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May 26, 2013

Sony's Amy Pascal Reveals the Gap Between Men and Women in the Film Industry

Amy Pascal SonyEarlier this month we opened up the discussion on female directors in Hollywood, sharing data that revealed that women weren't finding as much directorial success in Hollywood as their male counterparts. The reasons for this were more speculative than conclusive, but a recent Forbes' interview with Sony Head Amy Pascal, discussing the pay gap between men and women in the industry, offers an inside look into the business as well as insight into why incongruity between the genders exists.

Ranked 14th on Forbes' World's 20 Most Powerful Women in Business list, Amy Pascal is the only female head of a major studio, making the importance of this interview twofold. She also doesn't shy away from Forbes' Dorothy Pomerantz's hard-hitting questions, like why women get paid less than men in Hollywood and how she balances producing films geared towards men and ones geared towards women.

At one point in the interview, Pascal compares the movie business to the music and publishing business. She says that there are many successful women in music and publishing, because a musician or writer can produce their work without going through a gauntlet of rejection first.

I was trying to figure out why and what happens in those other industries. It is that you can write a hit song or you can write a book that everybody is going to love, and you just show up with it and there is no denying it, because everyone in the business is looking to make money. And when they see something that's going to make money, they want it. For a woman to direct a movie in Hollywood, she has to go through so many layers of rejection by the powers that be -- I suppose including myself -- that it is harder to get to that point. So you can't just create something. And I think there is a whole unconscious mountain.

Pascal touches on a lot of great points, so check out the interview below.

Though Pascal doesn't offer any much-needed solutions to the problems affecting her (our) industry, at least she owns up to the fact that they do indeed exist, as well as taking some of that responsibility. Admitting that female directors are working in a system that is "geared for them to fail" gives some reprieve to talented and capable female filmmakers who questioned, "Is it just me? Is it just us?" No, it's not.

However, we still don't quite know, at least from this interview, what exactly has been put in place -- if anything, and by whom, to both deter women from getting directing jobs and obstructing their ascent to success. So, unfortunately another story on females in Hollywood ends in speculation, but at least we've found another piece to the puzzle.

What do you think about Amy Pascal's interview? What are your thoughts on women in film?

Link: Sony's Amy Pascal On Closing The Money Gap Between Men And Women In Hollywood -- Forbes

[via Indiewire]

Your Comment

100 Comments

Stories about women who have a matter in the outcome of the plot; already exists.

May 26, 2013

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Vince

We have stories about everything - but saying that is missing the point entirely.

May 26, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

What is the point, exactly?

I sincerely mean this, not to be offensive in anyway, and I am so appreciative of the work that you (Joe), Ryan, Renée and all the rest of the staff have put into helping filmmakers everywhere. But if I had to boil down all the knowledge and insight from nofilmschool into a single overarching point, it would be that the limitations of gear, financial resources, outside permission, and distributive barriers have become inconsequential in a way they have never been before.

As a filmmaker, regardless of gender, what is the benefit of bemoaning a system that operates in the most competitive, exclusive, and closed off industry in the world?

The point is that, if you want to make a film, make a film. If you want to win an oscar, you're probably in it for the wrong reason. If you want to wield profound cultural influence (i.e power) you're probably in it for the wrong reason. If you want to tell a great story, don't wait for permission, get going!

It's been re-iterated so many times that Hollywood now caters to the lowest common denominator, goes for the biggest possible profit margins, and plays it safe. If you have a story that is worth telling, there will be an audience, find that audience, and don't worry about whether gender equality statistics vindicate your art.

May 26, 2013

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George

BOOM SHAKA LAKA!!!

May 26, 2013

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Abersouth

I love the reverse reverse prejudice that happens on the comments of this site when ever issues of minority or female filmmakers come up. Its a real product of millennials narcissism.

Hollywood does not cater to the lowest common denominator. It doesn't go for the biggest possible profit margin. It goes for the most secure subjective bet. If you get opportunity from that bet just take it, the advantage is there, just don't act like its not.

