Women in TV and Film is a New Media Project with an associated mini-documentary geared toward increasing awareness, diversity, inclusivity and representation for women in the television and film industries. The statistics for female directors, female cinematographers and various roles below-the-line are very discouraging but there are MANY talented women actively working in the industry. There is POWER is each of our stories and experiences. WE NEED diversity in storytelling.
View all articles associated with this project here: #WomeninTVandFilm
This is a very important question. One that doesn’t have a straightforward answer. It’s easy to slap together statistics to paint the dire picture of what is transpiring with women in the television and film industries. However, generating a solution or corrective action plan isn’t quite so simple. With the creation of Women in TV and Film, I was extremely cautious not to make this a finger-pointing, blame-game or pity-party because no one is rolling out the red carpet for us to access the boys club. I wanted to highlight positive attributes and micro-level methods to evoke change that both you and I can implement NOW. In the introductory stages of conceptualizing the project, I asked myself two fundamental questions:
- What can I do to help?
- How can I build awareness and change perception?
I don’t have money. My career is still in infancy stages. I don’t have the power to create macro-level change.
Do I delve into why things are the way they are, or do I paint a picture that visualizes HOW IT COULD BE? I chose the latter.
My approach with this project was to:
- Actively work in a filmmaker capacity
- Work alongside other women in TV and Film
- Showcase various women in TV and film through my social media and web platforms
- Document the innerworkings of film sets with exclusively female cast and crews
- Attend events, conferences and screenings that support female filmmakers
- Network and build relationships with experienced women actively working in the industry
- Develop a rolodex (contact list) of women that can fulfil various above and below-the-line roles for future usage, reference and recommendation
- Show the world WOMEN MAKE MOVIES and WE ARE BADASS
Now, it’s YOUR TURN.
Companies: You should HIRE female filmmakers.
Filmmakers: You should recommend female filmmakers and take steps to ensure you have an inclusive work environment.
Consumers: You should support, watch and buy diverse and inclusive projects.
We can talk about corporate big-wigs but the reality of the matter is CONSUMERS HOLD THE POWER. When you buy food, you read the label. Similarly, when watching shows and films … you should research the credits. You should know about the content you are consuming. Female filmmakers know about the problems that exist, however, a large chunk of the TV-watching and movie-going population are completely oblivious. The program you love:
- Did a woman write it?
- Did a woman direct it?
- Did a woman edit it?
- Did a woman shoot it?
- How many women were involved in the production?
The population is 50/50 and women represent roughly half of movie-goers but we have less screen-time and less control of the narrative. YOU have the power to decide and evoke change.
Funding limitations were one of the greatest challenges I experienced throughout the creation of the Women in TV and Film project. One of the aspects that contributed to the success of the project was BEING THERE. Enough footage exists on the market that I could have slapped together project from content curation alone, but I wanted to SEE, FEEL, TOUCH and make this experience REAL for myself and for anyone who views the project. The need for female voices in television and film is heavily documented with articles and videos that address everything from gatekeepers and green-lighters to budgetary constraints and limited access. However, Women in TV and Film is unique since it isn’t a perspective from the outside looking in. Again, it was about BEING THERE.
If I had to summarize the challenges, it would come down to time and money. I didn’t have all the time in the world to work on this project. I submitted and defended my project proposal on February 14, 2019 and had roughly two months to take this from concept to completion with a tangible showcase-worthy project. There were schedule and timeline tweaks and adjustments when reality set in with how much can realistically be accomplished within the allowed timeframe.
Some of the investments made included gas, tolls (ugh, tolls), back-up batteries for my SLR, additional SD cards and the usual suspects, like my Adobe CC subscription. I also had to combat loss of income, since I couldn’t actively freelance while simultaneously putting in long hours toward the Women in TV and Film project, and my directorial debut, Thug Motivation. Leading up to April 2019, I resigned from my position as a Studio Photographer with Picture People since they needed someone with weekend availability, especially with the Easter holiday approaching. I knew in advance I would have to spend each weekend in March and April either shooting, editing, designing graphics, or attending events and production meetings.
I am forever thankful for the opportunities that were presented over the course of this semester and took advantage of as many as I could. I had to travel quite a bit and put a considerable amount of mileage on my car traveling back and forth between Manhattan and Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ (where I reside during the academic year). My residence is in Northern NJ, relatively close to New York City. My family … grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are all in New York. I luck out in a sense where there was always a local place to crash when I head into the city, but I also had classes and campus activities, so it was never long before I had to drive back to school.
Not-so-fun Facts: The Verrazano Bridge is $19. There is an EZ-Pass toll discount, however it only applies to NY pass holders and the deep(er) discount is only for Staten Island Residents. The Port Authority tolls (Goethals Bridge, Lincoln or Holland Tunnel) are $12.50 with the discount. The NJ Turnpike Tolls vary anywhere between $5 and $11. A typical trip from Rowan University (exit 3) to Lower Manhattan (exit 14C) can run about $11. I took the train to Astoria, $17 round-trip on New Jersey Transit plus another $5.50 on the MetroCard for the MTA.
