“Getting in isn’t the problem, being taken seriously is. Moving up is hard. You have to work harder to get people to believe in you and trust you.”
What does a time bomb, wads of cash, cigarettes, and money bags have in common? Probably sounds like crime to you, but to Abbie Vance, that’s just a typical day on set as a prop master and production designer for film. While it’s hard to sum up her job in a few words, she gave me a little glimpse into what she does while hanging out in her huge prop truck. As we were chatting, she pulled out things like 40 pairs of sunglasses, fake pepper spray, a basketball, a gallon freeze bag of name tags, and more. Did you know that there are fake cigarettes for actors to use on set? And that they come in different flavors like chocolate??
While Abbie showed me around and prepped the props that were going to be used on set for that day, we talked about what it’s like being a woman in the male-dominated film industry. Of the top grossing 100 films of 2019, women comprised 20% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers.* She explains, “Getting in isn’t the problem, being taken seriously is. Moving up is hard. You have to work harder to get people to believe in you and trust you.”
However, Abbie isn’t discouraged by this and encourages women to pursue careers behind the scenes. She says, “Women on set make for a great set experience. There is a lot of support and an attitude of mutual respect.”
If you would like to learn more about Abbie and her work, please check out https://www.abbievance.com/