May 26, 2013

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ryan

The point is that she admitted that the system that she and many other studio heads run is rigged for women to fail. Now, when I heard this I was truly surprised -- not because I didn't know it, but because I've never heard a studio head admit it before. So, why aren't people up in arms about this? Either they think she's:
a.) a liar
b.) completely ignorant about her industry
To say, "Hey, just go out and make a movie and stop complaining," is ignoring the issue entirely. If a woman wants to go out and make money by being an actress or director or whatever in Hollywood, she should be judged not by the X's in her chromosomes, but by the content of her character driven plots -- and her talent. The way the system works now keeps women out, whether it's through not hiring them, harassing them, or underpaying them. That kind of treatment is what we call discrimination.

May 26, 2013

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V Renée
Managing Editor
Writer/Director

Hi Renée,

Thank you for your response, and for distilling your point so clearly. I absolutely agree that discrimination based on gender is unjust and that it happens as prevalently in the film industry as just about any other in the world. I would also like to specifically mention and validate your point on harassment as an especially egregious form of discrimination.

With that said, I still feel that the point you are making is, in some ways, contrary to the entire point of this site and community. If you want to make the kind of money that only a studio can pay you, it's a very valid concern. If you want to make movies, then utilize all the talent, resources, and creativity you can muster, and make a film. Regardless of whether conditions/opportunities are perfect.

There are plenty of issues/barriers that make it very difficult for me, as a human being, to get a movie made in Hollywood. While gender based discrimination is not one of them, as I mentioned, it's THE most competitive industry out there. The whole point of NFS is help everyone get to the most advantageous position possible for them to make their art, and encourage them to do precisely what you said I'm saying to do, "ignore the issue completely."

Whatever the issue(s) is for you, ignore it completely. Whether it's that you can't afford an Alexa, or that you have to edit in Windows movie maker, or that you can't get a movie made in Hollywood, we live in a time that allows us to literally watch the walls come down. Clamber over the rubble and enjoy the emancipation!

In response to Joe:

Thank you for your contributions to this conversation and a much bigger thank you for all the work you have done for this site. I personally owe so much to NFS, and every contributor has earned my respect and gratitude. To your point, and to Renée's point as well, I understand that it's an important discussion. But on a practical level, this site isn't dedicated to how to get paid $20 million to direct a blockbuster. It's about understanding that we live in an advantageous time for all aspiring filmmakers, and how to take advantage of that regardless of budgetary or any other form of limitation.

I wish you both the best of luck in all your endeavors, you're both in my prayers and I don't mean to evoke any ill-will or misunderstanding. Thanks for your patience with the long post!

May 27, 2013

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George

Pascal isn't "lying" ... but she is equivocating for her audience, which tends to lean a certain way politically and philosophically ... (and that's despite the interview being done for Forbes, whose readers tend to lean in the opposite direction). But, if one checks the list of the highest grossing US films for 2012, I don't see a single female director in the top 30 (Brenda Chapman co-directed "Brave" @ #8). Only 5 out of 30 (both Jennifer Lawrence flicks, Twilight, Les Miserables and Vow) had a significant female star contribution.

And, for the record, Kristen Stewart was on the same wage as Robert Pattinson, so it's hard to argue inequality there. Sandra Bullock also pulled in more than her male co-stars in "Proposal" and "Blind Side". Julia Roberts, at her zenith, was likewise paid more than her male co-leads - Hugh Grant, Richard Gere, et al.

May 27, 2013

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DLD

It's a feedback loop. If movies starring men make a ton of money, and they draw in a big audience of males 13-30, they make more of them. Why explore other kinds of films if these work, right? It becomes a cultural feedback loop as well. We expect to see certain kinds of movies with certain kinds of people in them. Children grow up seeing those ideas enforced. This is why whomever is dominant in a society stays that way for a long time. It's hard to change cultural ideas and preconceived notions.

If you're trying to make a low-budget film with some sort of budget, you're going to need some financing. Sure, you could say, stop complaining, go make your movie for $500 with a cheap camera and free talent, but can't we say that about any movie ever? To get that financing privately, you're probably going to meet with some rich white guys. The richest people in America skews largely towards white males. Unfortunately, who do you think they're more likely to entrust their money to? Even if you think you are the most open person, there are major societal and cultural influences at work subconsciously. Just because a system doesn't technically have race or gender restrictions, absolutely does not mean that a particular races or gender is not at a disadvantage.

