Posts tagged women

SNL’s newest cast member! Sasheer Zamata! Details here: http://www.deadline.com/2014/01/saturday-night-live-adds-sasheer-zamata-black-cast-member/

SNL’s newest cast member! Sasheer Zamata! Details here: http://www.deadline.com/2014/01/saturday-night-live-adds-sasheer-zamata-black-cast-member/

Bechdel-passing female characters make bank!! (Chart courtesy of Vocativ)

Bechdel-passing female characters make bank!! (Chart courtesy of Vocativ)

When creative executives get in a room and go down the list of possible directors for a movie that’s already financed, they simply don’t see many women to choose from. If we get more women making movies, there will be more people to consider from that list. On some level it’s simply a numbers game.

Mary Jane Skalski, a veteran film producer currently serving as a senior advisor to Gamechanger

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at the current rate of growth it would take women 42 years to catch up with men in terms of TV writing staff jobs

Sundance Institute and Women In Film Los Angeles Study Examines Gender Disparity in Independent Film

Findings include:

  • Of U.S. films selected for the Sundance Film Festival from 2002-2012, 29.8% of filmmakers (directors, writers, producers, cinematographers and editors) were female.
  • Across all behind-the-camera positions, females were most likely to be producers. As the prestige of the producing post increased, the percentage of female participation decreased. This trend was observed in both narrative and documentary filmmaking. Fewer than one third of all narrative producers but just over 40% of associate producers were female. In documentaries, 42.5% of producers and 59.5% of associate producers were female.
  • When compared to films directed by males, those directed by females feature more women filmmakers behind the camera (writers, producers, cinematographers, editors). This is true in both narratives (21% increase) and documentaries (24% increase).
  • Females were half as likely to be directors of narrative films than documentaries (16.9% vs. 34.5%).
  • Female directors of Sundance Film Festival films exceed those of the top 100 box office films. 23.9% of directors at the Sundance Film Festival from 2002-2012 were female, compared to 4.4% of directors across the top 100 box office films each year from 2002 to 2012 that were female.
  • 41.5% of the female directors across 1,100 top-grossing movies of the past ten years had been supported by Sundance Institute.
  • Five major areas were identified as hampering women’s career development in film:
    • Gendered financial barriers (43.1%)
    • Male-dominated industry networking (39.2%)
    • Stereotyping on set (15.7%)
    • Work and family balance (19.6%)
    • Exclusionary hiring decisions (13.7%)
  • Opportunities exist to improve the situation for women in independent film. Individuals mentioned three key ways to change the status quo:
    • Mentoring and encouragement for early career women (36.7%)
    • Improving access to finance (26.5%)
    • Raising awareness of the problem (20.4%)

AWARDSLINE: Callie Khouri has been involved in many projects, but I think many women associate her with writing Thelma & Louise, about two women literally on the road to self-empowerment. Are there any parallels here?
BRITTON: I am, and was, and always will be an enormous fan of Thelma & Louise. I really grew up with that being a seminal movie for me. So I’ve always known who Callie Khouri was; that’s why I was so excited when I got this script. Hers is an interesting kind of feminism. It’s not in your face. (In Nashville), it’s dealing with the complexities of being a woman in a society that really isn’t built for feminism. That’s what I’ve always liked about playing Southern women; some of the most fierce women I’ve known were women from the South, yet they are coming from a world that is not very welcoming to their fierceness. I think Callie really confronts those aspects of feminism in a really unique way. It’s a little subversive, actually.

an interview with Connie Britton (aka Coach’s wife on Friday Night Lights) about her new show (ABC’s Nashville) and its writer (Callie Khouri)

There’s too much cheesecake out there that is sold, or at least marketed, as a ‘strong female’ character or book when it’s anything but, it just reinforces the worst opinions of the most sexist fans, and we gain no new ground. We probably lose ground. I’m not approaching this new X-Men as a ‘female book,’ but I’m writing it as a high action X-Men comic, and with some luck that will nullify some of these poisonous critics who go looking for something to feel angry/uncomfortable/threatened by.

Brian Wood, writer of the new all-female X-Men comic (more on that here)

DirecTV’s upcoming first original series, Rogue, stars Thandie Newton as an undercover detective. Great to see a woman of color featured in that lead role!

