Capturing The Damsel

When I started delving into screenwriting about 18 months ago, Tuesday quickly became one of my favourite days of the week. And, every Tuesday still, we are gifted with a new episode of Scriptnotes.

Last Tuesday’s episode deals with the weirdness of the Austin Film Festival (I mean, I know Austin is supposed to be weird but the AFF was truly weird. For me, at least. Though I added to that weirdness, I am very sure.) and the goodness of T-Bone Burnett (who makes a very valid and relevant point that should be paid attention to…).

But the bulk of episode 116 is devoted to discussion of the death of Damseling. The call for change starts around the 14 minute mark. Much like the rest of us, though August and Mazin are incredibly great at their jobs, they don’t have a solution to retire this old chestnut for good. But at least they’re calling it out and talking about changes in their own work. Or, John August so eloquently puts it:

“It’s simple, it’s lovely, but it may not be the right choice.”



Joss Whedon Is The New Black

Joss Whedon is the opposite of a misogynist. Which sounds crazy mostly because so many of his peers flex that muscle when they need to… Which, let’s be honest, seems like it happens more often than one might think necessary. Yeah, I’m dancing around this aspect of this topic a bit. I’m not calling anyone out, specifically, but ask yourself- When was the last time you witnessed a genuine 3D female character in a big Hollywood movie? I mean one that wasn’t rendered by VFX- one that had a brain and a heart and maybe even an important job to do that mattered a lot to the world of the story…?

Go ahead. I’ll wait. I’ll find something to read

…Anything? Odds are better than Vegas that Joss Whedon had something to do with whatever you’re thinking of. Which is great, but sad in that his dedication to equality on screen is so singular that he can actually be identified by this trait. Sure, lots of other folks do this too, but the mighty Joss does it so consistently. He doesn’t do Damseling (more on that later) and it’s so refreshing that it’s not just his work ethic, but his own life philosophy.

Which all serves to show us Joss Whedon speaking at Make Equality Reality introducing the idea of “genderist” (because things should just be called what they are) and generally saying sane, sensible things. Refreshing.

For some bonus Joss, a great set of interviews with Joe Utichi that includes this quote:

“I dislike agendas; I like obsessions because obsessions are part of what make us individual and exciting. Agendas – not so much.”