(written from a Production point of view)
Townsend has started to work as DGA trainee in the early 1990s with credits including the science fiction thriller Demolition Man (1993), the action thriller True Lies (1994, working with Martin Jedlicka), and the action sequel The Next Karate Kid (1994, with Rosemary Cremona).
She then worked as second second assistant director on the comedy sequel Father of the Bride Part II (1995), the horror film The Craft (1996), the science fiction thriller The Tomorrow Man (1996, 2nd Unit direction by Eddy Donno), the fantasy comedy Liar Liar (1997), the thriller Switchback (1997), the comedy Senseless (1998), and the fantasy drama Pleasantville (1998, with Yudi Bennett and Rusty Mahmood) and episodes of Get Smart (1995), Courthouse (1995), Savannah (1996, starring Beth Toussaint and Ray Wise), Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1998), Melrose Place (1998-1999), and Get Real (1999).
Further credits as second second or second assistant director include the television series Ally McBeal (2000-2002, working with DGA trainee David Goldfarb), CSI: Miami (2002-2003), The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire (2003), Boston Legal (2005-2006, starring William Shatner and Rene Auberjonois), The Office (2011), Talent: The Casting Call (2011), and The Booth at the End (2012) as well as the crime drama Conviction (2010), the sport drama Snake & Mongoose (2013), and the comedy The M Word (2014).
In 2002, Townsend worked as director, writer, and executive producer on the short comedy Bang or a Whimper.
As first assistant director, Townsend worked on the thriller 40 West (2011) on which she also worked as unit production manager, the short drama Denise (2012, starring Alison Pill), the short drama Mary (2012, starring Patrick Fabian), and the television series Paloma (2013) and Payday (2013) on which she also worked as line producer.