The most appropriate undergraduate college major in light of my diverse interests was film, since it involved technology and encompassed so many Arts forms: music, acting, directing, writing, movement, story, color, animation, cinematography, visuals. I added sound design and engineering to my too-long list of Arts interests when a work-study job I needed to support myself opened in the film department at San Francisco State University. The knowledge of sound I gained in that school job led to a position managing a post-production film studio for producer Saul Zaentz in Berkeley immediately after college. I remember my grandmother was happy that I had stopped “flitting” and landed somewhere. But I did not want to manage a film studio for the rest of my life. I did not want to spend my days helping other people make their movies. I wanted to make my own movies – with all their Arts component parts.

In the 1980s, the film world was not particularly hospitable to women. The organization Women in Film conducted a study in 1983 that found less than 5% of all movies, TV shows and TV commercials were directed by women. There was only one woman in the Cinematographers' Union. My position as a woman manager of a major post-production motion picture studio was a rarity, and some thought that I should have counted my blessings and stayed put. I wanted more. I wanted to express myself, to write and direct movies. But I had no mentors, no role models, no sponsors, no vision of a path to pursue with the goal of movie-making in mind.

Then I saw my first personal computer, and my vision began to clear. I didn't know how exactly, but I was certain my future “moviemaking” was tied in with that new box. I knew somehow that box would eventually allow me to work with all the Arts, and it would not care about my gender. I quit my film studio job, returned to college, and opened a new door. I still had no role models or mentors, but at least I was on a path.

That year, 1984, the Mac computer and a funny little software program, HyperCard, were introduced. Over the next few years, color, graphics, sound and video became integral parts of the personal computer, and the world of multimedia was born. continued page 9