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Old 01-28-2013, 09:19 AM   #101
CJ Walley
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

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Oh, God, I got that script once from a older guy who told me it was a woman's story. Only there were four chicks, instead of just one. (Don't forget the token hot girl-on-girl action.) He was genuinely proud of it. Words failed me.

But let's not forget one of our biggest influencers, James Cameron. His movies almost always have a strong LEAD female (Aliens, the Terminator movies, Titanic, and so forth)(in fact, I can't think of a Cameron movie off the top of my head that doesn't have a strong female lead) and have been among the most financially successful ever made.

Co-incidence? I don't think so.
Good point on Cameron!

The thing is, us men think we're so clever when we create these ass kicking tomboys, but we fail to realise when we're creating far fetched male fantasy tropes that are just cool guys with zoobies.

My ex-girlfriend was a biker (and ex-army brat) but she was still a girl, she was a far cry from Mikaela Banes in Transformers. I don't mind improbable female characters, or pulpy ones, just as long as they are still actually female at their core.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:08 AM   #102
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

Before I get called out on it, I realized belatedly that I was confusing Hypatia, portrayed in "Agora", with Aspasia, mentor of Socrates and Pythagorus. (The names sound close, but about 800 years apart. Sorry!)

And just like those western women you mentioned, sc, she often gets dismissed as a 'prostitute' by later Christian era writers.

Thanks for sharing the info on our frontier ladies, btw. Very interesting and I'm not surprised - considering a number of them became as famous as their male counterparts (Belle Starr, Calamity Jane, Annie Oakley... for ex).

Another old chestnut re that period that always annoys me deeply - the oft repeated claim that the Indians used to trade horses for women -( i.e., we're just another form of livestock, right?) What the old farts who told these tales were actually witnessing was the fact that Indian braves had to prove how 'brave' they were - by stealing horses from their enemies. If they couldn't manage that, they weren't considered worthy of a squaw - from books I read by Indians setting the record straight.

Last edited by cuppajoe : 01-28-2013 at 07:01 PM. Reason: misspelling
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:21 AM   #103
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

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Did you know that in the Hollywood years prior to WWII there was a larger percentage of working female screenwriters in Hollywood than today? So why did the industry slide backwards? Because, at the time, screenwriters weren't earning that much. But as the going rate for screenwriters rose after WWII, men became attracted to the career for the moolah.

I'm not sure this is entirely true.

The only statistics I have found online put the number of women screenwriters working in the industry around 24% between 1911-1925 (though they accounted for 50% of all copyrighted works, possibly due to the fact that they were paid by the piece and many of these films were not full-length features).

And then something happened around 1930-34** where the percentage of female writers dropped to around 2%. It was not men being attracted by money. Most films were works for hire written by low-paid staff writers.

This actually falls in line with my own personal belief that the Hays code (1930), backed by the government and the Catholic Church, which was ostensibly about morality in films, was also very much aimed at ridding motion pictures of strong-willed, independent female role models before they could influence America's wives and daughters (anyone familiar with Pre-Code films knows the type of characters actresses were portraying back then..... It's still a bit of a shock to see those films today).

All of which is fascinating and all, and would make for a great documentary of it's own, but you can't just reduce something as political and complicated as the history of Hollywood into base sexism. And you certainly need footnotes for your statistics.


Here is one of my sources, if you're interested in this subject:

http://www.blog4history.com/2010/10/...ers-1900-1920/

It's just a blog post, but there are over a dozen published works cited at the bottom.



**the blog-writer linked above alludes to sexism in a roundabout way, saying that studio bosses (who were men) were seeking out novelists and play-writes for feaures, and those industries were dominated by men. But he can't prove that, and that's a different discussion anyway.


Edited to add: Is it possible that the Depression played a role in this? By that I mean the idea of women taking jobs from men in any industry, even one as fanciful as entertainment, was viewed as a bad thing? I mean with men being counted on to feed families and all?

Last edited by kintnerboy : 01-28-2013 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:07 PM   #104
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

Kinterboy:

When we had this discussion here, a long while back, I found sources that listed numbers over 50% and compared them to post WW2. However, I didn't save those links. If you want to look at the silent era numbers you found, excluding shorts, and look at feature films exclusively, well, okay, I'll go with your numbers: 24% of feature films were written by women between the years 1911 and 1925. An era when women didn't even have the vote until 1920. You'd think we'd be a bit further along 93 years later.

