Hiding In The Numbers

The number of female directors, not only in Hollywood, but in the global film industry is nothing short of abysmal.  It’s a shame really, because there are astronomical numbers of talented women, who deserve to be working with equal opportunities in this industry. In fact, there is a great number of talented people that are greatly overlooked even in our new millennial times.  

Here are some statistics for you from a 2015 article by Shaunna Murphy (http://on.mtv.com/2dwtKDq) specifically focusing on opportunities for women directing in film. Between 2007 and 2014 only 1.9% of films were directed by women and in television it’s even worse - out of 220 shows (3500 episodes), the number was only 14%.  Even if they happen to be a female director who directs a blockbuster and make a ton of money on opening weekend, they may end up being paid LESS on their next job. Yep, I said it.   

What?!?!  How is this possible?  It occurs because there are not enough women who are directors to create demand. This lacking demand is due to female candidacy for directing opportunities being suppressed by long stemming bias in the selection process. Because women are considered a minority, they are lumped into the same category as men who are an ethnic minority. As you can imagine women of minority ethnicities find the industry nearly impossible and it is time that the limitations that impact minorities, both female, male, and gender end within film!

These needless limitations create the final glass ceiling all under-valued persons in business must shatter. The film business still stands in a classic “good old boys club” mentality. Any person who challenges it is likely to be “unofficially” blacklisted from work in their skill. Out of date bias and implicit fears by the “members” of the club still have a stronghold on much of the industry behaviors. The colorful impressions in the variety of perspectives by current minorities are hiding in the numbers, only earning enough positions for industry leaders to meet diversity quotas.  

It’s about time that we break apart the “norms” and stand up, not just for ourselves, but for the value of all people!  Love what you do?  Then do it!  I had a friend who, after telling me he was a former Psychotherapist turned Producer said, “if you want to do this job, jump in with both feet, swim really fast and don’t let anyone steal your power!”  So I did!  I never forgot his wise words and I certainly began the process of taking back my power.  Now, I NEVER let anyone tell me “you can’t do that!” When they do, I look at them and say, “really? Watch me.”  

I am exceedingly proud to be the Owner and Managing Partner of Anvil Springs Entertainment.  It is a woman owned and operated company and we consider everyone for positions they are not only qualified to do, or want to learn, but deserve.  If you work hard and do your job well, you will likely be hired by us.  Even if you’re a newbie, we offer on-the-job training to anyone who wants to learn.  Every key on our sets has a paid trainee, who, if they so choose, can rise up in the ranks and are valued for what they do.  Even if they begin in one department and decide it isn’t for them and want to try something else, I’m all for it.  Knowledge is power and we need to keep our power and use it to grow!  

So come and grow with us.  We’d love to have you!

You can read more about our Managing Partner, Kathleen Messmer, in a recently featured article via Forbes (http://bit.ly/2dc7iMn) for what we've already accomplished at ASE.

Contributed by:
Kathleen Messmer
Managing Partner and CEO - Anvil Springs Entertainment  

Kathleen has worked in the film and television industry for nearly two decades and holds a degree in film from one of the nation's’ top universities.  Her long career in the industry has seen her working on a wide range of films with budgets both large and small, building a thorough understanding of all aspects of any film project. She has also worked alongside Oscar-winning producers, directors and actors. 

See more of Kathleen's creative work in photography here.