So this is a fun post for me.
We recently wrapped production on We’ve Met Before, a short film I directed that’s set in the Twilight Saga Universe and sponsored by Lionsgate and Women in Film. I’m going to make another photo post later with more behind-the-scenes, but this one is a bit specific - this one is a spotlight on all the incredible, hard-working women on our crew.
I’ve said this before - there have been a lot of times when I’ve felt self-conscious about calling myself a director. For a long while, I didn’t match the mental picture I had of a director - some grizzled, coffee-in-hand, headset-wearing cool guy who had inside jokes with all the bros in the camera department. Eventually I realized this was dumb, and the only way to become less self-conscious about the word was to keep directing, and earn the badge of calling myself a “director” through the work I was making.
To be honest, I’m not even sure where that mental picture came from. That image I had of the all-dudebro camera department? That’s so much less common on the indie film sets I’ve worked on than my imagination had led me to believe. I’ve worked on sets that are almost entirely male, but I’ve also worked on sets that are almost entirely female. My favorite sets are the ones which are far more balanced and the crew is made up almost entirely of my friends and I don’t have to waste time thinking about gender politics when I should be focusing on directing the actors and watching the shot.
While every new article on women in film boasts depressing new statistics, I feel there’s a need to also remind people that there are a lot of women working in film right now. Now more than ever. I think those articles are geared towards changing the minds of higher-level gatekeepers who may be less inclined to hire women, due to whatever unconscious biases they may hold. And that’s a good thing, it’s something that should be done, and Hollywood shouldn’t get a pass on the appalling numbers of women in this industry.
But as a young woman coming up in film inundated by these articles on a daily basis, am I meant to feel emboldened and forge on to spite those odds or would I feel disheartened and somewhat intimidated by them? I can only speak for myself, but it’s a mixture of both, depending upon my mood.
My point, I suppose, is that there should be a lot more visibility of the talented young women who are currently working in film and coming up through the ranks. Look at these photos. We aren’t ‘the future of film’, we’re the present day of film. Young girls who are considering a potential career in film should know that they aren’t arriving to a padlocked boys club where they’ll have to prove themselves constantly as ‘one of the guys’ to get taken seriously. That probably was a reality some years ago, but I’ve had the luxury of benefitting from the work of several decades of women who came before me. (Sidebar, this is a thought expressed much more eloquently and beautifully by Shonda Rhimes in her Glass Ceilings speech at The Hollywood Reporter, and I highly recommend watching it in full.)
So yeah. Take these photos as my pebble thrown at an outdated idea of the ‘all male film crew’. Shoutout to WIF/Lionsgate/Stephenie Meyer for giving us this incredible opportunity, and shoutout to all my ladies in film. We work hard, we love the work, and when we’re on set, we don’t have time to deal with the infinite odds they’re saying are stacked against us.