Is progress happening? Definitely, but it's happening more in the indie world and not in Hollywood, as our last post discussed. If we don't acknowledge there is an issue, then nothing changes.

You are right in saying that many barriers have been lifted in order to make movies, especially at the very low budget levels. But that doesn't mean there aren't still major societal forces at work that put certain people at a distinct disadvantage. Do I have a step by step plan for how we can improve the situation? Not really, but I think we should definitely be having these discussions, even if progress has been made in the indie world.

May 26, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Joe you are always very honest in your replies and that is one of the many reasons besides the education I receive that I keep coming back. No film school has become my favorite site on this subject. Thank you very much for your dedication.

May 31, 2013

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Gary Simmons

Thanks for the support. :) It means a lot.

May 31, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Thank you!

May 27, 2013

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vinceGortho

Women dominate all sorts of media. 80 percent of television content is aimed at women. Female driven television shows from comedies, cop dramas, psychic cop dramas who talk to dead people, reality television and commercials where smart wives look down at dumb husbands.
There are plenty of female action hero leads in movies and a plethora of side kicks who matter.
There's the horror genre, where its considered misogynist to have a man survive the outcome over a woman.
there are female led comedies. Then there are chick-flicks and movies made to inspire women like docudramas about courageous women who actually existed.
Is this just about salaries?
The industry is inundated with pretty faces. Some who have talent and plenty of those who make avalanches of cash for not having any talent at all.
Am I being sexist if I say you get what you're worth until you are in demand?
Maybe I need examples of some real people who got the short end of the stick.

May 27, 2013

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vinceGortho

"Am I being sexist if I say you get what you’re worth until you are in demand?"

Nope, not here in real life. There are some on this thread that are living in fantasy-land that may believe it to be so...

The best is when people like Oprah and Ellen complain about women being kept down and discriminated against. Do I even need to point out the glaring irony? I honestly thought they were just blowing-smoke to their demographics. I had no idea that there were still people that believe it be the truth...

May 28, 2013

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bwhitz

Two examples of successful women don't negate statistics.

May 28, 2013

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Luke

"Two examples of successful women don’t negate statistics."

Ok, then if you're going to argue like that then I guess there is no point in making any points anymore. If examples of the two, filthy-rich, and IMO grossly overpaid, female personalities of all of the worlds society doesn't convince you that there really isn't discrimination anymore, than I don't know what will. Really, what would you convince you then? No men working in entertainment AT ALL? Would that be "equal" enough for you?

If I'm not allowed to use examples of success for my argument, then why are you allowed to point to the fact that there are never really equal numbers of any race/gender employed at any single time (things fluctuate, even when completely equal) as an indication that things are unequal? Or put in another way... let's assume for your argument that men and women really are 100% equal at all aspects of film-production. Would you still really expect to see an even 50% 50% split of employment at all times? Of course not. That's almost mathematically impossible. Do you see where you argument is not really based on anything objective yet? It's all part of a vindictive "social-change" narrative you don't seem to be aware of.

Right now, you're really just fighting for "more equality". If you're able to look at your view now, from an objective point in the future, you'll realize that right now, you're really only supporting "special treatment"... not equality.

May 28, 2013

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bwhitz

Umm... I repeat, statistics.

No, you're not allowed to use two example of successful women to prove that women are treated equally.

Because, you know, statistics.

And if you think I'm saying that equality means exactly equal numbers of people doing all things... then... need I say statistics again? I don't think you know what that means.

May 29, 2013

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Luke

Big stars make their bucks as the percentage of the back end participation. Women make less because flicks normally associated with the top female actresses - romance, comedies, melodramas - don't achieve the the same box office success as the action/special effects flicks. And, with all due respect to Kathryn Bigelow, she's no James Cameron in the "global grosses" department.

