I’m a little late to this party but I wanted to give a big shout out to Elisabeth Rappe at Film.com for her awesome and thorough piece: In What Year Will Female Directors Make Up Half the Workforce?
She makes some really great points and reiterates lots of the points made on this blog, you know, the ones about how inexperienced guys get to direct blockbusters and that women are shut out of directing the big budget action fare.
If 50 percent of directors were female, the alleged shortlist for new Superman directors (a six name list that contains the likes of Darren Aronofsky, Tony Scott, and Zack Snyder) would have two or three women among them. Can you imagine a world where a woman was deemed as capable to direct a DC or Marvel movie as Darren Aronofsky? No woman director has yet been given a $100 million budget event picture, but they trust neophyte men such as Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) every day.
Here’s her take on the numbers. The point is that the studios don’t hire women and if they don’t start thinking about it there is no way we will achieve parity by 2060 or even ever.
If I pretend 2010 Hollywood is 1960s discriminatory America, make as though Kathryn Bigelow is the Equal Pay Act, and apply that same growing workforce curve to Hollywood … well, it’s bleak. I estimate that you’ll see women directors achieve 50 percent in the year 2060. If it seems laughable that Hollywood would move that slowly, consider the fact that the Los Angeles Times reported that only two major studios (Walt Disney and Universal) hired a female director last year, and even then, it was only one director apiece. Warner Bros and Paramount Pictures hired none. If the current model holds with little to no growth, it could actually be longer than 50 years. It could be never.
And she goes into the Bigelow effect or lack thereof:
So far, her Oscar win hasn’t proved to be the equivalent of the Equal Pay Act. No studio eagerly dredged its ranks to find and fund potential female Oscar winners. Bigelow’s buzz and action cred didn’t earn her a spot on the Superman list, whereas a post-Slumdog Millionaire Danny Boyle was immediately rumored to be the next James Bond helmer. Oscars can at least put you in the buzz surrounding big franchises, unless you’re female, in which case no one really cares what you do.
And she also reminds us that money doesn’t always matter and that Catherine Hardwick hasn’t had a film released since Twilight.
A depressing, but very important piece. Read the whole thing.