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Female Filmmakers - What's so good about females in the film industry?

First of all, I'm a female who is working in the film industry. I want to know (try not to be bias) but how does a woman effect the film industry?

What impact does her perspective have?

What unique skills does she bring to behind - the - scenes?

How can she change the future of film?

Why isn't there many women working behind-the-scene?

  • It's true that it's a man's industry on the surface appearance of the thing, just like a lot of sports - but historically women have been behind the scenes a lot longer than people realise.

    Even going back to the early days of films, a lot of film editors were female, because it was a lengthy task that required a lot of patience and generally this was viewed to be ideally suited to women. Similarly, there are a lot of female producers as a result of the truth in the stereotype that women multitask better.

    But things are changing, women are everywhere throughout the film industry, quietly getting on with their work and doing a great job. I just don't think it's publicised as much by far.

    That said, I have had people assume that I'm a dude before I turn up for a shoot - as far as I'm concerned, that's their problem not mine. The work is the work and it doesn't matter who does it so long as they do it well.

    5 years ago
  • I always like to run a very mixed set, it stops it getting too 'blokey'. The event I'm currently on is about 50/50, although the technical skills tend to have a stronger male showing and production female.

    Maybe men generally and historically take fewer career breaks where the technology moves on but production is easier to resume, maybe the fact there's always a lot of lifting and carrying which gives men an overall advantage in grip work and the likes?

    5 years ago
  • There are a lot of women in the industry here in Los Angeles. Easily half of the crew on just about everything I've worked on in the last 30 years were women. The best electrician I know is a woman. For a time, the best steadicam operator in town was a woman (she has since retired). I've optioned 2 scripts, both by women producers. Really, the only positions that seem to be male heavy are grips, 1st A.D.s, teamsters, and directors.

    I've worked with women who were bad at their jobs, just as I've worked with men who were bad at their jobs. I don't think a unique perspective enters into it. Either you can do the work or you can't. A buddy of mine is working with a female editor right now with several big credits. She's awful. But some of the best editors ever were/are women. But I don't think it's because they have a unique perspective. People are good at their jobs, or they are not.

    Before about 1935, the majority of writers were women. Currently, I really don't think producers would give a shit who wrote it if a great script came across their desk.

    5 years ago
  • I posted a similar question about six months ago. Search for: Why are less than 9% directors female?
    I was researching for a book called 'Celluloid Ceiling' which is coming out later this month. The book specifically looks at women directors in television and film and some of the challenges they face. I'm happy to have more of an indepth discussion on this subject if you'd like to contact me. I've spent a long time researching in this area and undertaken original research interviewing many female and male directors for their thoughts. In the course of my research I found this link that shows some of the stats:

    5 years ago
  • As a female writer/director/producer I think both genders have an important role to play.Often women have the sensitivity, creativity and when directing or editing can more easily find the subtleties and nuances of a scene.
    Male editors seem to concentrate more on the technical side, which of course is hugely important, but they can chop out important moments because they don't get why it matters. The reverse can be true of women. Of course many of both genders are great editors.
    Like most things, it is not a lot to do with gender. Mostly it comes down to the person's personality and talent.But I still do believe that there is a bias towards hiring men, often because the females have less experience, because there is a bias towards hiring men!

    5 years ago
    • Sorry, Sue. I can't agree with you about male editors being more technical. I taught for a time, and that is a problem with beginning editors of both genders. They are scared shitless of boring an audience, and choose to lose those moments. 99 percent of my career was "fixing" films in trouble. And often it was an editor's first or second film. Both genders were more concerned about technical issues than they were about building a moment. What beginning editors and directors all have in common, is that they don't keep in mind that an audience is seeing something for the first time, and they've seen it dozens of times. Their objectivity is gone, and they are blind to that.

      5 years ago
  • I can only speak from experience, but I'd say it might be partly to do with a lack of confidence in early those developing years, where you are figuring out your career path. Wanting to pursue a position in what might be (wrongly) perceived as male dominated industry can be daunting. I've found that with my peers, most women have fallen into the writing, stage management, and directing fringe theatre, and a lot of my male friends have gone down the freelance cameraman route in film...perhaps thats says something more about the industry?

    Again only speaking from my experience. I only started directing because of support from my producer/technician boyfriend who told me to stop being so afraid to try in public, because I was already directing and writing on the side anyway, just not shouting about it. Like I am now!

    5 years ago
  • I am very passionate about the film industry and for me it is a way of life. I will continue working here as I love it and cannot get enough of it. I am however writing scripts for women as there are many talented actresses out there but they do not always get in depth roles that stretch their abilities. I also enjoy having a balanced cast and crew as I learn constantly from my entire team of both men and women. I love to collaborate with my team for that is how the best films are made.

    5 years ago
  • I'm not sure women, on the whole, bring unique skills to a film set, but they often bring a different perspective and mindset.

    I've been a 1st AD for a number of years now and I have definitely noticed a difference between working for male and female directors. The best of both genders share very similar characteristics in terms of focus, determination and communication; being able to share their vision with the cast and crew.

    A lot of male directors I've worked with have their DOP as their right hand person. This is mainly because they see producers and ADs as the people who will say "no" to them. Female directors, on the whole, will have their 1st AD as their confidant and right hand (as it should be, in my opinion). I find working with female directors to be slightly preferable because the lines of communication between director and production team to be easier; I don't have this tussle with alpha male directors who worry that the producer and 1st AD are trying to take their movie away from them.

    However, one thing I would caution with female directors (and some male directors) is not to withdraw into a shell on set. I've seen women directors come unstuck on set by going quiet and sullen right when leadership is required. This isn't good for any director but in my experience it has happened to more women directors I've worked with than male.

    5 years ago
    • That's really interesting, Nicholas. 99 percent of my career was working uncredited fixing films in trouble, or working with a bond company take-over. I would direct additional scenes and re-edit the entire picture. The person I have glued to my hip are the first AD and the Script super. While it's important to get the best work you can as director, it's also important to stay on schedule and budget, or the creative aspects will suffer in the end anyway. The person I butt heads with the most is the DP because they ALL think they can edit and most think a pretty picture is the most important thing. Maybe I'm a lady.

      5 years ago