Recipe for Success: Kathryn Bigelow

Image of Kathryn Bigelow from Wikipedia,

Born: November 27, 1951 in San Carlos, California

Personal Success Definition

I define success as someone who breaks down barriers and does what people didn’t think could be done.

Kathryn Bigelow is successful because she has shown that not only can a woman be a good director, but can be an amazing one. She was the first and only woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director, and has opened many doors for other women who want to direct films.

Skills for Success

Kathryn Bigelow is 1) a painter, 2) well studied in film theory and criticism, and 3) a writer. Kathryn was “A very talented painter, [she] spent two years at the San Francisco Art Institute. At 20, she won a scholarship to the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program.” – IMDb By learning to paint, Kathryn gained the art skills that she would later apply to her filmmaking. She then attended Columbia and moved to the art of film, where she studied film theory and criticism. This, combined with her talents with painting, all contributed to her success. Finally, she also learned how to write, giving her all the skills to be the amazing director she is today. 

How They Used These Skills

The Hurt Locker movie poster,

Kathryn used these skills to achieve success by making some of the most amazing films ever. One of those films, The Hurt Locker, has become one of the most legendary war films ever. It is very unique and was created in a more realistic style not seen often with war films. Kathryn once said to Interview magazine, “‘My movement from painting to film was a very conscious one. Whereas painting is a more rarefied art form, with a limited audience, I recognized film as this extraordinary social tool that could reach tremendous numbers of people,'” – Biography. She met this goal of reaching tremendous numbers of people through The Hurt Locker; the film opened peoples’ eyes and showed people the truths of war.

Challenges Overcome

Kathryn Bigelow had to overcome the challenge of being a woman in an industry where women are vastly underrepresented. To be successful in the film industry as a woman, Kathryn had extra hoops to jump through, hoops that men don’t experience, simply because she had to prove that a woman can be a successful director.

Significant Work

Point Break movie poster,

Point Break is another successful film that Kathryn Bigelow directed.


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