Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Victoria Duncan

By Catherine Woo

Welcome to NYWIFT, Victoria Duncan!

At age 12, Victoria began making films, struck by her power to engage an audience using her imagination. This led her down an exciting path to SNL, The Blacklist, The Sinner, Vice, and branded content for huge companies like Wells Fargo and Amazon, just to name a few. Her LGBT+ ballet film I Am Enough was adapted for the stage and performed at New York City’s iconic Lincoln Center. She is currently working on the screenplay for a feature film.

Victoria walks us through her incredible journey, from her childhood favorite movies to presenting a piece to the United Nations.


Victoria Duncan at Lincoln Center


Describe yourself. Give us your elevator pitch!

I’m a creative producer working in branded content at Bloomberg Media Studios. To summarize, I studied film and TV production at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, worked for many years in scripted and docu television postproduction (all while directing my own independent film projects on the side), found my way into advertising, and here I am.

I get a hand in every aspect of production, from pitching to creative brainstorming, finding freelancers and production vendors to execute ideas, directing shoots, and leading edit / recording / mix / and color sessions.

The idea of creating something that may have never existed before, out of nothing, is one of the most gratifying feelings, and I’m grateful to have made a career out of it. And the best part is, if you’re lucky, what you make will have a powerful message and you’ll find a group of collaborators who just “click.” That’s when the magic happens.


What brings you to NYWIFT?

My career has taken several twists and turns, and I’ve met some amazing collaborators and mentors along the way. Though I learn so much every day in my current role, I believe it’s important to continue to expand your network and never stop learning so you can be the best creative leader you can be. I’d also love to learn more about feature film screenwriting, financing, and development.


Victoria Duncan on set


You’ve been passionate about filmmaking since age 12. Which stories first inspired you to begin making your own films?

My childhood favorites were The Lion King and A Little Princess. I was in awe when a movie would take you from laughing to being moved to tears, leaving you dumbfounded, thinking, “What just happened? How did I get like this?”

Around 12, I started creating my own little videos and discovered that I held the same power to move an audience purely through my imagination. It became a drug I couldn’t let go of and I basically never stopped.

In my early teens I discovered more cerebral and philosophical films—ones that fragmented the traditional storytelling arc, distorted reality, and created a sensory experience – films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Tree of Life, Requiem for a Dream, Children of Men, and Pan’s Labyrinth. That was when I saw filmmaking not just as a way to tell stories and entertain, but as an art form where what an audience takes away from it can be deeper than what meets the eye.


Victoria Duncan on set


As a storyteller, you encourage viewers to think deeper, consider unheard perspectives, and bring others closer together. What kinds of stories are exciting to you?

I think it’s fascinating when a film is able to take something unapproachable and complex and make it entertaining and relatable. As someone who is very interested in psychology, I love the idea of bringing two opposites in a room and forcing them to find ways to connect (think those Jubilee “Middle Ground” YouTube videos). That’s when positive change happens — when we are able to question our current belief systems; when you can strip away someone’s superficial qualities and discover what makes them human. In a world that can often feel very polarized, this is such a powerful tool.


Victoria Duncan on set


You’ve worked on SNL, The Blacklist, The Sinner, Vice, and done branded content for huge companies like Wells Fargo and Amazon. What was your favorite moment working on any of your projects? And the biggest challenge?

I have a few favorite moments!

As an intern on Saturday Night Live, I’ll never forget getting to sit in the control room, listening in on the writers spitball script changes on the fly during the rehearsal before the Saturday show. It required not only a talent for creative improvisation but an incredible amount of mental strength and agility to handle the enormous pressure that the job required. I’m also grateful to have received one-on-one mentorship with the 10x Emmy-winning (and incredibly kind) director of SNL, Don Roy King.

I learned so much during my time working under Brad Carpenter, the incredible post producer on The Sinner, Fosse/Verdon, and other network shows. He seamlessly managed massive teams (including showrunners, directors, and editors) with an admirable balance of warmth, enthusiasm, and level-headedness. To this day, I aspire to match his energy and professionalism as I move throughout my career.

Last year I produced and directed a branded piece for General Motors through Bloomberg. We went on an EV road trip with musician AY Young, spreading the message of sustainability from small towns all the way to the United Nations. This was a perfect example of that “great collaborators” “great message” thing I was talking about and I’m very proud of the piece we created.

As for challenges – I think any time you approach something you’ve never done before is a challenge, which coincidentally happens a lot with producing since there are always new people to work with and different obstacles to overcome. It can be equally scary and exhilarating, but the more you experience, the bigger your mental library becomes. It’s what I strive for.


Victoria Duncan on set for I Am Enough

Rehearsal for I Am Enough


Your LGBTQ ballet film “I Am Enough” was adapted for the stage and performed at Lincoln Center by American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet dancers for Dance Against Cancer. Can you tell us about the experience of combining the art form of ballet with filmmaking?

Ballet was one of my first passions and dance is still one of my favorite mediums of self expression. Once I finished my thesis film at NYU and entered the “real world,” I knew this was the next film I had to make. I really wanted to create a positive change on the artform which was very stuck in the past and knew I needed to involve dancers at the top of the industry in order for the project to get any real exposure.

