The Athena List And Why It Matters

Thanks to the brilliant Ava DuVernay, who tweeted this:

That link is to Time Magazine and an article about the inaugural Athena List. In case you haven’t heard of it (which I hadn’t until today), it is a list that has grown out of the Athena Film Festival comprised of 3-5 screenplays that feature a strong female protagonist. All the scripts on the list (at least for the current year) are based on true stories and the lives of real women. I don’t really know of the people or scripts involved, nor the methodology of how these particular screenplays were chosen.

And you know what? I don’t care.

I don’t care who’s on the list or why some great script isn’t on it or my great script isn’t on it. I am just really, very happy that this list exists. And I’m excited to see whatever comes of it.

The Weekend Reader – February 7ish

Folks, just a reminder that everything really is awesome:

In very brief yet larger and non-animated news:

How to get ahead in filmmaking (via The Guardian)

A career-spanning interview with producer Jeremy Thomas (who’s helped to make way more movies than you realize), right on the heels of the confirmation of High-Rise, led by the brilliant Ben Wheatley with the screenplay to be provided by Amy Jump.

Oh, and you know women- the people who make up more than half the population? Yeah, them. Well, in Hollywood, pay for women overall declines rapidly after the age of 34. Awesome. Hello retirement!* (via Indiewire)

*As an aside to this, if one more person equates a woman’s sexual desire/reproductive age with her ability to do a job- ANY JOB- there will be consequences. Just sayin’.

Until next week, a shout out to the Fat Girl Food Squad for making life more awesome. Awesome is the word of the week. Pass it on.

Samuel L. Jackson Says What We Are All Thinking

The actor went on to say that the recent release “Fruitvale Station” was a braver and more honest film in dealing with race in America. He said, “It explains things like the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the problems with stop and search, and is just more poignant. America is much more willing to acknowledge what happened in the past: ‘We freed the slaves! It’s all good!’ But to say: ‘We are still unnecessarily killing black men’ – let’s have a conversation about that.”

–Samuel L. Jackson

(From The International Business Times via Latinos Post)

Woody Allen And A Strange Twist Over Broadway

Don’t forget, there is always more strangeness to be had…

The Wrap asks a fair question, given the talk around town: Will the Woody Allen Scandal Torpedo ‘Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical’?

I don’t know what has happened, or what will happen, in the portion of the universe that Woody Allen occupies. I’m going to be really honest about what I do know- he’s not my favourite filmmaker. So many people raved on how much I would looooooove Midnight In Paris, for example. I admit, it’s as close to loving a Woody Allen film as I’ve ever gotten (Come on- Set in Paris? Corey Stoll as Hemingway?! Tom Hiddleston as F. SCOTT FITZGERALD?!!!!1 Ahem.) But I didn’t love it nearly as much as the chorus of recommenders thought I would. But this?

Yes, please. More.

And that’s all I know for sure.

But, randomly (and the real point of this blog post), I noticed the article included this related link: Broadway Audience White, Middle Aged and Female, Study Finds and I went all WHAAAAAAAA?

If you read the entire article (and I recommend that you do), it basically states the Broadway audience is in their 40s and female. My question is what, exactly, is the “Broadway Audience”? There’s a pretty heavy divide between musical theatregoers and those who see plays, for example. And using selective surveys at 34 productions that only amounts to a cross-section that includes 5,000 or so voluntary respondents? How accurate is this data, really?

Considering it’s taken from 11.58 million attendees who saw a Broadway show last year… Ummm…

I like to think everyone sees live theatre as often as they can. It can be tough, based on where you live and what your life involves, but I know you want to.

And admission is always the first step on the right path.

