Fall 2017

Carol Vitkay

When It Comes to Safety, No Stone Is Left Unturned


"Everything is in the preparation," says 1st AD Carol Vitkay, explaining how she ensures onset safety. "People get tired of the ad nauseam number of meetings, but they are all so necessary."

During the third season of How to Get Away With Murder, Vitkay was tasked with burning down a house both safely and convincingly. How did she do it? "It was a combination of practical and lighting elements inside of the house, as well as visual effects," says Vitkay, "[the sequence] required a great deal of coordination and cooperation with all departments. By the time we got to set, everyone knew exactly what they were going to do and how they were going to do it, and I think we did a great job of making that happen."

A longtime DGA member, Vitkay joined by way of the Assistant Directors Training Program, a decision she feels was transformative for her career. "I was young and had produced a couple commercials in Pittsburgh and was sort of in that stage where I thought I knew a lot," says Vitkay. "Moving to New York and getting on some big features to start was really eye-opening and incredibly valuable for me."

(Photo: Tricia Noble)

At Work With

Short profiles of Guild members in all categories sharing their experiences at work.

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Check out the latest DGA Quarterly, featuring interviews with Kathryn Bigelow, Joe Pytka, Jordan Peele, Todd Haynes, Errol Morris, Alex Gibney, Marc Webb, Erin Ehrlich, Aline Brosh McKenna Brian Helgeland Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.