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Heather Elwell
Art Department Coordinator

Heather Elwell

Discover how a chance encounter with an L.A.-based writer propelled Heather from a college script to the heart of Hollywood’s art department.

Heather Elwell is a silver screen blockbuster artist! With more than 20 years as an Art Department Coordinator her work in the movie industry is truly inspiring. Her credits include Ad AstraThe HostSpiderman: The Homecoming, and most recently, the blockbusters Top Gun: Maverick and Oppenheimer. After writing a television script in college, a visiting professor, who was an L.A.-based writer, asked if he could shop her script around. This was the validation she needed to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Ultimately, she found her way to the art department, where she discovered her creative niche. We’re not just cheering her on from the sidelines—we’re her partner in financial triumphs, too! Dive into our chat with Heather in our new Member Stories spotlight and prepare to be inspired!

What is the key to finding success in the entertainment industry?

“I think the key to finding success in the entertainment industry is to remain flexible, be supportive, and always try to help when you are able. On and off set, crew members are constantly having to pivot to solve new, often unexpected, problems. I try to help wherever I can, and that support has been returned in kind again and again. I think we all feel more successful when we work together.”

What inspired you to become an Art Department Coordinator?

“A visiting professor asked if he could shop my script around town. That validation inspired me to travel cross-country in an old wood-paneled minivan to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Nothing came of the script, but without it, I never would have moved to L.A., never would have gotten my foot in the door as a Production Assistant, and never would have found my way to the Art Department, where I get to be surrounded by creativity every day. Seeing illustrations and set designs come to life on screen is both exciting and rewarding, especially because I know I am contributing to a film that audiences can fall in love with.”

How does First Entertainment benefit you as a creator of entertainment?

“Time-saving mobile options and one-stop investing options make First Entertainment an ideal place for the entertainment crew.”

What has your experience been like using our digital banking?

“I love First Entertainment’s digital banking! It’s what I use most. It’s super easy to make check deposits on the mobile app, and saves me a trip to the bank or ATM.”

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First Entertainment Credit Union membership is comprised of the people in entertainment whose individual stories are as unique as they are inspiring. Our Member Stories series* highlights these extraordinary stories. Building a network of supportive partnerships contributes to your story and can make all the difference in feeling a sense of genuinely belonging. At First Entertainment, you belong here and Your Story Matters. 

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Producer and writer working together on set

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Testimonials are provided as a means for members to share their experiences. Individual experiences and results may vary. Membership eligibility is required.