No doubt many industries have become progressive in terms of gender equity. Which proves that when they're open to hiring talented women in a range of disciplines they find them. It seems to me, numbers in recent years in the film industry indicate they're not open to hiring women as often.

This isn't an excuse for not doing your best to prove them wrong. (This morning I had some day job downtime and worked on my female lead western.)

---

the stuart:

The article stressed strong roles for women -- which can be and have been written by men. Many among my favorite films. That's why I said in the same post I think the industry's resistance to scripts with female lead characters is impacting male writers as well.

That's why I'm saying novenas for Done Dealer Hamboogle's script, Rodham. And I haven't even read his script! (I know he's a very strong writer.) But think about it -- Ham wrote a spec about Hillary Clinton. She's the closest we've come to a serious woman candidate for prez. Would the industry have assigned such a script if Ham didn't take the initiative to write it? I don't know. But I wonder.

---

cuppajoe:

Yep ... the wanton woman syndrome. If you're not raisng kids and seeing to your hubby's needs you must be - well - a 'ho. BTW: I also have to smile about the number of posters here using gender-obscure handles who are revealing they're women wroters. Cool. I tried but was outed early on. Ha!
__________________
Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. “Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.”

Last edited by sc111 : 01-28-2013 at 02:21 PM. Reason: typos and bad phrasing
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:10 PM   #105
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

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[size=2]
cuppajoe:

Yep ... the wanton woman syndrome. If you're not raisng kids and seeing to your hubby's needs you must be - well - a 'ho. BTW: I also have to smile about the number of posters here using gender-obscure handles who are revealing they're women wroters. Cool. I tried but was outed early on. Ha!
Yes, nice to see there are more women posting here than I thought :>)
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:26 PM   #106
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

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As for Mommy wars you mentioned -- I think this is due to women's tendency to seek consensus. Studies show this desire for consensus is more prominent in little girls than little boys.
That was illuminating and I'm going to be adding that angle to in-progress research for another project, thanks very much. Agreed on all the rest, also.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:40 PM   #107
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

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Yes, nice to see there are more women posting here than I thought :>)
Yeah, it is heartening. I'd guess that between a quarter and a third of the posters here are women.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:58 AM   #108
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

Picked up on the same thing, and yes, it's nice!

I presume it's after you were outed that you posted that lovely photograph, sc - 'cause it's quite a giveaway! (I'm teasing)

Even more fun though is this article by Michael Moore on "Zero Dark Thirty":
http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsono...ostHeaderPanel

And yes, I know, he's polarizing for some - but please let's not degenerate into another side topic, such as who likes or hates him. If you read it, you'll see why I posted it here. (And I love it, no matter what you think. So there!)
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:15 AM   #109
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

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Picked up on the same thing, and yes, it's nice!

I presume it's after you were outed that you posted that lovely photograph, sc - 'cause it's quite a giveaway! (I'm teasing)

Even more fun though is this article by Michael Moore on "Zero Dark Thirty":
http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsono...ostHeaderPanel

And yes, I know, he's polarizing for some - but please let's not degenerate into another side topic, such as who likes or hates him. If you read it, you'll see why I posted it here. (And I love it, no matter what you think. So there!)
Good link, and here's my favorite quote:

"'Zero Dark Thirty' – a movie made by a woman (Kathryn Bigelow), produced by a woman (Megan Ellison), distributed by a woman (Amy Pascal, the co-chairman of Sony Pictures), and starring a woman (Jessica Chastain) is really about how an agency of mostly men are dismissive of a woman who is on the right path to finding bin Laden. Yes, guys, this is a movie about how we don't listen to women, how hard it is for them to have their voice heard even in these enlightened times. You could say this is a 21st century chick flick."
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:19 AM   #110
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

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but please let's not degenerate into another side topic


I will step up and degenerate this into a side topic.


I would love to see more women producers, directors, writers and actors step up and make action/genre films (like Kathryn Bigelow and like the types of films that James Cameron makes) with strong female leads that appeal to men and women.

To date, Zero Dark Thirty has grossed 77 million dollars worldwide. Not exactly blockbuster status, but it's more than the worldwide grosses of the other 6 major films directed by women in 2012 (W.E., Friends With Kids, The Guilt Trip, Take This Waltz, Two Days In New York and One For The Money) combined.
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