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Daily Links: Public Enemies, My Fair Lady, Women in Film

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 4, 2009 at 5:50AM

The recession is hitting the movie studios in the pocket books; they are trimming their budgets going forward, according to this Reuters report.
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The recession is hitting the movie studios in the pocket books; they are trimming their budgets going forward, according to this Reuters report.

Universal has released its Public Enemies marketing materials. Shades of Bonnie and Clyde. Here's the trailer for Michael Mann's Depression-era gangster picture starring Johnny Depp as charismatic machine gun-blasting bank robber John Dillinger. The FBI's Christian Bale is trying to keep him behind bars. Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose) plays the gangster's moll.

Rumors surround Slumdog Millionaire's Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle: he may be interested in directing the musical remake of My Fair Lady, which is still being written by Emma Thompson, who likes her old Cambridge pal Hugh Laurie in the role of Henry Higgins. Keira Knightley is attached as Cockney flower-girl Eliza Doolittle. Boyle has the necessary exuberance for the gig and hails from British theatre, where he directed Shakespeare and all sorts of things, but is he a devoted musical lover? Boyle was heading toward directing the South African apartheid drama Ponte Tower. He has back-burnered Solomon Grundy, based on the nursery rhyme about a short-lived baby, as being a tad too close to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. My Fair Lady could be just the right escapist tonic for dark times.

Things were still tough for women in the film industry in 2008, reports San Diego State professor Martha Lauzen, whose Celluloid Ceiling surveys behind-the-scenes participation by women in the top 250 domestic releases each year.



o In 2008, women comprised 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films.


o Women accounted for 9% of all directors on these films.


o Twenty two percent (22%) of the films released in 2008 employed no women in the roles considered.



The complete report is on the jump:




The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 250 Films of 2008

by Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D.

Copyright © 2009 – All rights reserved. (Posted in full with author's permission.)
_________________________________

In 2008, women comprised 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films. This represents a decline of 3 percentage points from 2001 and an increase of one percentage point from 2007 (see Figure 1).

Women accounted for 9% of directors in 2008, an increase of three percentage points from 2007. This figure represents no change from the percentage of women directing in 1998.

The following summary provides employment figures for 2008 and compares the most recent statistics with those from the last 10 years.

Findings
• This study analyzed behind-the-scenes employment of 2,706 individuals working on the top 250 domestic grossing films (foreign films omitted) of 2008 with combined domestic box office grosses of approximately $9.4 billion.

• Twenty two percent (22%) of the films released in 2008 employed no


Figure 1.
Historical Comparison of Percentages of Women Employed in Key Behind-the-Scenes Roles*


*includes directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors, and cinematographers

women directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, or editors. No films failed to employ a man in at least one of these roles.

• A historical comparison of women’s employment on the top 250 films in 2008 and 1998 reveals that the percentages of women directors and cinematographers have remained stable, whereas the percentages of women writers, executive producers, producers, and editors have declined slightly (see Figure 2).

• Women comprised 9% of all directors working on the top 250 films of 2008. Ninety percent

Figure 2.
Historical Comparison of Percentages of Women Employed Behind the Scenes on Top 250 Films by Role


(90%) of the films had no female directors (see Figure 3).

• Women accounted for 12% of writers working on the top 250 films of 2008. Eighty two percent (82%) of the films had no female writers.

• Women comprised 16% of all executive producers working on the top 250 films of 2008 (see Figure 3). Sixty five percent (65%) of the films had no female executive producers.

• Women accounted for 23% of all producers working on the top 250 films of 2008. Forty three percent (43%) of the films had no female producers.

Figure 3.
Comparison of Percentages of Women and Men Employed on Top 250 Films of 2007


• Women accounted for 17% of all editors working on the top 250 films of 2008. Seventy nine
percent (79%) of the films had no female editors.

• Women comprised 4% of all cinematographers working on the top 250 films of 2008. Ninety six percent (96%) of the films had no female cinematographers.

Report compiled by Dr. Martha M. Lauzen, Executive Director, Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, School of Theatre, Television and Film, San Diego State University.

[Originally appeared on Variety.com]

This article is related to: Genres, In Production, Remake, Musical


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