Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Women Need to Make More Movies and Network More

I keep hearing about all of this outrage that exists over women not being hired to make movies, either as screenwriters or directors or producers. As a female producer, I am certain that I am discriminated against whether or not it's on purpose. There is a boys club that exists in Hollywood, no doubt about it. 

And I don't play golf. I keep meaning to take it up but I haven't...and I'm sure that has affected my career as well.

Being a woman in Hollywood can suck but I think it's crap for anyone to think that they can't have a career because someone won't hire them. To those people, I say, "get off your butt and make your career happen!" I have never once let the boys club of Hollywood stop me from making movies. I will make movies til the day I die no matter what. And I am certain the successful female filmmakers in Hollywood have the same belief system. 

I'm not saying we should stop rallying for change. Keep up the fight! But let's do something more than whine about it. 

The next time you get a rejection, think about how you can make your film outside of the Hollywood system. Partner with an indie producer (male or female) and find the money yourself to get your film made. The money is out there. You just have to work hard to find it.

We could all easily sit back and wait for Hollywood to give us our career. I'm sorry to say though that we would be sitting for a very long time. We all need to make our own careers for Hollywood to take notice. We are not alone in that reality. I know a ton of male filmmakers struggling every day as well.

I really think that women need to get out there and make more movies and network more. As a producer, I am pitched projects all the time. But I have to say that probably 90% of the projects are by and about men. Where are all the projects by and about women? Why am I not approached more by female filmmakers? What is up ladies? 

After five years of being an indie producer,  I am just now partnering with a female director. And it's not because I haven't been looking. I make an effort to seek out female filmmakers but for some reason, I get a lot of white noise. It seems we women suck at networking and forging lasting relationships. But I have found that when we do find those relationships that stick, we are extremely loyal and we will go to the ends of the earth to protect one another.

I want to make movies about and for women and with women. I have to ask: where are you female filmmakers? I want to hear from you!


Jentri said...

I agree with you, Jane! I was lucky to find a fabulous producer, Lorie Marsh, who just happens to be female. But it didn't happen by sitting around waiting for a phone call! It was the result of a lot of passionate dedication.

I got off my butt and went to LA for a weekend with a friend, without a firm plan or fat wallet. It was one of the best things I could've done - just putting myself (and work) out there.

YOU, whoever you are, wherever you are, can & should do it too! :)

Jane Kelly Kosek said...

that's great Jentri! keep it up and let us know how your project progresses. good luck!

Marian said...

That's right! I love this post--

In Wellywood (New Zealand) with 'Development-the-movie' —see link— we're trying to find a sustainable way for women storytellers to make a whole lot more features---

'Development' is also maybe the first feature since Sally Potter's "The Gold Diggers"(would love to hear of others) that places women filmmakers at the centre of the story.

(Emily is very old, her battles for justice behind her. All she wants is to regain her full mobility and to help her daughter Louise, who is losing her memory.

But her best friend Iris draws her into a Wellywood web, where women filmmakers tangle with Louise’s husband Jeffray-the-Black-Widower, Henry the Golden Boy, with unsupportive Queen Bees, and with one another.

And when Emily finds she has nothing left to lose, she takes on one last campaign--)

Emma said...

Hi Jane, I followed the article back from the Women In Hollywood blog to say I am so glad you posted this! There seems to be this schism where it's getting cheaper and cheaper to make your own films independently... but some people still have blinders on, focusing on breaking into the industry as it exists already.

I also love your point about networking with people at your level. It'll be that generation that takes the place of the one making everything right now... and mentorship is great but experience is just as valuable.

I'm working with a male producer on our third short film since January. He's a great match and right now we're working on an action short with a female lead... no idea if there's a market for it, but if it's good enough, we'll get the audience.

Jane Kelly Kosek said...

thanks for all the great comments! you are all inspiring and certain to achieve success. good luck with your projects! keep me posted and let me know if you ever need feedback on anything. i'm happy to be another eye or ear of help.

Thomai said...

You wouldn't happen to have a female friendly film fest list would you.\?

I'm in the final stages of my short film and will be submitting it ASAP.
I'm also looking for ways to fund the entrance fees...?
Luckily, I'm ADing an indie film for 6 wks. So I'll have a little bit of cash leftover after rent and bills to put towards fests- hence the desire to choose fests that are female friendly.

This short is just the beginning for me as a narrative director. I also have skills as a producer & PM that come in handy.

I've overcome more than most by not ever having a victim mentality. I was surviving so that I can thrive. My characters tend to do the same.

Are you looking for female writers and directors right now?

Carolyn said...

From my observation, most of the females working in film seem to be working in documentaries -- as I am. I could be wrong, but every conference I attend about docs seems to be dominantly female. But you make a great point, Jane, about not accepting victimhood. I agree with you.