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Old 01-25-2013, 07:29 AM   #51
sc111
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

I missed this one:

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Originally Posted by WaitForIt View Post
Why the dearth of females? Is it necessarily more the case that females are being shut out or could it be that females are simply less interested? This was discussed in a Scriptnotes podcast a while back.

More females would be an excellent, excellent thing; it would open the gates for the ones who are currently being shut out. But I'm not sure the gates would be flooded after the fact. That's all I'm saying. I would wager this kind of conversation will still happen 50 years from now.
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.

You see the same in teachers in public schools. The career of teaching was, for decades, predominately a female job when salaries were low. Although they're still too low in my opinion, as teacher salaries rose more men entered the career.

And, when men show up to apply for a job in any industry, especially a high paying job, male bosses tend to hire men over women. Why?

Because men prefer to work with other men.

Why? I guess we can ask the guys but, in my experience as a woman in business, they seem to feel they have to be on guard when women are around. They seem distracted. Women in a room where multimillion dollar business is being conducted seem to mess up the men's Tao, for lack of better word. Maybe it's because they have to stop themselves from wondering if we're wearing underwear or something. Or, maybe they're concerned we're wondering what's in their underwear (and sometimes we might be). Whatever it is, it's definitely a factor. And it distracts them from the very important work being discussed.

So they choose -- either consciously or unconsciously -- to hire and work with other men. And white men prefer to work with other white men. And this is called: institutional discrimination.

In my opinion, this has far more to do with the lack of women in many industries where there's potential to rise to higher incomes (the glass ceiling) than your theory we drop out of the workforce because we prefer to have babies before our bio-clock runs out.

Maybe, just maybe -- when girls grow up seeing their mothers hit up against the glass ceiling, or grow up seeing predominately male faces star in movies, or see predominately male faces in the government, maybe - on some level - perhaps not even consciously, they lower their expectations before graduating high school. You think this may have something to do with it? Of course it does.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:49 AM   #52
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

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Why? I guess we can ask the guys but, in my experience as a woman in business, they seem to feel they have to be on guard when women are around. They seem distracted. Women in a room where multimillion dollar business is being conducted seem to mess up the men's Tao, for lack of better word. Maybe it's because they have to stop themselves from wondering if we're wearing underwear or something. Or, maybe they're concerned we're wondering what's in their underwear (and sometimes we might be). Whatever it is, it's definitely a factor. And it distracts them from the very important work being discussed.
As a guy, in my experience working in business (predominantly engineering and marketing), often if a women can't/won't be objectified she will be vilified. And it all takes place in the usual behind the scenes male crotch clutching and grunting sessions we have.

I've seen the most seemingly charming of guys evaluate new female contacts/co-workers entirely on appearance or promiscuity.

We are pretty pathetic us men, our ego's are like glass and we're terrified of being emasculated.

I've worked with/for some remarkable women in business, and the harder they've tried the more resistance they've found. I know female CEO's who've turned businesses around and proven their worth who still have to lock themselves in a cubical and ball into their hands alone because of they way they are talked to.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:13 AM   #53
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

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As a guy, in my experience working in business (predominantly engineering and marketing), often if a women can't/won't be objectified she will be vilified. And it all takes place in the usual behind the scenes male crotch clutching and grunting sessions we have.

I've seen the most seemingly charming of guys evaluate new female contacts/co-workers entirely on appearance or promiscuity.

We are pretty pathetic us men, our ego's are like glass and we're terrified of being emasculated.

I've worked with/for some remarkable women in business, and the harder they've tried the more resistance they've found. I know female CEO's who've turned businesses around and proven their worth who still have to lock themselves in a cubical and ball into their hands alone because of they way they are talked to.
You are an honest man and you are worth your weight in pure platinum. Thank you. There are so many times I've related similar things about my own experience, or my friends experiences, and have be accused of lying or exaggerating because I'm some fem-nazi or something.

Thing is -- I accept it, I see it for what it is, I know there is always a sexual component or sexual tension when men and women are together. I don't resent it. It is what it is. But I do get frosted when I sahre this and other men tell me I'm crazy, it just doesn't happen.

Here's a related story -- I'm a copywriter who subcontracts (freelances) and I was working on marketing materials for an engineering company. I like the guy who hired me for the gig. Although he's in an internal position, now, he also had a background in working for ad agencies and we would share ad agency war stories. A nice, affable, talented guy.

