape of our world is filled with women CEO’s, growing women’s political power, professional athletes, doctors, scientists, musicians, and writers. Throughout the year we have not only seen a raised awareness on sexual assault against women but have witnessed presumably powerful men being held accountable for their actions in sexual assault cases. One could look at all that has progressed over the course of this year and might think that we have come so far. But there is still work to be done!
Upon having a discussion with one of my colleagues earlier this month, who is an incredibly talented music producer here in L.A., about the current state of women in our society she brought up a great point about women in the music industry and how there are still few women in important roles like music production and engineering. During this conversation I quickly realized that not only was she right, but she was one of the only female music producers I have worked with in my 7 years of supervising.
Catharine Wood, music producer and owner of Planetwood Productions in Los Angeles, records, mixes, masters, and also composes.
Truly a music supervisor’s dream for someone who can do all of these things and can do them well! She’s worked on projects ranging from singer / songwriter, film / tv, Netflix, to the first iPhone commercial and other notable campaigns. She’s a recipient of nine Honorable Mentions from Billboard World Song Contest and is also currently serving on the board for the California Copyright Conference.
I have had the pleasure of seeing Catharine in action a few times in my 4 years in California. But it’s more than her expert knowledge of her craft that I enjoy experiencing (because you will learn so much from watching her work even just an hour), but her incredible command of a project. Any troubles that may have arisen she finds a quick and brilliant solution. She’s a master at dealing with the various types of people and personalities that come with the clientele of the entertainment industry. Her amazing understanding on how music is utilized in scenes to move the story along, emphasize a character, or instill a feeling in the general audience has not only made it easier for me to do my job, but has made us solid partners with a few common goals in mind: 1) creating exactly what the client wants/needs and 2) delivering work that exceeds expectations.
I have written in the past about some negative experiences that I was able to learn from and thought it was due time to write about my experiences working with Catharine that were great and has made me a better professional.
I read a Billboard article about the very same topic I am writing about now, why there weren’t more women in music production and audio-post production, and one of the points mentioned in the article really hit home…maybe there weren’t enough role models to inspire other women to dive into what still seems to be a boys club. With the power of the internet one can find any information that one desires. So, finding female music producers to follow shouldn’t be hard right? Upon doing a google search I found quite a few just on the first page (WondaGurl, Susan Rogers, Taylor Swift, Missy Elliott, Linda Perry, Lauryn Hill, Fatima Al Aadirir, M.I.A. just to name a few) but yet, you rarely hear them mentioned for charting on Billboard’s Top 100 list or winning awards for music production.
Now is the time, the year 2018, with the momentum of empowering women, to encourage those who have the knowledge, passion, and talent to be a part of the music production / engineering community. Consider this a call to action if you are a woman in the music industry who wants to be a music producer. If you don’t know where to start and who to follow, I have already mentioned a talented mentor above who can be that inspiration to live out your dreams. Also, become a Grammy voting member and vote for the talented, hardworking women that deserve to be recognized for their work. If you are a filmmaker or producer working on a media project, I encourage you to hire more women producers and engineers for your projects. As women we are born to be resilient, intuitive, collaborative, and possess the ability to harness our unique strengths. We can do anything, and we will continue to thrive and succeed in our passions from continued encouragement from each other as well as our male counterparts.
To connect with Catharine Wood, visit her website at www.planetwoodstudios.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.