Ferdinand native follows her dreams to Hollywood

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Kathryn Begle, a 2008 Forest Park and 2012 Indiana University graduate, left Dubois County nearly five years ago to pursue a dream of working in cinematography in Los Angeles.


FERDINAND — People will go great distances to pursue their passions. For Kathryn Begle, that distance was over 2,000 miles.

Begle, a 2008 Forest Park and 2012 Indiana University graduate, left Dubois County nearly five years ago to pursue a dream of working in cinematography in Los Angeles. Begle, 27, is now a freelance second assistant camera who works primarily on TV shows and commercials, with a few stints on music videos and feature films sprinkled in-between. 

What does a second assistant camera do?

Too many things to count, according to Begle.

“My biggest job is prioritizing all my jobs,” Begle said. “I have to decide which one is most important because all of them have to get done.”

Begle is responsible for organizing equipment, handling equipment, moving equipment, building cameras, breaking cameras down, logging and reporting camera settings, setting actors’ marks and many other tasks. She even gets to use the clapper (technically called a slate) that starts a scene.

Infrequently Begle works as a first assistant camera, which is an equally important position that mainly does focus pulling. Focus pulling ensures the camera is always in focus as it moves through a scene. Though this is an essential role, Begle prefers her usual spot as second assistant. She’s known since college that she wanted to work directly with cameras and equipment, and being a second assistant camera allows her to do just that and much more. She doesn’t plan on doing anything else anytime soon.

“You’d think of it as an entry level title, but most of the assistants I know will do this their whole career,” Begle said.

Begle first arrived at IU aspiring to become a director or performer. After all, she had been a part of every art and performance club she possibly could during her time at Forest Park Junior-Senior High School. Every creative activity she could get her hands on, she did. But during her college years, she discovered that her true passions lie in the technical aspects of cinematography. During her four years at IU she found herself frequenting the camera department and working on every possible student film she could. By the time she graduated, she was armed with a telecommunications degree and a clear desire to pursue her passions on the West Coast.

The entertainment industry is notoriously difficult to succeed in. It’s even harder when a chance at finding that success means moving thousands of miles from home.

Besides a few friends, Begle knew no one in LA when she first made her journey in 2012. She worked many jobs for no pay to gain experience and to prove her competency in her field. It was soon clear that networking was challenging, but essential to finding jobs. Begle said this period of her life taught her the importance of keeping good contacts, working hard and being open to learning.

Freelancing is stressful for Begle. When one project ends, there is never a guarantee that another one will soon be available. Begle must always balance doing quality work on one project with finding another one to take up at its conclusion.

The hard work Begle put in at the beginning of her career and continues to do has led to some great success.

The Ferdinand native has worked on shows such as Amazon’s “Transparent,” the FX show “Baskets,” and the final season of Comedy Central’s “Workaholics.” She also has adapted well to life in the big city, despite the fact that LA is home to nearly 4 million people and Ferdinand is home to a bit more than 2,000. An avid learner, Begle takes full advantage of the diverse opportunities offered to her by the people and cultures of LA.

“Anything I wanna learn how to do, someone in LA can teach me,” Begle said. One of her current hobbies she learned out west is scuba diving.

While pursuing her dreams, Begle has always had her family’s full support. Her parents are Alan and Diane Begle of Ferdinand, and her sisters, Rachel Beier and Laura Rohleder, also still live in the area. Alan and Diane drove with their daughter all the way to LA to help her move and have been cheering her on from the other side of the country ever since.

“I’ve always had support of my family,” Begle said “I’ve always been grateful for that because it makes me a lot more confident and strong.”

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