Reel Women: Megan Maples — producer, leader

Megan Maples

The 15-year
film and advertising
veteran recalls
a career track
that began with
an internship during
her college years

Megan Maples has been an active part of the Chicago advertising and film community for over 15 years. Besides working in production and post-production working on numerous brands, she also served as President of Women in Film Chicago, a staple organization providing opportunities and education for women in this industry.

These days, Maples is currently working with the “incredibly talented people” at Bruton Stroube Studios, a print and motion studio going on 40 years in this industry.



How did you get into the business? I came to Chicago for college. Started an internship my Sophomore year at a commercial production company and the fast pace and creativity hooked me. The next year I started working full-time at a local production company and have been going ever since. You have to love what you do and I always look forward to the adrenaline and excitement on every project.

What obstacles have you faced specifically because of your gender? This one is interesting because in the course of my career you witness a mentality of head down and don’t disrupt. I feel I was fortunate to work with women who were mentors and leaders that supported and encouraged success. Not to apologize for it.

Best thing to ever happen to you to remind you that you are a woman? Women in Film Chicago the board and the members. The board is 100% volunteer, meaning each individual goes above and beyond daily to make this organization thrive and succeed as it does for the members. I was very proud of the time I involved on the board. Those are amazing women to the core!

Work you are most proud of? It may sound nuts but when I first started as a PA in commercials. Being a PA can be a thankless but very fun job. You learned a lot about yourself and how important working in a team is for getting things accomplished. It’s takes a village for a reason.

Do you think the #metoo movement has created significant change? I believe it has begun improving. It reinforces the importance of why women having leadership roles in this industry is critical. I see a deeper support systems than before. Women are advocating and uplifting each other versus competing against.

How have professional attitudes towards women evolved during your career? That women are given more opportunities to be leaders and have more than one seat at the table.

Trapped on an island what essentials must you have? I would need sunscreen, a hammock and Steinbeck’s East of Eden.

If you had a time machine, what would you say to your past self? Allow yourself to laugh more.

If you could have a one-on-one with anyone who would it be? And why? Sacagawea. The Lewis and Clark expedition would not of succeeded/survived without her strength and fearlessness. It would be a fascinating conversation!
To see the complete list of Reel Women, click here.