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The Unbelievable Privilege of Being a Male Director

Women and Hollywood By Melissa Silverstein | Women and Hollywood May 14, 2014 at 1:00PM

Why are male directors with no experience seen as less of a risk than women with experience?
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hey girl

To say this post is a long time coming would be an understatement. I've been thinking about it for months. But last night I was pushed over the edge so here we are. The line that women directors hear from the folks in Hollywood is that they don't want to "risk" a tentpole film, or quite frankly as the statistics show, any film on a woman director. That goes along with the line that women just don't have the experience to direct these movies. 

That my friends is a giant big pile of poop. 

They have no problem hiring men with no experience or promoting men from low budget films to the big leagues. It's not about risk, it's about gender. This is about male privilege and the belief that untested men can handle films better than women with experience. How can we believe that this is about experience when last night Paramount hired writer Robert Orci to direct the latest Star Trek film. This is a man WHO HAS NEVER DIRECTED A FILM BEFORE.

Please tell me how it is not risky to give a person around $170 million for a first time directing gig. If this was the only man being given the keys to the kingdom like it is his playhouse, I would keep my mouth shut (well, maybe not.) But this happens ALL THE TIME.

Here are some additional examples of men who have never directed before, and also those who have made the huge jump from an indie feature to a studio film.

First Films

Robert Stromberg - Maleficent - budget $200 million (release date May 30)

Wally Pfister - Transcendence - budget $100 million (released)

Andy Serkis - Jungle Book - no budget yet (yes, there are 2 Jungle Book movies happening)


Second Films

Colin Trevorrow - Jurassic World - second film - budget $150 million; 

1st film - Safety Not Guaranteed - budget - $750,000

Gareth Edwards - Godzilla - second film - budget $160 million; 

1st film - Monsters - budget - $500,000

Marc Webb - The Amazing Spiderman - budget - $230 million

1st film - 500 Days of (Summer) - budget $7.5 million


I know there are many others that I can add to the list. I just wanted to get it started. Please add info in the comments and we will continue to add to the piece.

This article is related to: Sexism