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Old 01-26-2013, 01:36 PM   #91
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

Sometimes the biggest problem we women face are other women.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:13 PM   #92
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

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Sometimes the biggest problem we women face are other women.
And sometimes the only hope we have are other women.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:08 PM   #93
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

I once read in some article in some French film mag that the typical American male action hero was a totally de-sexualized male.

When was the last time Arnold or Bruce or Stallone had sex on screen?

As far as I can tell, the most sex that happens in American entertainment is on cable television. For the rest, we seem to favor action / violence over sex.

So I'm not sure what the original point was. Whether female or male, few stars seem to be having sex in major theatrical releases unless they're in R-rated comedies.

James Bond is British. He doesn't count. He's allowed to be a slut AND save the world, apparently.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:47 AM   #94
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

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When was the last time Arnold or Bruce or Stallone had sex on screen
Well lets face it, unless the movie was taking part in a viagra factory it would be pretty far fetched.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:01 PM   #95
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

Agism, Sexism, you name it Hollywood seems to have it. Probably because they are trying to sell tickets, first and foremost. Which means pleasing the audience.

As to the whole skirmish here between we women, someone said it right when they mentioned the "Mommy Wars".

I quit the job market out of choice after one year of work in my profession (after earning a masters degree in that field), because I wanted to stay at home with my soon to be born child, and WRITE! I knew writing was my passion, and the universe had just given me that wonder of wonders, a life where I could do just that.

So, I opted out of the rat race, and have lived a passion-full life ever since. Lucky for me my passion was writing (and our family). If my passion had been the job I quit, the whole parenting thing would have had many more challenges. However, every woman (and every parenting couple) have their own ways of making it work. Vive le Difference. (msp?)

As long as Hollywood rewards stereotype characters, they will exist. It is heartening to see more real characters in at least some of the movies being made.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:50 AM   #96
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

Speaking of the French... this whole thread brings up another important point that's been bothering me and that I find important to bear in mind.

First, a personal anecdote in demonstration. On one of my first scriptwriting jobs in France, a director and the script editor told me one day at lunch that I was the first/only woman they knew to do that. Me: "Huh? Really". What did I know? But looking into it every so slightly, it didn't take long at all to discover that there are plenty of women scriptwriters here (and directors, I might add) that are actual household names - known, not only to professionals but by your average Joe (or 'Pierre') in the street!

(Just a few names that leap to mind in case anyone cares to imdb them: Danièle Thompson, Agnès Varda, Josiane Balasko, Agnès Jaoui, Marguerite Duras, Françoise Sagan, Coline Serreau - whose 'Trois hommes et un couffin', remade as 'Three Men and a Baby', was a huge success in Europe - and far funnier than the American remake.)

So why did these chaps, who'd been in the business (and France!) much longer than I, say that? They surely knew of these women, and others too, like everyone I've met here.

My theory after years of puzzlement and discussion: it's a mantra.

We are so used to hearing (as in one of sc111's articles - thanks for those, btw!) that 'women have made such strides in recent decades', etc. that we all believe it. Hogwash! We've always been among the ranks. In fact, sc111 is also right about films having been predominantly written by women till the '50s. Those wonderful '40s films, which often portrayed strong women? They were often written by women, not men. Duh. Read a wonderful book on that years ago by Marsha McCreadie: "The Women Who Write Movies". Check it out. We are not newcomers.

The thing is, I'm a history buff. I've also had to research various eras in my work. And every time I look into primary sources (what people of the time said as opposed to the cr** we're fed in school), I'm amazed. I did the 18th C most recently. There were plenty of women writers, historians, playwrights, painters, even a couple of well-known scientists. Voltaire even marvelled over the fact that, given the relatively cra*ppy education most women received (if any), they still often surpassed the men in ability when they chose intellectual pursuits. There have been well-known women writers since medieval times. What am I saying? Since people started writing! We just got erased from history - esp in the 19th C: Freud and his you-know-what envy, and the Victorians.

It was the early Christians who debated whether women had a soul. Not Plato, Socrates, Pythagorus, Epicurus, Euripedes, Sophocles... The first 3 I know for sure all had female students - and teachers. Rachel Weisz played one of the most famous not long in "Agora" (a film that barely even got distributed stateside). I loved the film myself, despite the fact it did not show that some of the 'household names' above were among her students. It doesn't show her having any female students at all either - though she most certainly did. And this is typical of our pre-conceived notions.

