The Star Behind the Show
Andrea Reyes Gonzales moved to New York in 1999 to pursue her interests in the film industry. She is a first-generation college graduate with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from California State University, San Bernardino. Although her degree is not aligned with film, she never let the fear of the future consume her.
Growing up in a family that was as supportive as it was oppressive proved to be daunting when the time came to move out. When she decided to move away from her overwhelming family, she packed her bags and moved across the country to the "City that Never Sleeps," New York City, to make her dreams come true.
Gonzales mentioned in an interview that her upbringing as a producer was extremely untraditional. Her career started in New York working as a waitress, where she met a bartender who was also an aspiring actor. She assisted in producing his short film, and later received an internship because of her work on several music video sets.
Gonzales moved back home to Los Angeles in 2002, where she went from job to job trying to figure out what branch of the production business she wanted to settle in. As she built her resume, her colleagues recognized her niche for organization, coordination of events and management. She started as assistant coordinator, production coordinator, production manager and, eventually, line producer. All of these involve working with logistics, which includes budgeting, managing sets and hiring the crew of the production.
Gonzales is now a line producer and co-founder of a new independent production company, Pollen Pictures. Gonzales describes the company as being inclusive to all people in front of and behind the camera. Pollen Pictures firmly believes men and women of all backgrounds should be represented in the film industry.
Gonzales expressed that working in a male-dominated industry has its hardships because of the perception that women cannot, or should not, hold leadership roles. It comes as a surprise to most people when she mentions she has been in the business for over 18 years. She has worked hard to move up the ladder and has held her own against the veteran men. Gonzales believes it is important, not only for more female representation, but for women of color to be in leadership roles as well.
“There’s six women on the panel," Gonzales explained. "Yes, but there’s six white women, and that doesn’t really help.”
She believes in female inclusion, but diversity in female representation is more important for a group of diverse women to look and relate to.
Gonzales is both a mentor to herself and those around her. She uses her knowledge and struggles in the industry to inform those who are beginning their careers and working their way up. By drawing on past experiences, she is able to be a mentor to young students in the film industry.