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Women & Hollywood's Melissa Silverstein Goes to L.A. ♀

by Sydney Levine
September 21, 2010 8:11 AM
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Of the top 250 domestic grossing films released in 2009, women comprised 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors. This is 3 percent less than 2001. The numbers break down as follows: women directed only 7%; wrote only 8%, were only17% of all executive producers, were only 23% of all producers, 18% of all editors and only 2% of all cinematographers.

It’s not as if women don’t spend money at the movies. In fact in 2009, women bought 55% of all movie tickets. And films by women do make money. According to study done by the Center for Study of Women in TV (which also accounted for the above stats) “when women and men filmmakers have similar budgets for their films, the resulting box office grosses are also similar. In other words, the sex of filmmakers does not determine box office grosses.”

Melissa Silverstein of Women & Hollywood will be moderating a panel at USC entitled Women in Entertainment.

Event Location: Taper Hall of Humanities (THH) Room 102., University of Southern California
Event Time: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 8:00 PM

Panel description:
This year we witnessed the first female recipient of the Academy Award for Best Director, Kathryn Bigelow. While it may seem to the outside world that women have broken through the entertainment industry’s glass ceiling, we know that women continue to be largely underrepresented in all areas of the business.

Women still have a long way to go to achieve parity. This panel will talk with women who work in the business about issues facing women and what changes can be made towards getting more women at all levels of the business.

Panelists Include:
Moderator:
Melissa Silverstein, Founder, Women & Hollywood
Melissa Silverstein is a writer, blogger and marketing consultant. She is an expert in the area of social media regarding women and Hollywood. She is the founder and editor of Women & Hollywood which is at the intersection of feminism and entertainment. She has been featured on CNN as well as in Newsweek, Salon, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, NY Times, and many other publications. In 2010, Melissa was named one of 10 film critics to follow on twitter by Flavorwire. In 2008, it was named by More Magazine as one of the “blogs to watch,” and in 2009, it was named “Best Hollywood blog” by totalfilm.com. She is currently producing and creating the Athena Film Festival at Barnard College in NYC which will celebrate women’s leadership. The Festival will launch in February 2011.

Melissa Daykin, Creative Executive, Mandalay Motion Pictures
Melissa comes to Mandalay after three years at Miramax Films, where she began working for then President of Production Keri Putnam and was promoted to Creative Executive in 2009. Prior to Miramax, Melissa worked in the motion picture literature department at Creative Artists Agency and in music management and public relations at The Firm.

An Iowa native, Melissa fell in love with film after visiting the set of FIELD OF DREAMS while it was shooting in her hometown of Dubuque. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a BA in Film Studies, Melissa moved to Los Angeles where she currently resides with her husband.

Emily Abt, writer/director
Selected as one of Variety Magazine’s ’2009 Top 10 Directors to Watch’ and Paper Magazine’s Unhollywood ’10 to Watch’. She is also the founder and President of Pureland Pictures Inc., a Brooklyn based production company. Abt’s first film, TAKE IT FROM ME, a documentary about the human impact of welfare reform that she created when she was a caseworker in New York City, aired nationwide on PBS. ALL OF US, her second documentary feature about a young doctor’s fight against HIV/AIDS among black women, premiered on World AIDS Day 2008 on the Showtime Network. Abt’s first narrative feature TOE TO TOE, which she wrote, directed and co-produced, is about the complicated relationship between two girls of disparate backgrounds in Washington D.C. TOE TO TOE premiered in the Dramatic Competition at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and was released by Strand. In 2004, Abt received her MFA in Film Directing from Columbia University’s graduate film school.

THE ANGEL, composer
Beginning her career as a record producer and recording artist, The Angel has written and produced many albums and singles and has performed internationally as both a DJ and musician. Pioneering an eclectic sound that is both urban and electronic, The Angel cut her teeth remixing The Pharcyde, The Brand New Heavies, Spearhead and Donald Byrd and producing records for Grammy Nominee, Mystic before being hired to bring her hip sensibilities as additional composer on the film “Gridlock’d” (Polygram). Since then Angel has been able to incorporate many diverse flavors into her TV and film scores, on both cutting edge and mainstream projects which include “Boiler Room” (New Line), “The Heart of The Game” (Miramax) and “Standoff” (where she was only the second woman in sixteen years to score a network TV show at Fox). Angel’s most recent scores can be heard in the festival award winning independent features, “Gaia” and “Bedrooms”, as well as Season 2 of the Jada Pinkett-Smith drama, “HawthoRNe” (TNT).

Jacqui Schock, lawyer, UTA
was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1980. From 1980 to 1993 she practiced in the areas of real estate and corporate finance. In late 1993, she was admitted to the California State Bar and, for a short time, worked as a paralegal in the entertainment law firm of Armstrong Hirsch Jackoway, Tyerman and Wertheimer. It was there that she was first introduced to the entertainment business. In 1995, she joined Paramount Pictures Corporation as an attorney in their motion picture group. During her ten years at Paramount, she was involved in all legal aspects of motion picture production, including the negotiation and drafting of deals for actors, directors, writers, rights holders and Paramount’s financing and distribution partners. In 2005, she had the opportunity to jump to the talent-side of the business, and joined International Creative Management (ICM) as a vice president in their motion picture business affairs group. There, she negotiated deals on behalf of ICM’s clients, for motion pictures, commercial endorsements and reality and web-based programming. Then, in 2007, she was recruited by the entertainment boutique law firm of Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern in Beverly Hills, whose practice was focused on servicing their A level roster of television and motion picture actors, writers and directors. In 2009, she decided to return to agency business affairs at United Talent Agency, where she now works with TV and feature agents to negotiate deals for the agency’s clients.

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