All School Meeting - Missy Parker '89

October 20, 2017 — 8:30am - 9:30am

Missy Parker has been working in the film industry for 20 years.  Missy started as an intern on a film in Minneapolis, and has been working in Los Angeles in the Set Decorating Department ever since.  Missy’s Art History background laid the foundation for her work as a Set Decorator. As a Set Decorator she is responsible for designing and building the worlds characters inhabit in the film; be it a spacecraft, a bedroom, or a pirate ship.

Missy recently decorated the film, Hidden Figures, a period drama about three African American female engineers working at NASA in the 1960’s.  The film was the untold story depicting the lives of African American women at NASA.  The film explored the multitude of challenges they faced dealing with racism and sexism in their work and daily lives.   The film also offered an opportunity to show the private lives of these women, and a glimpse into their proud homes of the times.

Hidden Figures was a great experience, having a Production and shooting crew comprised of almost 34% women, a rarity in Hollywood.

Hidden Figures won the Art Director’s Guild Award for best period film of the year.

Missy has also travelled to China to work on a film directed by Zhang Yimo. The film, The Great Wall, was set in 11th century China and was filmed in Beijing and other rural locations. It was an amazing experience to be able to spend 6 months in China and spend time working, and learning alongside the Chinese film maker, as well as  film makers from all over the world.

In her work, Missy has been lucky enough to be part of other films that have taken her all over the United States. She has worked on large blockbusters like, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Avengers and Pirates of the Caribbean. She has also been able to work on period character pieces like, the new Showtime series, I’m Dying Up Here, set in 1970’s Los Angeles comedy clubs.

My time at Madeira really allowed for me to learn and be myself. I always felt so supported by the school and my teachers, (even when I was being a crazy teenager!)

That confidence I built has served me well in my own life. I am often one of only a  few women in a department meeting or on a location scout.  I never hesitate to speak my mind. The ability to also have had Co-­‐ Curriculum, and be out in the real world was such a great opportunity.


“I carry my experiences and friendships from Madeira with me everywhere,” said Parker. “I am proud to have become one of many great women from Madeira, and thankful we were  allowed to be great girls at Madeira.”

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