Inlaws & Outlaws

The Film

J Anna Chen, Production Manager

"I started my career in television inauspiciously. I made a cold call to a local Miami cable station offering to work for free in exchange for training. The station manager didn't snicker or dismiss me outright (in retrospect, it was probably a slow news day) but we sat down in the studio and talked about the industry. I returned a month later and as luck would have it, he had an opening and offered me a job. The next 4 years proved to be a wonderful education. The station personnel were incredibly generous with their knowledge and nonplussed at my desire to suck every bit out of my opportunity. By the time I left, I had worked my way through every production department and every technical position."

"I moved to Washington D.C. and registered with the National Press Corp. I spent the next year as a photographer on the Capital Hill and Embassy Row beat. It was exciting and very fast-paced. It was at this time that I began thinking of crossing over from the technical side to the producing side. I saw an ad in a trade magazine for a Producing position out in the Twin Cities and applied. I got an interview and subsequently the job as a Producer on Newton's Apple. This was the start of what would become a 10 year association with PBS National. I moved from city to city and show to show. In 1998, I left PBS and went to work for the Discovery Channel to Co-Produce a pilot called CyberRumble. It was high-profile and very well received but by the time it was launched, I was ready for a break. I left my beloved East Coast and moved to Seattle. These days, I teach in the Media Arts Department at the Art Institute of Seattle, technical freelance for the stimulation and will occasionally dust off my producing skills and take on a social documentary here and there. This spring, I had an opportunity to return to Boston but turned down the offer. Three years ago, that would not have been the case, but I have really come to love it here."

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