I will note that women do reasonably well in scripted TV, which is more dialog driven, but even then the big money is with the boys like Larry David and Chuck Lorre. The scripted TV (and now streaming) biz has a relatively low cost of entrance. All a writer has to do is to create a hit and many - Diane English, Linda Bloodworth, Amy Sherman, Shonda Rhimes, Marta Kauffman - have succeeded in that endeavor but the biggest hits still come from the male creators (to add the likes of John Wells, Phil Rosenthal/Ray Romano, Greg Daniels, James Brooks/Sam Simon/Al Jean, Christopher Lloyd, Seth McFadden, et al)

May 26, 2013

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DLD

Everyone including Amy Pascal misses the historical point that through 60's with exception of a few like Ida Lupino, women directors simply did not exist. The studio bosses did not tolerate it.
The 70's and most of the 80's was ruled by directors who came from television and exploitation films like Scorsese and Demme or successful screenwriters who made the leap until a few film school grads likes Amy Heckerling or actors like Betty Thomas had careers.
The 90's through the present have seen the rise of filmmakers coming from the male dominated commercials and music video industry.
There is no film director boys club left in Hollywood. You are as good as your last picture and how you strategize that success into a career.
Female screenwriters in movies and television are close to on par, genre specific of course as men in my opinion and woman producers I think dominate many sectors of the industry.
Remember Hollywood studios only make 400 films a year.
This year at Sundance and Slamdance there was a huge jump in films in competition directed by woman. It's not a trend, woman simply are figuring it out how to make films by themselves. It's a head space thing. Not gender.
Cinematography will always be dominated by men. The fanboy malecentric websites, including many entries on this site devoted to camera technology and the hiearchy of the film set proves this and unfortunately intimidates women to pick up a camera.
Men love cameras more than women. That's a fact. Ever hung out at B&H? A camera rental company?
The women in camera department on set are on the up but jumping off to make it as a DP requires dealing with yes... mostly male film directors. The commercial photography business suffers from this mind set as well. My message to those who want to be the next Nancy Schreiber is work with those men and women that are like minded and to those that want a career in Hollywood as a director... get an agent.

May 27, 2013

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Dan

You neglect to analyse the reasons behind all the things you're saying. For example, you say "Men love cameras more than women". Yes, that's a fact, but it's also a fact that more black people are stopped-and-searched in the US than white people. Is that because black people are somehow inherently "criminal"? No, it's because society is set up to assume they are. Likewise, there's no reason to believe that women are inherently less interested in cameras, as opposed to society having similarly sexist biases.

The same goes for your statement that "cinematography will always be dominated by men". Why? All your evidence merely proves that it is currently dominated by men, not that it always will be.

May 27, 2013

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Luke

Black people commit more crimes per capita. The fact that more blacks are searched for suspicion is merely representative of this fact. Regardless of whatever you'd like to argue the cause of their disproportionate criminality is, it's a fact.

May 27, 2013

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Pianohero

How does that refute a single point I've made?

My entire argument was that there may be a societal cause. If black people are naturally criminals, fine. If it's because society is messed up, then it's our responsibility to fix it. Don't you care whose fault it is, and how to fix it? Or are you content sitting at the top of the heap saying "I'm not a criminal, so it's not my problem".

May 27, 2013

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Luke

The point was regarding their disproportionate targeting for searches and getting pulled over. I explained that it want "racist" as much as it was a simple result of the reality of their disproportionate criminality. "criminality" is a social construct to begin with and thus it isn't a value judgment on them as a whole. One factor, aside form environmental, is the fact that they have higher levels of testosterone. Evolutionarily speaking, this is a positive trait, especially in their k-type environment. It just so happens that higher testosterone leads to behaviour that is deemed "bad" in western civilization, such as being aggressive. Whatever traits any group has would by definition be evolutionarily "good", hence why they have those traits.

May 27, 2013

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Pianohero

It's still entirely possible that the whole thing is a vicious cycle of racism. Higher incidences of stop-and-search might lead to mistrust of the system in general, leading to less respect for said system, leading to higher levels of criminal activity. Causality is not necessarily linear in complex systems such as societies.

