Phrasing


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Oh good the Women's Director's chair is here.

I was working on a project recently for which we needed to hire a writer. It is my Advanced Project: for all intents and purposes it will be the thesis that I use to graduate although I will only be developing it to the point of being able to pitch it to a studio or network instead of actually producing it.

At any rate, I’m collaborating with a fellow female producer on the project. The premise the story centers around female lead characters. Finding a writer posed an interesting dilemma: should we hire a female writer to tell this story? Did it matter? We were keen to support women writers, but we didn’t want to exclude a good candidate based on gender.

In the end we only specified that the story would be a female lead story and made no reference to what gender the writer should be. It was a little bit surprising how many people read that to mean that we were only interested in working with women writers. Some of the male candidates even apologized with a tone of: I know I might not be what you have in mind, but please consider me anyway.

It was a rare peek at the other side of the curtain. We hired a male writer in the end.

Recently my Mom sent me an article about women directors which included snippets of interviews with them on the topic of women in Hollywood, which brought this whole writer incident to mind. The headline always seems to be Women In Hollywood and yet the discussion always seems to be limited to women directors of studio films: as if there is no other work to be had on a film and no other film or media to work on… Just saying. And why the need to specify a director as a Woman Director?  Shouldn’t she just be a Director? Is it necessary to specify gender? Does that make a difference to her skills?

It’s a problem that I trip over more often than I’d like. I’d like to be able to just carry on with filmmaking without worrying about gender at all: my own or anybody else’s.

Ah well. This is the world we live in.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on July 2, 2015.

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