I was very shocked by the statistics sc furnished - the fact that, though women execs have greatly increased, they're hiring even less women than before. Do they feel pressure to prove themselves 'not feminists'? Or perhaps, like most of us, they've just been brainwashed?

In any case, I feel strongly that becoming aware of that lying, brainwashing factor will help all of us reclaim our rightful place as half the population and regain lost ground more than anything.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:56 AM   #97
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

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Given the kneejerk "I AM MORE THAN MY UTERUS" reactions other women often have when certain subjects are brought up or certain choices are made, this will be something to watch. Have you heard of so-called Mommy Wars? Women so often feel threatened by choices other women make. Irrational. As if one mother's choice is a way of saying to all other mothers who would or did choose differently, "Fvck you." When it's more likely just whatever happened to work for her at any given time.

After this thread, I had a conversation with my husband and said something along the lines of "Is it fair that, as a woman, when I write a woman and write her making certain choices, I will inevitably be judged by many other women as having made a statement?" And I went back over my current project and, with that in mind, tried to see it through different eyes. It was instructive. I didn't change anything major, but the exercise helped make me more aware of certain things.

I like to ramble and mull things over in general, just for the experience of having thought about things, with no expectation of coming to hard conclusions. So for what it's worth to those who have disagreed with me here, it's all good. I didn't come here with an axe to grind. I'm a ponderer.
Yes. It's all good. I mull things over too. Life is more gray area than black and white.

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.

As for films in general -- I think the trend in seeking to appeal to a global market -- combined with the studio marketing department having so much influence on what gets greenlighted -- is impacting both men and women writers in terms of the stories they want to tell.

For the studios, it's marketing 101: the wider net you cast for "customers" the more generic your message has to be. This works if you're selling a 'hard goods' consumer product but film is not a hard goods product, in my opinion. (That's a whole other discussion.)

I think the marketers are overlooking the fact that personal stories -- stories smaller than tentpoles -- can appeal globally because the human condition is a global reality. Storytelling is in our human DNA. We're the only species that tells stories. You can strike a chord in a wide market with a personal story. Think Precious or Slumdog Millionaire or Little Miss Sunshine. But every time such a film does well, they consider it an outlier and stick with the game plan.

I understand this -- it's a profit-driven decision. And in many ways it's a wise decision when considering how much investment is at stake. But it's also leaving a lot of markets underserved. And eventually those markets go elsewhere for entertainment. When you lose customers it's very difficult to get them back (that's also Marketing 101).

The new prodco which launched this thread is seeking to serve a neglected market. It's a good move, in my opinion.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:26 AM   #98
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

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Originally Posted by cuppajoe View Post
Speaking of the French... this whole thread brings up another important point that's been bothering me and that I find important to bear in mind.

First, a personal anecdote in demonstration. On one of my first scriptwriting jobs in France, a director and the script editor told me one day at lunch that I was the first/only woman they knew to do that. Me: "Huh? Really". What did I know? But looking into it every so slightly, it didn't take long at all to discover that there are plenty of women scriptwriters here (and directors, I might add) that are actual household names - known, not only to professionals but by your average Joe (or 'Pierre') in the street!

(Just a few names that leap to mind in case anyone cares to imdb them: Danièle Thompson, Agnès Varda, Josiane Balasko, Agnès Jaoui, Marguerite Duras, Françoise Sagan, Coline Serreau - whose 'Trois hommes et un couffin', remade as 'Three Men and a Baby', was a huge success in Europe - and far funnier than the American remake.)

So why did these chaps, who'd been in the business (and France!) much longer than I, say that? They surely knew of these women, and others too, like everyone I've met here.

My theory after years of puzzlement and discussion: it's a mantra.

We are so used to hearing (as in one of sc111's articles - thanks for those, btw!) that 'women have made such strides in recent decades', etc. that we all believe it. Hogwash! We've always been among the ranks. In fact, sc111 is also right about films having been predominantly written by women till the '50s. Those wonderful '40s films, which often portrayed strong women? They were often written by women, not men. Duh. Read a wonderful book on that years ago by Marsha McCreadie: "The Women Who Write Movies". Check it out. We are not newcomers.