May 27, 2013

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Luke

No, it's genetics. White men commit more crime than white women because they have more testosterone. If it was a "white mven rule society, that's why blacks commit more crimes", then more white women would be in prison than white men.

May 27, 2013

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Pianohero

Rubbish. Sexism and racism place different expectations on white women than black men. Women are expected to cook, clean and raise babies, Black men are expected to commit crime.

May 28, 2013

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Luke

Weird eugenics advocacy here by piano. Well modern studies show that there is more genetic similarity between people of different races than people of the same race.

May 28, 2013

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ryan

"Weird eugenics advocacy here by piano."

You're the first person to bring up eugenics here. Piano was simply using objective/scientific knowledge to make a point. Eugenics is MUCH different than looking at genetics to explain large-scale behavior. Stop making straw-man arguments.

May 28, 2013

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bwhitz

Business is not sexist. If it sells and has a market, it will accept. The idea that there are women with million dollar Ida's being rejected because they are women is silly and demonstrative of the fact that so-called "secular society" is just as dogmatic and idealistic as any other religion. The reason the average woman earns less that the average man is because the average man works longer hours, has more experience, has better spatial/reasoning skills, earns more difficult degrees in college etc. once you fix for all these things, women actually get paid more than men. The premise also presumes that men and women are the same, have the same skill, and thus should have the same results. This is objectively false. http://youtu.be/G_sGn6PdmIo

Also worthy of consideration, although men and women have a similar average iq, men outnumber women more and more the higher in the distribution chart you go (men outnumber women 8 to 1 by iq 145) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1274952/Men-ARE-brainy-women-s... . This alone would account for the disparity in the industry despite the system trying to artificially raise the female quota of participation with seminars, funding, etc. The question is as silly as asking why there aren't more Pygmy and Aborigine directors in Hollywood.

May 27, 2013

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Pianohero

If the business isn't sexist, then the society it's catering to is. You're just shifting the problem around, not proving it doesn't exist.

Your pay gap argument is a commonly seen one, and is frequently debunked. When you adjust for hours etc, women still get paid less. I'm not particularly interested in arguing that though, as I've done it time and time again elsewhere, so sorry to just leave that hanging.

The idea that men have better reasoning skills is also absolutely false. The idea that IQ is a reasonable judge of intelligence is becoming less and less accepted. The idea that men are smarter than women is, quite simply, the result of sexism, just like the idea that one race is smarter than another.

Sexism exists, is an ever-present issue across the entirety of society, and frankly I think people who dispute that are simply unaware of the nature of their own privilege.

May 27, 2013

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Luke

Morality exhibitionism isn't science.

May 27, 2013

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Pianohero

A couple of things. Firstly, I didn't claim that it was - my views are based in science, and the points I'm making are backed by scientific evidence. I'll admit that I'm not making any effort to actually show that backing, for the simple reason that I don't want to be drawn into a lengthy debate. I'm content to merely state that the points you make are flawed, and based in sexism and racism (whether maliciously or not). I'm not trying to convince you, I'm just ensuring that anyone reading your post doesn't think that your claims are generally accepted as being true. Hopefully people who don't know about this stuff will look it up.

Secondly (and I say this as a bona fide scientist by trade), science can be used and misused. Any time someone interprets results as meaning "men are smarter than women" or "whites are smarter than blacks" etc, we should be extremely wary. Assuming the results talked about in that Daily Mail article are correct, the jump from "high IQ" to "smarter" is a leap of faith, not science. Additionally, there is a history of science being abused by people with racist and sexist agendas, and such findings are consistently debunked. Science works on consensus, and while any well-researched data has the power to overturn consensus, claims such as the above are a long way from having found widespread credibility.

In particular, Richard Lynn is known for his controversial views on differences in intelligence based upon race and gender. To present his work (in a Daily Mail article, no less) as being indicative of the current state of scientific understanding is at best misleading, and at worst an abuse of science as I describe above.

