Savage graduated from the University of Toronto in 1990 with a B.A. in English and Cinema Studies, then from the University of Iowa in 1993 with an M.A. in Film History and Theory. During her study towards a PhD in the same field, in 1995 Savage was offered a position at Drew Barrymore's production company Flower Films. Here she dabbled in scriptwriting, handling production rewrites for Charlie's Angels, and met the film's Director McG. The two later formed production company Wonderland Sound and Vision in 2001.