I’m meeting today with my (newish) i-doc producer to help kickstart the interactive portion of the film. Finally (I say). We’ve got a plan where we’re hoping to get at least the start of the online film done by the end of the academic year (that translates into early-May).
Which means I’ll spend my summer editing and producing. With likely a few “what did I get myself into” blogs tossed into the mix.
As I’m working on this project, I’m constantly thinking about access.
How do I get the film to parts of the globe where I can’t travel? How do I represent all facets of pin up culture?
She’s right. Professional photo shoots. Make up. Salon-ready hair. The clothing. Or as Dapper Dan Doll says in our film
Everyone’s making money at this except for the actual pin up.
It’s kind of the same way in the film festival world. I’ve spent around $1,000 just entering various festivals. That’s before the travel, the shooting, the editing – all the other costs associated with filmmaking. But ever the optimist, I still got super excited when I read about a film challenge being put together by a chapter of Women in Film. It’s for unabashedly feminist shorts with at least one woman in a key role, with female leads, to be shot and edited from April 1-30th. Films that pass the Bedchel Test.
Oh, was my brain whirring…
I could do this in Paris. Or while at Viva. Or in Palm Beach. I could make a documentary short about pin up culture that could run at the festival. And then it could be a ready-made new “thing” for my interactive documentary.
But then I checked the details a little bit closer. $100. ONE. HUNDRED. DOLLARS. Just to enter a festival that you don’t even have a guarantee of being a part of. Oh, they’ll give you a discount if you’re a member of Women in Film. Which costs $25 -$50 annually if you’re a student … or $100+ if you’re not.
Now don’t get me wrong. The 40 or so Women in Film chapters do good work.
And the festival is trying to address an important inequity – that women – and especially women from marginalized communities or women over a certain age – are basically excluded from Hollywood.
Check out this year’s Oscars if you doubt that.
Notice anything about the Best Director nominees this year?
Or basically the history of the Oscars for Best director.
But that $100+ entry fee can be a huge barrier for the very people this festival is supposed to include.
If you’re a working professional in New York or Los Angeles or Boston $100 may not seem like much. But keep in mind, the film won’t cost just $100. There are fees for cameras and lights (if you don’t already own them). Perhaps you need to hire a crew. Pay your actors (or even just buy them lunch on the shoot). Pay for music. Travel. Location fees. Color correction. Make up. Costumes. A high quality digital file to screen in the theater.
The reality is that this 10-minute or less short will cost far more than just $100. And those talented, just-looking-for-a-break, hoping-to-get-into-the-industry young women from marginalized communities who have an amazing story to tell? They may not have the resources to be able to take advantage of this fabulous opportunity.
Failing to recognize this little problem? That’s privilege in action.