May 27, 2013

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Luke

I never claimed that my views were vox populi or that my views didn't clash with secular dogma, your claim that IQ tests are not representative of intelligence is a joke. Of course you would hope that since it contradicts your idealistic egalitarianism. Notice that there is no evidence for egalitarian ideals. There is no study that supports that pipe dream, so people that subscribe to that secular dogma (although, it's simply a Christian dogma remnant) can only debate against reality by claiming that the evidence against them is false. You are essentially driven to argue absurd points, such as that intelligence itself doesn't even exist. If intelligence tests are unreliable, then what intelligence testing do you cite that shows that everyone has the same intelligence?

May 27, 2013

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Pianohero

As I say, I'm not expecting to convince you. I'm merely hoping to convince others that you're a racist and sexist, whether you know it or not, and that your views should therefore be treated with caution.

For the record, one final point. The burden of proof of efficacy is very much upon the proponent of a given test. There's no reason to think that any test does anything (other than prove you can pass that exact test), until it is proven to do so. "Intelligence", in particular, is an extremely poorly defined concept anyway. Which bodes badly for trying to assign it a numerical value.

May 27, 2013

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Luke

Perpetuating this idea that women just aren't into or skilled in technology, filmmaking, leadership, etc. only makes it harder for women like me who are into and skilled at those things. Believing, repeating, and teaching these generalizations is why people with actual power are discouraged to "take a risk" on hiring these apparently less adept filmmakers called women. Here's why: in order to have your million dollar idea heard by someone you have to get into the door. If the door is closed to women because of a stereotype perpetuated by certain individuals, their ideas aren't heard and in turn never invested in.

May 27, 2013

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V Renée
Managing Editor
Writer/Director

Do the white gentlemen here really believe that everyone has equal opportunity in the film industry?

May 27, 2013

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ryan

If you can sell me on a good story, I wouldn't care if you were a green asexual turnip. If one person turns you down in the industry, go to another. If your idea has merit, find the right person who can help turn it into something concrete. Otherwise how are you doing anything but whining about how unfair life is? Cry me a river and please don't be surprised when I don't sympathize.

Of course there isn't equal opportunity. A person who is the offspring of a successful person in Hollywood has a proximity access to "talent" that us rubes in the sticks can only dream of. And? If you can sell your pitch, what exactly is the problem? If certain people pass, it's either because the idea isn't quite there, you suck at selling, or they are idiots who don't see how they can capitalize on it. So then what do you do? Gee, I wonder.

May 27, 2013

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Abersouth

Do you really think women are just giving up at the first rejection, having a little cry and saying the world is unfair? No. Women who want to direct films are just as passionate as men, and have to deal with many times the amount of crap that men do to get their films made. As is often quoted, for a woman to get half as much credit as a man, she has to work twice as hard, and be twice as smart.

If certain people pass on your pitch, it might be because you suck at selling. Or it might be that you're in an industry dominated by white males in a society with well-documented sexist bias, and you happen to be a woman. Maybe both, maybe neither. To summarily discount anything except "you suck at selling" doesn't prove that sexism doesn't exist, it's just a circular assumption that it doesn't.

May 27, 2013

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Luke

Prove it or your just asserting out your ass. Explain to me how it is twice as hard for half the credit like I'm a six year old. Because I'm skeptical.

May 27, 2013

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Abersouth

I'm not going to prove the existence of sexism to you on a comment thread. Look it up and stop trying so hard to defend the status quo.

May 28, 2013

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Luke

You fail. Try growing up sometime.

May 28, 2013

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Abersouth

Try seeing things from the perspective of someone without your privileged position sometimes.

May 28, 2013

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Luke

You care to tell me what my privileged position in the world is? Do you know what I do? Do you know how i was raised? How poor i was? Or perhaps you just like assuming I'm privileged, so you can hold me in contempt easier. Not trying to make this about me, but you seem to want to.

And why do you assume I haven't explored what you more or less preach? I'm just not buying what you are peddling. Running theme here. You suck at selling.

May 28, 2013

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Abersouth

Your arguments smack of privilege. If you're not white, male and straight, then you're definitely drinking the kool-aid. For the record, I myself am white, male and straight. So privilege is not why I hold you in contempt. I hold you in contempt for your privileged views.

As for sucking at selling, it would appear that society tends, over generations perhaps, toward liberty and equality. So even if I personally suck at selling these ideals, they're still happening. In a few decades you'll just be another person on the side that lost the debate.

