The Producers Guild of America (PGA) Women’s Impact Network and Women and Hollywood announced the launch of The Ms. Factor: The Power of Female Driven Content to raise awareness among decision-makers in the entertainment industry about the profitability
of investing in female producers, directors, and plots/protagonists. Debunking the myths that perpetuate a well-documented gender bias in Hollywood, The Ms. Factor is a compilation of studies and statistics designed to offer filmmakers the analyses they need to make the commercial case for
“Market data regarding movies and television dramatically supports the fact that female-driven content is profitable, yet women working on both sides of
the camera remain severely underrepresented. The toolkit will provide producers and directors pitching female-driven content with the proof they need to
combat a prevalent resistance to female storytelling,” says co-author and producer Lydia Dean Pilcher, Vice President of Motion Pictures for the Producers
Guild of America and Chair of PGA Women’s Impact Network.
Melissa Silverstein, founder and editor of Women and Hollywood and co-author of The Ms. Factor adds, “There are gender barriers at each step of
the pipeline from development to financing to marketing, to distribution and exhibition. The lack of a critical mass of women decision makers at all levels
of the industry has created a very one-sided business.”
To counter industry misperceptions about the power of female audiences, The Ms. Factor highlights such facts as:
· Female moviegoers in U.S. today outnumber male moviegoers.
. Women are the majority of mainstream network TV audience.
· Women make upwards of 85% of all consumer spending decisions and by 2018, wives will out earn husbands in the U.S.
· U.S. women watch more content on all digital platforms than men.
· Women represent the majority of the online market and use the top social media channels more than men in almost every network.
Additionally, women are gender stereotyped in films. They are less likely to appear in the workplace compared to men, and more likely to be younger and
sexualized than male characters.
The toolkit argues that the best way to appeal to the female audience is to produce more content with female perspectives. “There are women who have
amassed power in the industry and are supporting female creatives. We see that having a woman at the helm affects the kinds of stories being told. Female
producers, directors and writers are more likely to feature girls and women on screen. And female leadership promotes gender equality behind the camera as
well. Research shows that female leadership features more female writers, producers, cinematographers and editors behind the camera – a 21% increase among
narratives and 24% increase among documentaries,” states Silverstein.
Pilcher and Silverstein urge producers and financiers to look at hiring and financing practices across the board encouraging decision makers to create
standard practices for studio and agency director lists, actor lists, and crew lists for all projects to be balanced in gender and diversity.
Lydia Dean Pilcher: “We hope that producers and filmmakers will use these statistics as ‘tools’ when creating financing proposals to counter those who see
gender as limiting. When they say, ‘less money is made with female leads, female stars, or female-driven properties,’ or ‘women aren’t our target audience’
– you can now be armed with the stats that show that female audiences are powerful, and that female participation can lead to profitable outcomes.”
The web-based toolkit, which also includes a list of action steps, is a co-venture between the PGA’s Women Impact Network and Women and Hollywood.
Access the toolkit here: