Founder of Denver's Mother Attorney Mentoring Association Adds Film Producer to Bio
Amanda Upson was recently named to Forbes’ “Forty Women to Watch Over 40"
Making the leap from a labor and employment lawyer to film producer may seem like a stretch, but for Denverite Amanda Upson, it was a surprisingly natural transition.
Facing a crossroads and seeking a more fulfilling career, Upson was unclear of her next steps, but she was certain her work needed to balance creativity with logic. She also knew she wanted to work with “kind, brilliant people on a project from start to finish.”
To identify what such a project might be, she sought advice from her inner circle and that’s when a recommendation from her husband piqued her interest:
Although she had no experience working in entertainment, she researched and came to understand that a producer’s role very much played to her strengths.
Then, as often the case, fate intervened.
Upson’s college friend, Kevin Elliot, shared with her his own vision of starting a film production company. Recognizing Elliot as the kind and brilliant collaborator she was seeking, Upson established her production company, Tuck and Roll Productions, and the two partnered on their first project.
After scouring through a number of scripts, Upson and Elliot agreed on Magnum Opus, a feature-length thriller exploring timely political and national security issues written by Scott Stoddard.
With Upson producing for the first time and Elliot making his directorial debut, the project was no easy feat. But, together, they successfully filmed Magnum Opus, secured national and international distribution rights and premiered the film on streaming services in late 2017, including Amazon and iTunes.
Upson’s dexterities extend well beyond her lawyer-turned-film-producer resume, however. Recently named to Forbes’ “Forty Women to Watch Over 40,” Upson dedicates time to community engagement activities through her legal work. The University of Virginia grad maintains her attorney license so she can stay active in the legal community, provide mentorship and offer pro bono work – most recently to assist with Hurricane Harvey issues.
Adding to her skills, Upson is also a mother. Facing the unique challenges of practicing law while raising children, she co-founded the Denver chapter of the Mother Attorney Mentoring Association (MAMA), an organization of more than 300 women committed to providing support and resources for working mother attorneys. This March, she joined the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’s Colorado chapter gathering in the state capitol rotunda to support common-sense gun policy.
Upson, who has congenital hearing loss, is also a member of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association (DHHBA). She was recently bestowed the honor of representing the DHHBA as a member of the United States Supreme Court Bar – a distinguished appointment. Much to her excitement, in January, she was sworn in at the Highest Court in Washington, D.C.
Within two years of taking the career plunge into a notoriously toilsome field, Upson found success leading an enormous enterprise in a brand-new industry. Throughout the journey, she maintained her commitment to serving the community as an experienced attorney. As she heads into 2018, she will stay the course – eyeing her next major film project and seeking opportunities through media and legal work to help increase civil discourse and amplify the stories of diverse and underrepresented voices.