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Study: Fewer Women Directing and Writing Movies Than 17 Years Ago

Study: Fewer Women Directing and Writing Movies Than 17 Years Ago

If Hollywood were graded on how well it excluded women directors from making films, it’d receive an A. 

The newest Celluloid Ceiling Report from Dr. Martha Lauzen at San Diego State finds that men directed 93% of the top 250 grossing films of 2014. Female filmmakers made 7% of those films. That’s up one percentage point from last year, but 2 points down from 1998. That means women directors have lost ground in the last 17 years. Only Angelina Jolie, who helmed Unbroken, cracked the top 100, though that may change in the coming weeks as Ava DuVernay’s Selma gains ground. 

The news is no better for women writers, who wrote only 11% of the top 250 films of 2014. As with the directing numbers, that’s 1 percentage point up from last year but 2 percentage points down from 1998. 

In addition to the ranks of women directors and writers, a fewer percentage of producers and editors also work in the film industry than 17 years ago. However, the percentages of women executive producers and cinematographers have gone up. 

Shockingly (even for Hollywood), 38% of films employed 0 or 1 woman as director, writer, producer, executive
producer, editor, or cinematographer. 

One of the most prominent studies on women in the film industry, the annual Celluloid Ceiling Report bills itself as "the longest-running and
most comprehensive study of women’s behind-the-scenes employment in film
available. Currently in its 17th year, this annual study is
sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, San
Diego State University."

Here are the findings from the Celluloid Ceiling study: 

In 2014, women comprised 17% of all directors,
writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working
on the top 250 (domestic) grossing films. This is the same percentage of women working in these roles in 1998.

Women fared best as producers (23%), followed by
executive producers (19%), editors (18%), writers (11%), directors (7%), and
cinematographers (5%).  
    

Women comprised 7% of all directors working on
the top 250 films of 2014. This represents an increase of 1 percentage
point from 2013 but a decline of 2 percentage points from 1998.  

Women accounted for 11% of writers working on
the top 250 films of 2014. This
represents an increase of 1 percentage point from 2013 and a decrease of 2
percentage points from 1998. 

Women comprised 19% of all executive producers
working on the top 250 films of 2014. This represents an increase of 4 percentage points from 2013 and an
increase of 1 percentage point from 1998.    

Women accounted for 23% of all producers working
on the top 250 films
of 2014. This represents a decrease of 2 percentage points from 2013 and a
decrease of 1 percentage point from 1998.  

Women comprised 18% of all editors working on
the top 250 films of 2014. This represents an increase of 1 percentage point
from 2013 but a decline of 2 percentage points from 1998.  

Women accounted for 5% of all cinematographers
working on the top 250 films of 2014. This represents an increase of 2 percentage points from 2013 and 1
percentage point from 1998.  

–Women were most likely to work in the documentary and comedy
genres. They were least likely to work in the action and horror genres.


Women comprised 1% of all composers working on
the top 250 films of 2014. This
represents a decline of 1 percentage point from 2013.  

Women comprised 5% of all sound designers working
on the top 250 films of 2014. This
represents an increase of 1 percentage point from 2013.   

Women accounted for 5% of all supervising sound
editors working on the top 250 films of 2014. This represents a decrease of 4 percentage points from 2013.  

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