 

Carrie Underwood On Women In Music Today, Plus The Downside Of Goldieblox

“It’s been difficult, because we know there is a need for products like this. I appreciate what she is trying to do, but I don’t agree with the execution.” – Melissa Atkins Wardy on the GoldieBlox controversy (via Forbes)

“I don’t think women can get away with the partying, beer-drinking, hung-over, truck-driving kind of music that a lot of the guys have gotten away with lately.” – Carrie Underwood (via Billboard)

If you think the music industry is ever any more kind to women than Hollywood is, you’d be sadly mistaken. Carrie Underwood’s comments in a recent issue of Billboard, along with a related column from last year, really got me thinking. The appearance of new female artists across many genres- including, and especially, country- seem to be of smaller number every year. Obviously, less money is being spent on old school A&R, but new male artists don’t seem to have declined in similar numbers.

On the musical flipside, we’ve got GoldieBlox. Yup, that company that ripped off The Beastie Boys, GoldieBlox. The whole situation makes me sad, honestly. It’s sad that there is so little progress degendering toys that we have to latch on to any little thing that seems to promote the tiniest scrap of progress. The company apparently scored with a big Super Bowl ad and, as much as it makes me happy to see girls and women portrayed in a positive context no matter where and when, it sucks that it has to come from a company that has shown absolutely no regard for copyright laws.

I don’t agree with the execution.

For the moment, let’s leave it at that.

Sexism- Call It Out or Tune It Out? (Also, A Shakespeare Sunday Chaser)

I keep an eye out for freelance writing gigs of many kinds, mostly because freelancing for ages makes it a hard habit to break. But, hey, you never know what you’re missing if you don’t look around, right…?

Recently, I saw a very legit posting on a very legit website for a seemingly legit freelance gig. I went through and started work on the application process, part of which was going to the site in question and looking at some existing entries. That’s generally a good idea, even if it’s not required, I’d say.

In this case, it might have saved me time even just filling out the application.

You see, two of the reference articles on the very first page were 1- types of women that are easy to hate and, well, there’s no nice way to say it…

2- The first article on the first page was a list of girls who look hot with jizz on their faces.

Not joking. Needless to say, I’m not naming the publication, which was supposedly an all-ages/demographics kind of site.

Now, my original plan was to do the application and say “By the way, since you’re aiming for a wide audience, you may not want to alienate 50% of the population with misogynist content like that. And that’s not the type of content I’m interested in writing. Ever. But here are some cool factoids about Tom Hiddleston…”

So I thought about it and started the application. And then I walked away. I went back. And walked away again. Repeat x3. I think I’ve pretty much decided, aside from this commentary, to just leave it alone.

But still I wonder- Is it crazier to engage or to walk away from something like that? I know you have to engage when it’s in your face. But, when it’s online and could just die off with a lack of attention, is silence the better treatment?

In the meantime, I guess I’m going to have to post all my cool Tom Hiddleston factoids on here, instead. Thankfully, it’s Shakespeare Sunday, so I have a further excuse. Enjoy.

(Bless that man for taking the ick out of the interwebs…)

Megan Ellison And 2013 Spec Script Sales

Sigh.

I started off to post merely some very general observations about spec sales in 2013. But then I saw that tweet and thought to myself, man, if someone who is out there working and making a difference feels like this, the rest of us should feel…?

But we cannot fix the system, can we? No one person can. All we can do is the work. Mini-revolutionaries. Change from the inside. Small steps. Big hearts. Can’t lose. (Did I rip that off from elsewhere…? Ha ha.)

So, let us get the good/bad news out of the way. The good news? Lots of awesome writers sold spec scripts in 2013. Congrats to all.

There is an exhaustive list at Go Into The Story of 2013 spec sales. To be fair, I only did a quick scan of the 100+ title list, so I might have missed some nuances.

The not-so-good news? By my rough count, 15 women are on the list. Keeping in mind, of course, some of the scripts have more than one writer. Working out the percentage of female writers who sold spec scripts in 2013 to be right around 12%.

I really can’t explain this. If anyone can, I’d love to hear it.

 

The Weekend Reader – January 31ish

There was SO MUCH GOING ON this week… And a few things I want to talk about in-depth. So here’s the oh-so brief rundown, with more to come shortly…