The creators of She TV Media, based in El Segundo, are serving up high-quality video production that empowers and includes.
By Maureen Kingsley
Meredith Yinger and Natalie Perez of She TV Media. Photo by Michael Bezman Photography.
For far too long, video production was the nearly exclusive domain of white men. Camera operators, directors of photography, lighting technicians, set electricians, and the remainder of the technical crew were very rarely women or persons of color. The industry as a whole skewed very male and mainly white, and although the demographics have changed for the better in the past ten to 20 years, with women and persons of color joining production teams at unprecedented levels, the fact remains that fewer than two of every 10 film directors today are women, and fewer than 2 of every 10 film writers are persons of color. Finding a production company with a true dedication to inclusivity, and that also happens to be run by women, remains an exciting and welcome discovery.
Fortunately for the South Bay of Los Angeles and beyond, one need look no further than El Segundo-based She TV Media for a talented production team helmed by experienced professionals who happen to be women and who make diversity, inclusivity, and representation one of their company’s core missions.
Co-founder and Lead Cinematographer Natalie Perez and Co-founder and Lead Director Meredith Yinger created and now run She TV Media. The pair met at nearby Loyola Marymount University (LMU) about 10 years ago, where they both studied film and television production and spent a year abroad in Germany, in 2014, learning documentary-film production, specifically. “We graduated in 2015 and each went our separate ways,” Meredith says of their nascent careers, “with Natalie focused on work in cinematography and editing while I pursued directing.” They each took whatever work they could find as they began their respective career paths, and by 2017, Natalie says, the two were feeling frustrated by the lack of diversity in their chosen field.
“I realized,” Meredith explains, “that to change the media industry we would need to become the media industry,” and she feverishly went to work devising a plan for she and Natalie to start a production company of their own. One thorough, well-researched, and convincing PowerPoint presentation later, Meredith had succeeded in getting Natalie onboard with the idea. For her part, Natalie not only accepted her friend’s proposal but quickly began generating additional ideas for the business. Shortly thereafter, the pair dove head-first into building the production house She TV Media and made it an official limited liability company in 2019.
As a team of two (Natalie the tech expert and Meredith the director and lead generator), She TV Media started with projects for their alma mater’s Entrepreneurship Program and for a successful crowd-funding initiative for a startup that also involved folks from the LMU community. The pair also reached out to local nonprofits and very small businesses to offer their production services. Along the way, Natalie and Meredith sought out opportunities to learn all they could about running a business: they networked, joined the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce (for whom they now produce a lively weekly talk show), attended numerous business-development and business-education events, and earned their Small Business Enterprise and Women’s Business Enterprise certifications.
The two are enthusiastic about education: “We love to learn and gain knowledge,” Meredith says. “And what we learn we will not keep solely for ourselves,” Natalie adds. She and Meredith value knowledge and mentorship, and they share it as readily as they acquire it.
She TV Media offers myriad high-quality production services, including branded content creation, live and virtual event production, online live premiere production, nonfiction and narrative production, and more. Two She TV Media productions of which Meredith and Natalie are especially proud are the fictional TV miniseries The Madams and the non-fiction documentary Scars Unseen. The former is an edgy dark comedy about two sisters who form an escort company, and the latter is a six-part documentary about individuals who have experienced and ultimately triumphed over domestic abuse.
“Our primary focus is on producing empowering content that includes women and minorities at every level of production,” Meredith says.
“We bring in diverse voices and collaborate with others,” Natalie adds. “We raise ourselves up and bring others along,” including freelancers of various ethnicities, backgrounds, and gender identities.
“Representation is so important,” Meredith says, “but it’s nearly impossible without funding.” She points to a report from Harvard Business Review stating that only 2.3% of venture-capitalist (VC) funding goes to women-led start-up businesses, and that only about 12% of the decision makers at the VC firms themselves are women. “That means that almost 98% of VC funding goes to male-founded startups,” she points out. “And the existing entertainment and video-production industries are male-dominated as well, especially at the executive level.”
The two want to do their part to change this reality. “Women and minorities should be making empowering choices and executive decisions” across all industries, Meredith says.
A Partnership That Works
A major key to She TV Media’s success is the strong, mutually respectful relationship its founders share. “Meredith and I each bring a unique creative perspective to the table,” Natalie says, “and we aren’t afraid to have challenging conversations” with one another.
What’s next on She TV Media’s horizon, Meredith says, is continued efforts to break into distribution as well as increasing the company’s involvement with local businesses that share its interest in inclusion, diversity, and social justice.
Like all of us, Natalie and Meredith say, She TV Media is working to “thrive and continue onward after 2020.”
This story appears in the August 2021 issue of The El Segundo Scene.