You may know Newton best as Dr. Carter’s love interest on ER, or as the woman targeted by a racist cop in the film Crash. Interesting fact: Newton once gave a TED talk on otherness. Among her comments, she shared this — “From about the age of 5, I was aware that I didn’t fit. I was the black, atheist kid in the all-white, Catholic school run by nuns. I was an anomaly.”

It is a good moment for woman of color on TV. Kerry Washington is killing it as the focus of ABC’s Scandal, and Meagan Good stars in NBC’s new Deception. Creators of Deception have stated that there was no specific intent to cast an African-American, Good simply read the part the best. Here’s hoping this kind of diversity in casting leads continues to increase…

Women’s bodies in films are either highly objectified and sexualised or, past a certain age, made fun of. In North American films, there’s no sort of routine nudity so I wanted something that wasn’t particularly eventful for them in that moment.

Sarah Polley talking about a scene in her new film Take This Waltz, featuring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen. More here

Hollywood in 2012 Was Female-Action Packed

(via WomensENews.org)

YES: Mila Kunis to exec produce new CW drama about the women’s lib movement! (Set in the 70s, but timely as ever!)

YES: Mila Kunis to exec produce new CW drama about the women’s lib movement! (Set in the 70s, but timely as ever!)

How can women gain influence in Hollywood?

Eight pieces in the NYTimes dedicated to the subject!!!

BBC Drama More Popular Than 'Downton Abbey' Takes on Universal Healthcare

BBC’s hit “Call the Midwife” premieres on PBS this fall! The show is about young midwives in 1950s London, right after the implementation of universal healthcare. Female centric stories + healthcare issues + great ratings = DON’T MISS!

From Martha Lauzen, via the Women’s Media Center:

One wonders how Hollywood might change if women were in charge in 2012 …

  • Films made by and for a male audience would be considered a “niche” and frequently referred as “small films.”
  • Chelsea Handler, Wanda Sykes, and Ellen DeGeneres would reign as long-term hosts of late-night network television.  Jimmy Kimmel would be relegated to a show on a distant cable channel, and feel grateful to have a career in late-night television at all.
  • A major studio would entrust a woman who had previously directed one relatively low-budget romantic comedy to helm an expensive and high-profile tentpole reboot of a popular comic book franchise.  No one in the Hollywood community would bat a fake eyelash.  
  • Film and television executives would suggest that if men don’t have careers in film and television, it’s because they choose not to.  According to the prevailing conventional wisdom, men would prefer to stay at home to raise families instead of enjoying  high-profile careers as cultural architects.
  • Male movie-goers would routinely contort themselves to adopt a female point-of-view in order to identify with the mostly female driven and created fare at the neighborhood multiplex.  They would wistfully wonder when Hollywood would make films they could relate to.
  • When a film featuring a male comic lead was successful, studio executives would scratch their heads in amazement and wonder, “Are men funny?”
  • The Real Husbands of (fill-in-the-blank) would be a successful reality show franchise for Bravo, featuring males in manufactured situations highlighting and reinforcing the worst possible stereotypes about men.
  • The pool of actresses over 50 who work regularly in film would expand greatly past the current pool of the usual suspects (e.g., Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, Helen Mirren).
  • Every successful film featuring a primarily or all-male cast would be considered a fluke.  These films would be praised when they appealed to a female audience.
  • After many fabulously successful years in the animation business, Pixar would finally make a feature with a male lead.  Critics would judge the film harshly, unaccustomed to seeing a male protagonist.
  • Cable television networks targeting a male audience with monikers such as Men’s Entertainment (or ME) would traffic in the most heavily prescribed social roles imaginable, encouraging men to stay in their proper place.
  • Studio executives would name five male directors they had ever worked with—in their entire careers—as proof that men are just as likely to direct features as women.
  • Every journalist writing about Kathryn Bigelow would feel compelled to wax poetic about her films, constructing a nearly indestructible “girl wonder” myth around her and her work.  Simultaneously, token male directors would bristle when journalists focused on their appearance, former and current marital connections to powerful women in the business, and the fact that they’re men. 
  • (And if women ran the world of film … )  The female head of the Cannes Film Festival would be accused of sexism after choosing only female-directed films for the annual event.  A popular website, Men and Hollywood, would sponsor an on-line petition urging festival coordinators to open their minds and screens to more male filmmakers.  Responding to the criticism, the head of the festival would suggest that  if men made worthy films, the festival would consider them.