Do you remember which movie stood out to you most as a child? Or maybe there were several that you just couldn’t help but watch over and over again. Film, like most art, has a way of speaking to us—connecting us to something beyond our present moment. Through the magic of film, we are each transported (sometimes catapulted) to new places, new worlds, and new adventures.
“I attribute my love of film to my dad. We used to rent movies every weekend and one of the first ones I remember, after the cartoon Strawberry Shortcake, was E.T. by Steven Spielberg,” Stephanie Cullen, founder of #OMGFemaleFilmmakers, began to explain. “I'm pretty sure we rented that on beta-max and even had to rent the beta-max machine from the local grocery store in Hawai'i just to watch the movie. After E.T., I fell in love with all the 80s classics, my favorite being The Goonies.” And just like that, something amazing was set in motion. In all the magical and wonderful ways we can never fully realize, Stephanie’s future was unfolding.
Born in Hawaii on the island of O’ahu, Stephanie spent most of her early childhood roaming the tropical shorelines until her family opted to swap coastal views for those of Federal Way, Washington. After high school, Stephanie spent time in Colorado and California before finding her way to Boise in 2005. And all throughout, filmmaking was never far from her mind.
“In 2011, I started working at HP doing data entry and, on the weekends, I would make short films with my friends.” A few years later, a contract job came available asking people to create video content for the customer support team. “I made a short how-to video about how to change the batteries in a flashlight and I got the job! My first week in that position, I had to create a video about HP's Instant Ink program, start to finish, and it had to be completed by that Friday. I got it done and I attribute that first week's success to the many 48-hour film festivals I'd participated in here in Boise.”
It takes a certain caliber of person to be able to take part in a high-intensity, high-pressure 48-hour film competition. In this case, the same caliber of person who also worked a full-time job while starting the process of having her own production studio. While simultaneously going to graduate school, creating video content for nearly a dozen clients, participating in the Leadership Boise Program, serving on the board of Kessler Keener Foundation and as a chair for Ballet Idaho, competing in the 2021 Strongwoman Competition, running multiple Race to Robie Creek Marathons, and raising a lovely troupe of pets including a 19-year-old cat.
In February of 2022, Stephanie made the leap to leave her day-job at HP and pursue her production company dreams full-time. “And it was a success! In December 2022, I signed a lease on my studio space in Garden City,” Stephanie shared with a smile. “As I started working through the logistics of having a production company plus a physical studio space that I rent out to other creators, companies, and individuals, I decided to create a second LLC. I registered OMG Studios Boise in January of 2023, and just had my ribbon cutting on March 14, Pi Day.”
And we’re so excited to see what comes next for Stephanie and OMG Studios. To learn more about Stephanie, #OMGFemaleFilmmakers, her stories and her work, visit her online at omgFemaleFilmmakers.com.
“I attribute my love of film to my dad. We used to rent movies every weekend and one of the first ones I remember, after the cartoon Strawberry Shortcake, was E.T. by Steven Spielberg,”
In February of 2022, Stephanie made the leap to leave her day-job at HP and pursue her production company dreams full-time. “And it was a success!