Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sigh

<-- next door neighbour's backyard, from my last life in the bush.

I have had a moment of elation in my filmmaking career, followed by sharp disappointment. On Friday I was selected as an 'emerging producer' to produce a short film. (This was a fairly informal affair that involved me talking confidently about my organisational skills and how easily they would transfer to the Fillum World). They have fifteen short film scripts that were selected from the earlier round of 'Emerging Writer' competitions. Eleven have already been allocated (I was late getting on board) so they sent me the last four for me to decide over the weekend which to produce. I get a team together, make the film by June 30th, and they do the work of submitting them to short film festivals and so on.

Well, the scripts were abysmal: violent, juvenile and stereotyped. And so incredibly misogynist it took my breath away. The young characters didn't have names: in one she was called 'Sexylady' and was the instigator of a presumably hilarious moment in which she leaves the petrol hose in the car and drives off, destroying the petrol pump (Ooh, and haven't we all done that? Those hoses are so tricky to manage). The second script's female character was called 'GorgeousGirl' and the lead (who had a name) fell in love with her while she waited on his table (setting the tone for a beautiful relationship). The third script's female character was in her fifties, and such a harridan her husband kills her and feeds her to the pigs; and the final one had no women characters actually in it, but the lead character was involved in cutting them up and putting their body parts into rubbish dumps around the city.

Presumably the other eleven were much better, and some, I imagine, were even written by women. What I don't understand is how scripts like this make it into the top fifteen. Maybe only sixteen people entered, and the sixteenth couldn't write. And I'm frightened by the thought that the people who make this stuff up are in training to be the next generation of feature filmmakers. Really and truly, Nothing Has Changed.

Thankfully I have a gorgeous script written by my friend Hilary I've been procrastinating on- although I won't get funding to make it - and this has galvanised me into action. But if you happen to be sitting on a delightful, smart script for a film under ten minutes long, let me know*.

*It is incredibly unlikely you would make any money from this

1 comment:

suzoz said...

That's depressing.

I work with "young people"and sometimes I feel like nothing's changed too.