The thing is, I'm a history buff. I've also had to research various eras in my work. And every time I look into primary sources (what people of the time said as opposed to the cr** we're fed in school), I'm amazed. I did the 18th C most recently. There were plenty of women writers, historians, playwrights, painters, even a couple of well-known scientists. Voltaire even marvelled over the fact that, given the relatively cra*ppy education most women received (if any), they still often surpassed the men in ability when they chose intellectual pursuits. There have been well-known women writers since medieval times. What am I saying? Since people started writing! We just got erased from history - esp in the 19th C: Freud and his you-know-what envy, and the Victorians.

It was the early Christians who debated whether women had a soul. Not Plato, Socrates, Pythagorus, Epicurus, Euripedes, Sophocles... The first 3 I know for sure all had female students - and teachers. Rachel Weisz played one of the most famous not long in "Agora" (a film that barely even got distributed stateside). I loved the film myself, despite the fact it did not show that some of the 'household names' above were among her students. It doesn't show her having any female students at all either - though she most certainly did. And this is typical of our pre-conceived notions.

I was very shocked by the statistics sc furnished - the fact that, though women execs have greatly increased, they're hiring even less women than before. Do they feel pressure to prove themselves 'not feminists'? Or perhaps, like most of us, they've just been brainwashed?

In any case, I feel strongly that becoming aware of that lying, brainwashing factor will help all of us reclaim our rightful place as half the population and regain lost ground more than anything.

Re: erased from history. This comment hit home. I had this notion to write a female-lead western. I had no idea what the storyline would be -- just wanted to write one. So I start researching women in the old west for inspiration. And I found all sorts of information that is not in the pool of common knowledge unless you're a history buff, I guess.

I discovered that around one-third of homesteaders who took advantage of the government handing out land were single women who moved from the east. Some were widows with kids but many were single as in unmarried.

I found other things about women in the old west I knew nothing about. If you go by basic school history you'd think all western settlers were white men and any women were either wives of those men or prostitutes. And if you judge the era by movies -- well, you know. (btw: A number of freed slaves went west to homestead, too.)

These stories should be told, in my opinion.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:44 AM   #99
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

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The new prodco which launched this thread is seeking to serve a neglected market. It's a good move, in my opinion.
Mine too, however I do have a slight concern over serving a niche and how it could potentially lead to isolated development and a subsequent reflection of the current situation.

I feel what's needed is collaboration, as a male writer who loves writing about female protagonists my dream situation would to be able to sit down with a female writer/director/producer/actress and discuss how to make the character as believable as possible.

My nightmare is to have some cigar sucking douche saying "Hey, why don't we make so she's really into motorbikes, but like, more into motorbikes than guys, and amazing at riding and fixing them, and she's got like real attitude, bad ass wise cracking attitude, but still super hot and effeminate, chicks will dig that right, it's like, respecting them." or worse still "Hey, this character Robby, why don't we just change his name to Cathy and get the breast count up in this thing."

Maybe my perception is skewed, and it is just speculation on my part, but it does seem great female characters in mainstream typically male genre movies are the result of a powerful female influencer, I believe Jodie Foster was involved heavily with the production of Silence Of The Lambs, Sigourney Weaver had a lot of input into Ellen Ripley's character, Uma Thurman seemed to have some say into Kill Bill, Drew Barrymore and Charlie's Angles. Maybe I'm wrong.

I just love moments like Ripley shouting "Get your hands off her you bitch!" in Aliens or the shotgun wielding assassin in Kill Bill congratulating Bee on her pregnancy as she flees their stand off.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:56 AM   #100
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

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My nightmare is to have some cigar sucking douche saying "Hey, why don't we make so she's really into motorbikes, but like, more into motorbikes than guys, and amazing at riding and fixing them, and she's got like real attitude, bad ass wise cracking attitude, but still super hot and effeminate, chicks will dig that right, it's like, respecting them."
Oh, God, I got that script once from a older guy who told me it was a woman's story, and said the above almost verbatim. 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.

That's why this idea that a female lead kills a movie baffles me.
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