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Showing posts from June, 2011

V48 Hours: Women filmmakers working together?

I’m a convert: V48 Hours is FUN. This year, I was marginally involved with two teams that had women directors and producers: Loaded Gunn (Francesca Jago) and Squidwig (Rebecca Barnes). And loved watching Francesca and Rebecca at work, each very different in style but each quite similar in their focus on doing the best work possible and their care for their casts and crews, all with boundless enthusiasm.

And the heats were fun too, in a crowded Readings cinema. And the discussion boards and Facebook page. And then the Wellington final. The Embassy Theatre almost full with excited people, there for screening of the twelve finalists plus The Best Incredibly Strange Film (formerly known as The Best Worst Film, won this year by Crane Style for Daemon, a Horror). Lots of applause and celebration, hugs from every prizewinner for Dan Slevin, the amazing Wellington co-ordinator and emcee for the night. Laurie Wright from the gin joints team that made Intervention, a Horror written by Gavin M…

Page Left: women playwrights working together

The International Institute of Modern Letters’ (IIML) MA scriptwriting programme is now in its tenth year. Taught by Ken Duncum from the beginning—except for last year, when David Geary took over while Ken was the New Zealand Post Mansfield Fellow in Menton—the programme takes ten students through an intensive eight-month writing experience. There have been equal numbers of women and men on the course, and the prizes awarded have been shared among women and men, too.

Until now, because I was an IIML scriptwriting student who wanted to write screenplays, I’ve focused on the MA students who write for primarily for film. I was intrigued that although the women who take the course are strong writers, once they graduate they are underrepresented in projects that the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) funds, in comparison with the male graduates. But after years of observation and inquiry, I am sure that this happens for the same primary reason that women who write screenplays, wherever the…

Help an 'activist' today-- Questions please! (EP 4)

Market validation, I've learned at Activate, identifies where people feel pain, in order to provide a product that relieves the pain. Help An ‘Activist’ Today: Questions Please (EP 3) explored some questions about niches that aren’t well served, where people might feel pain and go in large numbers to films that were made with them in mind. But women are not a niche; we’re half the population. Within all those niches, are there any common kinds of pain that will be relieved by films about women? And if so, what kinds of films? As I research questions to ask in my survey about films for women, am I faced with an impossible task, just as I was when trying to create questions about films that women write and direct? I hope not. While I know that it’s possible for women to DIWO (Do It With Others), to make and distribute a film with mates, I still dream of finding a sustainable way to do this, where the team gets paid and there are audiences who will pay to watch, and there’s money g…