May 29, 2013

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Luke

If you have an idea that will connect with an audience, you have a responsibility to steward it to fruition. Fuck all else. The rest is noise.

Take a page out of Tyler Perry's book. Get your content to it's audience. If it doesn't work in Hollywood, rather than compwain about how unfwair da world is, do something about it. Complicit victims are really really annoying.

May 27, 2013

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Abersouth

Its a commonly know tactic of "R" to place one minority individual on a pedestal as a icon and vilify the rest of the minority group for not achieving the same outcome. The process of neglecting pertinent societal impacts vindicates the majority. Not word for word, but Franz Fanon. There are many aspiring black director that refuse to dress in drag for the amusement of white audiences to be "successful". But I guess they are just lazy.

I use the "r" instead of the actual word because nowadays the provocation of the existence of ethnic identity or discrimination usually infuriates white males, and a wave of insolent comments are directed to the minority
Responses like race doesn't matter anymore from whites are never with a friendly tone, its with aggression, and I always wonder where they think that aggression is derived from.

May 27, 2013

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ryan

Yeah, seriously, Tyler Perry? Great example. A black guy who plays to racist stereotypes of black people, in order to sell to subconsciously racist white audiences, and you're using that as evidence of the healthy state of the industry?

May 27, 2013

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Luke

Wow. You guys don't get it. Won't get it. Last I understood, Tyler Perry sells to black female audiences. Not many white people watch. Trying to turn him into a race baiter is pretty disingenuous. Done talking with y'all.

May 27, 2013

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Abersouth

"A black guy who plays to racist stereotypes of black people, in order to sell to subconsciously racist white audiences"

See, now I know you're just subscribe to a narrative instead of looking at objective observations. White people hate Tyler Perry. Are you kidding at this point? One of my best-friends, who I lived with for 2-years, is black... and I would make fun of him all the time for watching Tyler Perry movies. His response, jokingly... "you're white, you won't get it... "

May 28, 2013

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bwhitz

Firstly I think having articles and discussions on women's rights in the film industry and other related issues such as the vfx workers picketing the academy awards on nofilmschool is very important and needed. Especially on a site frequented by people who work in the industry.

To strive for equality and decent conditions for everyone in the film industry will lead to better films. As far as comments go about it being a very competitive industry. At the moment it is very competitive to get jobs, funding etc. But wouldn't it be better to strive for an industry that was based around helping each other create better films as opposed to competing for limited funding (where most of it goes to a very limited number of people, whilst the rest struggle)? To an extent we are starting to move towards more collaboration, but still have a long way to go and achieving gender (and racial) equality is a key part.

There is a large pay gap between men and women in most western countries. fact. This is something that needs to campaigned around. The only people who benefit from this division are a very small precent at the top.

The majority of hollywood films only portray women as sex objects, look up Laura Mulvey's theory of the male gaze in film. I don't aggress this is the case in every film or even hollywood film. An argument could be made that twilight has a female gaze.

The majority of hollywood films have male directors. I think this is more than just a case of gender, but that the films they are allowed to make reinforce the ideologies of the elite. Even the few female directors who have produced large hollywood films are making ones that reinforce the views of the powerful, such as Kathryn Bigelow supporting American military foreign policy.

The only people who gain from sexism in the film industry are those at the very top not the majority of men in the industry who are getting paid far less than studio heads.

@Pianohero I find you comments very ignorant, sexist and racist. I have worked with a number of Aboriginal people in the film industry and found them quite competent. One of the main reason's there aren't more directing in hollywood is they are being brought up in a world that discriminates against them in all kinds of ways, including making it harder to get a decent education especially as many are born into poverty.

On a side note, its all well and dandy to have a decent and affordable film kit (I have one myself) but to seriously make a film you need to be able to spend time doing that. Which means money, especially if you want to pull other people into the project and/or it involved travel etc. There is only so much you can do when working full time in another job.

Try applying the Bechdel test to the next few hollywood films you see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bechdel_test

May 27, 2013

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Zeb Parkes

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