So, we're in a meeting with his team (men and women) and there's a stretch of conversation where I'm just listening and he turns to me and says, "Feel free to jump in if you disagree." So I say - "Don't worry. I'm an alpha female. I'll always let you know when I disagree."

He turns beet red, mutters, "Alpha female." And it was so clear he was turned on that one of the other women said under her breath, "Uh oh." And the poor guy fought so hard not to be turned on. And I'm thinking, "Crap - why did I say alpha female." I felt bad. For him. Anyway, the moment passed. And in subsequent meetings the way he dealt with it was to joke, "Let's ask the alpha female." And everyone would laugh and the tension dissipated.

The thing is, I liked and respected the guy before and continue to like and respect him after. And he continues to hire me for gigs.

We women understand the dynamic at play. Most of us don't resent it and are willing to overlook the dirty joke or two or the eyes dropping down to our boobs. (I would say only a small minority of women are highly offended by it.) We just want a fair shake, a fair chance to grab at the brass ring, you know?
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:46 AM   #54
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

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You are an honest man and you are worth your weight in pure platinum.
I'm no angel, I've been on the other side of the fence with the office romance/fling thing.

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Thank you. There are so many times I've related similar things about my own experience, or my friends experiences, and have be accused of lying or exaggerating because I'm some fem-nazi or something.
The thing is, you're going to struggle to ever get a middle class white male to understand what those experiences are like, we're ignorant to it, blissfully ignorant. You're just wining because you're so emotional and probably on your period or whatever.

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Thing is -- I accept it, I see it for what it is, I know there is always a sexual component or sexual tension when men and women are together. I don't resent it. It is what it is. But I do get frosted when I sahre this and other men tell me I'm crazy, it just doesn't happen.
We hate to admit it, partly through fear of how it makes it look, partly because we don't like admitting to ourselves we're not in complete control of our instincts.

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We women understand the dynamic at play. Most of us don't resent it and are willing to overlook the dirty joke or two or the eyes dropping down to our boobs. (I would say only a small minority of women are highly offended by it.) We just want a fair shake, a fair chance to grab at the brass ring, you know?
Got something for you to give a fair shake right here luv but there will be no grabbing at the ring.

I agree that repressing the issue isn't the answer, but then I'm a big flirt and I'm very comfortable with talking about that sort of thing. I find that being open about it with strong women is fine, they also tend to be very open too and prefer to know how the land lies. Some women, you can see them edging toward the mace.

On a bright sunny day this year I picked a friend of mine up from a train station, as we were crawling in city traffic he openly grumbled that he felt the women were letting the area down by not dressing sexily enough. That's the kind of sh1t we come out with.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:23 AM   #55
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

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I agree that repressing the issue isn't the answer, but then I'm a big flirt and I'm very comfortable with talking about that sort of thing. I find that being open about it with strong women is fine, they also tend to be very open too and prefer to know how the land lies. Some women, you can see them edging toward the mace.
Those women probably didn't have good female mentors. I was lucky to have a couple of good ones and good male mentors, too. Now that I think about it, my 'no big deal' attitude was probably forged early on by a female mentor. Another story:

Fresh out of college I was hired to work at the in-house advertising department of a major NYC retailer. The main supervisor over the copy department was a woman old enough to be my grandmother and it was widely known she was past retirement age. People joked she wouldn't leave unil she dropped dead at her desk. Her reputation preceded her -- she had been with this retailer since she was 21, never married, no kids, the career was her life. And she was totally a no-nonsense woman very good at what she did.

I'm working with her maybe a month and she takes me upstairs to experience a meeting with the store buyers. She orders me: You're here to observe only. We were the only females in a room with about 10 men. Clothing samples are being passed around including underwear (men's, women's) bras, etc.

One guy cracks a joke, another guy picks up on his rift, and the language is getting pretty sexual. She sits there, her expression, inscrutable, and let's it go on for a minute or more then claps her hands twice -- the men snap to attention. She smiles and in a light voice says, "Now, now." The tonal subtext was "oh you naughty boys." The guys sit up, looking much like naughty boys just called out, and the meeting moves on.

It was difficult for me to not laugh but, folowing her lead, I keep my expression neutral. Later, in the elevator, just the two of us, I glance at her and finally laugh. She shrugs, "What can I say. Boys will be boys. Just let them know when they go too far. You'll be fine."

