Fil-Am Heather Jack makes network TV directorial debut

Yong Chavez, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at May 19 2019 01:07 PM

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HOLLYWOOD - Filipino-American Heather Jack recently directed “Cloud Green,” one of the recent episodes of the hit NBC show “Superstore.”

Previously, the independent filmmaker made a short film called “Let’s Not Panic.”

But her big break in her network TV directorial debut came through NBC’s diversity and inclusion program called “Female Forward.”

“Right now we’re in a really interesting time where there are programs like ‘Female Forward’ that are helping to promote both women and minorities so I feel very fortunate because it’s a time that’s creating opportunities for people like me to have these kinds of jobs,” she said.

“Twenty or thirty years ago, that was much harder for women and minorities who were trying to break through as directors,” she added.

Ten up-and-coming women directors shadow experienced directors on set in NBC shows and then they are given the chance to helm their own episodes.

It was extra-special for Jack also because she had a chance to direct fellow Filipino Nico Santos.

“I was talking to someone at NBC about this and he said, ‘We want the directors to reflect the people that we see on the show.’ So in the same way that we see Nico’s character or we see other characters of color and also it’s a female-driven show, we want to see those people also directing because we can lend our voices due to the tone of the show,” she said.

Jack recently reconnected with her Filipino roots when she went home to Davao with her mother. She said being biracial broadened her views and it is reflected in her work.

“We celebrated every holiday with my Filipino relatives so I feel very much a part of the Filipino community. It kind of gives you a different perspective on things. I can relate to my Filipino family and I relate to my upbringing and they all different things,” she said.

Jack is currently preparing for her next TV directorial assignment for NBC.