The Death of Mainstream Film
After taking a break from blogging on our old site, I'm ready to charge forward on the new one!
During my time away, I have had the privilege of writing for other folks, including film reviews and other industry related articles. I have had the chance to meet many incredible women filmmakers, industry pros, executives and academia. I have witnessed the literal fall of democracy in the 2016 presidential election and marched along with the Resistance.
As much upheaval and push for change there is all over our world, there's one thing that's stayed stagnantly the same. Mainstream film. The film industry must start embracing original scripts, more diversity and be MUCH more inclusive overall or it will self destruct.
As far as women in film go, we've seen a flat trend in our inclusion behind the scenes. Since the 1990's things have stagnated for women. There are many legal loopholes that studios use to get around fair hiring practices and legal consequences. Due to the film industry's murky laws, there isn't much to hold their feet to the fire.
There are a lot of female celebrities speaking out for feminism in Hollywood. Many more are starting production companies dedicated to getting women and POC working. While the sentiment is great, how many people do you know that have access to these stars? Can a talented, unknown artist contact them about their interests? Hell no. 98% of us don't have any access to the Reese Witherspoon's, Viola Davis's or Nicole Kidman's starting these production companies.
I recently had the opportunity to be a part of a big media summit. It was meant to bring about great change for women in the industry and it may still do so. What concerned me was how so many of the industry insiders, who fight for inclusion in the industry, are still so stuck on staying within the industry, to change the industry. Countless organizations in the past through today have been doing just that for years and where has it really gotten anyone? Is the industry any more open, tolerant or willing to make changes than it was 20, 30 even 40 years ago? The answer is almost always, resoundingly, NO.
So where does that leave everyone else? As usual, out in the cold, forced to spend our lives trying to scale the impenetrable Hollywood walls, most with zero success. I'll be the first to admit that there are a ton of incredibly untalented people trying to make a living in film. Many untalented people are currently working in mainstream film. Those working in Hollywood don't get there because they are the best, they get there because, by and large, they know someone who gets them in. Of course there are some extremely talented people working too, but they are the exception.
The bigger pool of talent is in a place where most insiders don't go. OUT THERE. I have been privy to some incredible shorts and Indie films in the course of my reviews. Most of those fabulous pieces have been done by women. Do men make better films? Hands down, no. A great film isn't about gender, its about passion, vision, integrity, and honesty. All of which, no one who consistently works in mainstream has to have. I don't know about you, but I'm deathly tired of all of the same films, same actors, same filmmakers and arrogance that plague mainstream film. No one working seems to think they need to be great anymore because they always get hired no matter how second rate their work is. Doesn't anyone believe in putting their very best into EVERY job?
How conceited do you have to be to think that you should be one of 5 people hired to direct every film? How self serving must you be to take millions upon millions of dollars and do nothing to help anyone outside of the industry get work? Hollywood's looking worse than current politicians to me. At least the President has SOME rules he's forced to adhere to even with a party majority in Congress. Do Hollywood studios have the same regulation? Again, NO.
My plea is to the other 98% of film artists out there. The ones who's only life purpose is in creating something great. To the talented animator, who's work was stolen by big industry companies with no remunerations whatsoever, because they know most of us can't afford the attorney's they can. To that 6' plus actress who's heart was in playing the Princess, but was stereotyped out. To the millions of POC who's stories NEVER get told in mainstream due to one crappy, bullshit excuse after another. To the up and coming screenwriters who's precious work gets thrown out by a reader that wouldn't know a great script from a banana. And, to the millions of women who are subjected EVERY DAY to the rampant sexism, sexual harassment, sexual assault and appalling condescension in the industry. I want you to know that I see you and feel you.
That's what Queen B. Productions was created for. Artists should not have to withstand all of the excrement we do just to do what we love. My next article hearkens the beginning of the offer that I am putting forth to the world. The movement I am creating. There is a way to change how things are done, but it can only be done together and with the same passion I am putting forth into this article and my company. It won't be easy, at all. Rebellion never is. We simply cannot continue to accept things the way they are.
Stay tuned for our next step.