Here’s the hard truth. The
numbers for women in the entertainment industry aren’t great. This is something
that we are all well aware of. When both of us started out in the business, we
came onto the scene as actors and quickly realized what an astounding lack of
opportunity there is for women in this industry. We recognized that in order to
play the types of roles that we wanted to play, we would need to produce our
own projects. There has been a great wave of actresses creating their own
content and becoming “multi-hyphenates,” and this is starting to slowly shift
things in the industry.
With well known ladies
like Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Lena Dunham, Brit Marling, Zoe Kazan, and Felicia
Day paving the way, it’s obvious that the best way to create a major change is
to encourage all women out there to take matters into their own hands. Whether
you are an actress delving into filmmaking, or a writer, director, or producer
deep into your third feature film, there are some rules of thumb that can help
elevate not only yourself, but all women in this business.
These memorable sayings
came up time and time again when we were putting together the Ms. In The Biz
book. They are a few tips for female filmmakers that seemed like they should be
obvious and almost cliché at this point, but are so important to reiterate to
keep us all in action, rather than dwelling on how far we still need to go.
1) Be the change you want
to see in the industry.
If we want to see stronger
female-driven films, if we want more opportunity for women behind the camera,
WE need to make that happen. It is our responsibility to create the world we
want to live in, one woman at a time!
We need to hire more women
on our sets, write films with more female roles, and continue to educate
ourselves in our particular fields to the best of our abilities so that we are
armed with knowledge and are equally as qualified as the men around us.
2) If you can imagine it,
you can create it.
You don’t have to fully
understand something before you begin the process of creating it. In fact, the
only way to learn is by doing it! As women, we tend to hold ourselves back,
thinking we don’t have enough knowledge to jump in there and get it done. Take
the reigns and leap!
3) Collaborate! Don’t
compete with other filmmakers or industry professionals.
If you meet someone who is
extraordinary, why not welcome them into your tribe? Surround yourself with the
BEST possible team you can find. There is so much wasted energy put towards
jealousy. No sense in envying others; instead, learn from them! Filmmaking is a
collaborative process, and we all need others to cheer us on so that we can
create the best possible projects and as a result become the strongest women in
the industry that we can become.
4) Make men your allies!
While there is most
definitely a discrepancy in the number of women working behind the camera,
there are actually a lot of men who are championing us on and believe that we
should have an equal seat at the table. Fun fact: MsInTheBiz.com
is read by 54% men! We have a lot more support and allies among our industry
peers than we realize.
So march forward, create
your own opportunities, and bring your fellow ladies and supportive gents along
for the ride!
Santos is an actor/producer/writer/founder of Ms. In The Biz.
Alexandra Boylan is a
producer/writer/actor. They teamed up to compile Thriving in Hollywood!
Tenacious Tales and Tactics from Ms. In The Biz, now available on Amazon
via Kindle and hardcopy.
The book is a compilation of 25 pieces written
by 21 different women in the entertainment industry during the first year of msinthebiz.com.
Whether you are brand new to the business or an industry veteran, Thriving
in Hollywood! will keep you motivated, inspired, and arm you with