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On a bright sunny day this year I picked a friend of mine up from a train station, as we were crawling in city traffic he openly grumbled that he felt the women were letting the area down by not dressing sexily enough. That's the kind of sh1t we come out with.
I did laugh when I read this. I would probably laugh if I were in the car and heard it.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:53 AM   #56
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

I read an article recently where someone was griping about issues facing female filmmakers that are so very true. For the life of me I can't recall who it was...an indie director I think, but anyway, the point was that she was venting on how it doesn't matter how wonderfully well-liked or superbly talented a female actress, or director, or even producer is, the money still has to come from investors. And investors are typically male. And older. And like anything involving Hollywood executives, it's a buddy system.

So, it's a tricky nut to crack. Female filmmakers have so much stacked against them. And just when you think something wondeful is about to happen i.e. female directors FINALLY being hired to helm a big budget or franchise film like Brenda Chapman with Brave or Patty Jenkins with Thor 2. BAM. It's ripped away and everything goes right back to where it started.

I think it's a two way street though, to some degree. In my mind the problem is approximately 75% industry sexism and 25% female filmmaker blame. The latter, I feel, is due to a lot of female filmmakers being sometimes too focused on intimate indie stories, which is GREAT and has it's place, but we also need to see some women coming in with some high concept, big budget vision, wanting to make big, franchise-potential films. This is why, love or hate the stuff by Stephanie Meyer, Katherine Hardwicke, Suzanne Collins, Melissa Rosenberg, etc they're making it better for female filmmakers and female lead projects. They're showing that female storytellers can write for female (and mass) audiences projects that can be helmed by female directors and make studios a lot of money. More of this needs to happen. The problem then is the sick cycle of -- even when you do have female filmmakers with big and great vision, they just often aren't given the same opportunities (see Chapman and Jenkins again) to bring that vision to actual fruition.

This is why it's great to see Bigelow's success. She's made two films now in a genre typically dominated by male directors and stars, and this time got to do it with a female lead. But one of these days, investors and studio execs need to wake up. They're starting to stir, but aren't yet fully awake. And so, we have female actors, writers, directors, and producers endlessly fighting the good fight. When will it finally pay off? Only time will tell. But it's 2013, so, let's hope soon, because this is just getting ridiculous.

/end rant
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:21 PM   #57
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

On this note, I am looking to get a female director attached to tentpole film with female lead. Any advice?

Query theit agents? Them directly?
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:21 PM   #58
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

The most recent AFF e-mag had a good article on women in film. Don't think she was mentioned in it, but Kathryn Bigelow is cool.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:14 PM   #59
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

Women be shoppin' am I right?
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:27 PM   #60
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Default Re: New prodco to focus on female directors and "strong roles for women"

It always surprises me that Penny Marshall's name doesn't come up more often in these discussions. Doing good, successful films with broad appeal repeatedly.

Women directors get categorized as being indie, because that's where they can go and get films made, but Penny Marshall (and Betty Thomas, for that matter) were working over the past couple of decades in the Hollywood studio bailiwick. In comedy, no less. And people seem to have forgotten.

One thing I really appreciated about Zero Dark Thirty (everything else aside for another discussion) was those female professional friendships. And this is where a female director can protect a screenwriter.

Sex aside, (because I'll wager if Maya was male, they'd still want him to have sex, because sex sells), the fact that the faces of the secondary characters in the intelligence office were as much female as male was telling. It's not just about the leads, it's about the rest of the world. I read cast breakdowns all the time, and the ratio of female characters to male (in a non-rom-com scenario) seems to be about one to seven, if I'm generous.

I'm talking about those smaller roles: the judge on the bench, the district attorney, the sales person, the sassy waiter, the mail carrier, even a soldier. It's so easy to make those characters guys, and in the real world, those are all gender neutral. A female director, IMO, is more likely to say hey, that's not the world as I recognize it, and break those roles out of the box.

And let's not even talk the post-menopausal woman, who barely exists on the Hollywood screens, unless she's a (one-dimensional) hardened bitch who challenges the male protagonist, or a (one-dimensional) mother. Or both (and you'd think that's be two dimensions, but most often it's not). Here's where I'm also going to hats-off to the Bond films, who've, surprisingly, aside from Judi Dench, slipped older female faces into the milieu on occasion. (Older female high-class casino patrons/gamblers as part of the high-stakes game, for instance, solo, not as a piece of armcandy. To me, that adds intrigue to that table. Kudos to you, Mr. Bond.)

I think things are changing, in a good way. But I've thought that before.

Last edited by carcar : 01-25-2013 at 01:46 PM.
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