Country and nationality


Professional role in the film industry

Cast Co-ordinator

Years of experience in the film industry

3 years

Olivia Carla Smith

I’m a 3rd year English student at Trinity College Dublin. I’ve had an interest in working in film since I was 16 but first got involved at 19 when a feature film was being shot in my local town. I reached out to the producers offering my services as a Runner, just as a means of being involved in the film. I was originally taken on as a Production Assistant (PA) but during pre-production was promoted to Cast Co-ordinator where I was responsible for the talent and over 200 Extras. Following this, I worked on a couple of shorts with the same female producers, as a PA. I am currently directing my first production for a student film at university.


  • Initially trying to break into the industry, particularly being a woman in a largely male-dominated field.
  • The catch-22 of needing to work on films in order to get experience, but not being hired because you don’t have any experience.
  • Being taken seriously when telling people that you’d like to work in film. It is often viewed as a fantastical pipe dream.

Overcoming Obstacles 

  • Other filmmakers who were also just starting out took a chance on me.
  • Using social media to network & reach out to others in the industry.
  • Constant support from my family.
  • Watching tutorials on YouTube to better understand different aspects of the film industry.


Put yourself out there. Reach out to people within the industry – the worst they’re going to say is No and then you’re no worse off. Network with other filmmakers, particularly female filmmakers, as these connections can lead to opportunities in the future.



The WIFILM Case Study Library will provide VET providers, females interested in developing a career within the industry, or those working alongside females in the industry with a series of case studies on successful women in the film industry. The Case Study Library will highlight the barriers to entry for females in the industry, including deficits in role models, confidence, and career planning.

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.