Because I quit ballet when I was a teenager, I didn’t know anyone in the NYC professional ballet space.

During a break between post coordinator gigs, I found a way to make it happen through many sleepless nights of cold emailing, Instagram DMs, and a crowdfunding campaign where I raised around $10,000. It is incredibly humbling to know that the film ultimately had an impact on the representation that we now see on ballet stages.


Victoria Duncan on set


The Transgressor, your short film, follows a child spy living in a dystopian society where music is illegal. It explores so many important themes about conformity, repression, and identity. What do you hope that audiences take away from this film?

The Transgressor was purposefully set in a hypothetical world so that the universal themes of social conformity and repression of individuality could apply to so many different cultures and societies. I hope it reminds audiences to think critically before following the status quo, and embrace their unique perspectives.


Victoria Duncan


What’s next for you? Are there any upcoming projects that you’re excited about?

I always have projects in the works at Bloomberg – we recently released videos for AT&T that use Unreal Engine backgrounds and it’s been really exciting to explore the capabilities of the technology. I’m also working on an ongoing series with Wells Fargo that explores the positive impact that businesses have on communities and the planet.

As far as independently, I’m working on a feature screenplay which I began developing at the Chateau Orquevaux artist residency in France back in March. I’m hoping to complete the script by the end of this year (and if anyone wants to volunteer to read it and give me your brutal feedback, please help a girl out – I will buy you dinner!).


You can keep up with Victoria and her work through her website  www.victoriaduncan.net and her Instagram @vduncanfilmstills


Catherine Woo

Catherine Woo Catherine Woo is an intern at NYWIFT and an aspiring screenwriter. She will graduate from NYU Tisch with a BFA in Dramatic Writing in 2024. She has interned at Rattlestick Theater and Protozoa Pictures. She has done production photography for PrideFest 2023 at The Tank and Broke People Spring 2023 Play Festival at NYU.

View all posts by Catherine Woo

Comments are closed

Related Posts

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Ruthie Marantz

Welcome to NYWIFT, Ruthie Marantz! Born and raised in NYC, Ruthie has been making films on public access TV since she was 13 years old. Since then, her works has been shown at BAMcinemaFest, SeriesFest and Seattle International Film Festival. She has her M.F.A. from NYU’s Graduate Film Program, where she was recipient of the Leo Rosner, Maurice Kanbar, and the Academy of Arts and Sciences Scholarships. Ruthie has directed and produced commercial work for clients including Netflix, LG, Samsung, Vice and Hearst. Her autobiographical pilot Rainbow Ruthie, which received funding from director Spike Lee, was accepted to the IFP Episodic Lab and premiered at SXSW, becoming Oscar eligible in 2019. More recently, she co-wrote the pilot to Southfield Supernovas, which won the 2020 SXSW Seriesfest Pitch-A-Thon. Read more about Ruthie’s amazing stories from set and upcoming adventures here!


Meet the New NYWIFT Member: China L. Colston

Welcome to NYWIFT, China L. Colston! China is a SAG-AFTRA actress and award-winning filmmaker. As an actress, she has embodied emotional women, from the guilt-ridden mother in Strings Attached to the dealer in Sweet Thang. China’s unwavering dedication as the star, writer, director, and producer of Dark Seed led the film to acclaim from the Validate Yourself Film Festival, African American Arts Alliance of Chicago, and the Dramatist’s Guild Success In The Arts Award aka SITA. She is the recipient of a 2021 NYFA grant for her script To Cook or Not to Cook, which follows a chef in Harlem repairing his relationship with his family through food. She is the recipient of a 2021 NYFA grant for her script To Cook or Not to Cook, which follows a chef in Harlem repairing his relationship with his family through food. China brings us through her incredible journey as a creator here!


Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Toby Perl Freilich

Welcome to NYWIFT, Toby Perl Freilich! Toby is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker and writer, focusing on cultural reporting. Her work explores all sorts of perspectives, from senators to artists, spanning across the world. She co-produced and co-directed Moynihan, a film about the late New York senator, policy expert, and public intellectual. She also directed, produced, and wrote Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment, about one of the world's longest running and most successful experiments in radical, secular communal living. Right now, she is producing and directing I Make Maintenance Art: The Work of Mierle Laderman Ukeles about the pioneering ecofeminist and the first Artist in Residence at the New York City Department of Sanitation. Read about Toby’s inspiring past and future projects here!


Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Melisa Ramos

Welcome to NYWIFT, Melisa Ramos! Melisa is a filmmaker and professor from Puerto Rico, bringing 14 years of post-production and motion graphics experience to New York. Her first production, Puerto Rican Voices, a docu-series about the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Following Puerto Rican Voices, Melisa continued to share Puerto Rican and Latin American stories. In 2020, she directed and produced From Performers to Spectators, a doc-series showcasing New York City performers during lockdown. She is currently in production on Hoop Warrior, her first feature film. Read all about Melisa’s journey as an editor and artist here!