Listening


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Just because that's the way it is now doesn't mean that's how it has to stay.

There was a town hall meeting on Diversity and Inclusion at the School of Cinematic Arts some weeks ago. I missed it at the time, both because I had class and because I had neglected to put it into my calendar. This being a film school, though, the event was filmed and the video recently posted on the community website where the templates of production documents live. I noticed it while preparing some paperwork for an upcoming project and clicked on it.

I didn’t watch the video, so much as I listened to it. First of all, dang! There are some amazing public speakers in this school! It’s just a shame that the stories that they were there to tell reflected so poorly on our culture as a community of filmmakers. Especially, it seems, within the production program. Perhaps it is due to an attempt (possibly misguided) to try to prepare ourselves for the Real World by attempting to mold ourselves to a perceived mainstream template.

While I personally value pragmatism and ‘being a realist’, I also recognize that I have the advantage of telling stories about characters that already fall relatively close to the mainstream to begin with. I happen to agree with the suggesting that along with preparing ourselves to work in the real world, we should also be preparing our own templates of what we want the real world to become because of our contributions. Soon we will be the mold that shapes the mainstream- what shape do we want that to be?

Anyway, the recording is nearly two hours long and I still have about thirty minutes yet to watch, but it is a good thought process that I should begin developing as I prepare to leave academia. I don’t know how to make changes to the system, but at least I’m listening.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on March 22, 2016.

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