- To Each Her Throne was shot in TriBeCa, NY
- Daughters of Solanas was shot in Staten Island, NY (main shoot site and on-location cemetery site)
- Women’s Weekend Film Challenge Pre-Production was in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
- Screening of Daughters of Solanas at the Museum of Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, NY
- Girl Power Film and Media Summit was in Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY
Well, technically both. The result of Women in TV and Film is a mini-documentary, however, it is very much an interactive new media project. All connections were initially secured online, and I handled content curation and social media management for three profiles across two platforms, not including my personal page. As of May 1, 2019, there were a total of 125 posts on social media from the accounts documented in this project. There are also an additional 20 applicable category posts on this website. Across all platforms, these posts include (but is not limited to) building awareness to the struggles for women in film, showcasing women in TV and film and motivation for female filmmakers.
The Women in TV and Film Project will showcase at the 2019 New Media Practicum Showcase at Rowan University next week. After the premiere, I plan to post the mini-doc online and it will be embedded right here on this website. I would like, however, to field questions from visitors so I can share my experiences and benefit from constructive criticism and feedback. Feel free to comment, click the link for the contact box or DM me on social media.
I will use these messages to drive future blog posts and engage in dialogue about the status of women in the television in film industries.
Date: Thursday, May 30th – Sunday, June 2nd 2019
Location: CoSM: Chapel of Sacred Mirrors – 46 Deer Hill Rd., Wappinger, NY 12590
CoSM Women’s Visionary Film Symposium includes a four-day program jam-packed with student films, shorts and feature-length films from both new and established female artists making an impact in filmmaking. The event will feature panels and workshops on crowdfunding, media funding and distribution, cinematography and camera work.
Date: Thursday, June 6th – Sunday, June 9th 2019
Location: AMC Empire 25 – 234 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036
WIFF2019 includes 40+ films, a conference, Sunday Awards brunch and more. This organization is known for its efforts to empower women’s visions and voices in film, television and entertainment. This event will include a Women in Film & Entertainment Conference and panels featuring some of the top women and men in the industry.
The official screening for Women in TV and Film, the mini-documentary and new media practicum project will be presented at the 2019 New Media Showcase at Rowan University. This event is taking place on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 from 10AM-1PM in the Chamberlain Student Center. Admission is free and open to the general public. If you can attend, please come out and support.
This event is an interactive, personal, meet-and-greet style setting where you can check out this semester-long multimedia body of work at my designated workstation and discuss the project directly with me. The mini-documentary hasn’t been published anywhere and I’ll have a display with the artifacts, supporting documents and the poster for this project. Don’t miss out!
Here are some behind-the-scenes shots from To Each, Her Throne. I am incredibly excited and thankful for the opportunity to Produce this series. I am pleased with how everything turned out thus far; our guests were amazing and I cannot wait to share this project with the world. Check out these BTS pics from the shoot by Photographer, Victoria Lewis @veedotk.
In April 2019, I had the pleasure of being selected to participate in the Women’s Weekend Film Challenge in New York. My crew, Team Banks created Daughters of Solanas which was screened at the Museum of Moving Image. I detailed my personal experience from that night here, but wanted to share some of the incredible images captured at the event from Photographer, Terrence Hamilton – @theimagetaker
Our shoot of To Each, Her Throne took place this past weekend and I couldn’t be more proud. Everything went according to plan and we will continue to promote through post-production, leading up to the release of the web series. This project has an all-female cast and crew and I am pleased to introduce you to this talented group of women in film. If you missed Part I of the Introductions, click here. To learn more about the project, click here.
Meet some of the talented women behind To Each, Her Throne.
Danielle Privat is the Director of To Each, Her Throne – @therapeutic.artistry .
While working as an HMU on countless film sets, Danielle was inspired to create her own project. Merging her love for docs and her passion for women’s rights, she came up with “To Each, Her Throne” as a platform for women to share their stories.
Alicia Allen is the AD/DP of To Each, Her Throne @therapeutic.films .
Alicia is an NYU Tisch alumna who majored in Film and Television. She is the founder of Therapeutic Films and has worked on many productions as a cinematographer and director. In addition to being a talented filmmaker, she is also a lyricist and her music will be featured on the project soundtrack.
Briana M. Andrews is the Producer of To Each, Her Throne – @bibbyfamedigital
Briana is a talented shooter and creative editor with a deep passion for digital video, photography and storytelling. The 19 year-old Brooklyn native of Guyanese and Trinidadian descent currently calls New Jersey home. A staunch advocate for diversity and inclusion in the Film and Television industries, Briana is the brainchild behind BibbyFame Digital, LLC. Currently finalizing her studies at Rowan University in New Jersey, she will earn a B.A. in Radio, Television & Film with a Production concentration and New Media minor.