Monday, July 25, 2016

Women Are *Not* The Problem?





Writing buddy 1B sneaks in through the kitchen door. I don’t hear a thing.

A little later, she slides down the hall, pauses in the doorway of my work space and, because she’s like that, she poses, grinning at me over the top of my screen.

–Kare, she says, throwing her arms wide. Jug’s on. Off your nono. A cuppa and a double feature at the Cuba Lighthouse. If we get going, there’s Florence Foster Jenkins followed by Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

I don’t move.

–It’s ten o’clock on a weekday morning, I say. I have to finish this. And I’ve seen Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

–So? You like watching movies a second time. With a mate, particularly avec moi and a shared pot of tea.

–One more viewing of a man-directed New Zealand movie with a male protagonist will kill me.

She shakes her head, beckons.

–I’ve been six hours on the road. Com’on, girl, a cuddle at least.

–I didn’t know you were coming.

–Because you don’t answer your ******* phones. Because you send out-of-the-office emails.

I shrug.

–I’m busy.

–Saw that the moment I walked in the door. You white girls. You get busy, and your kitchen is a tip and there’s nothing-in-the-fridge.

– So?

–I came prepared. Armed and dangerous, with almond croissants.

–I’m not eating sugar. Or wheat.

– **********. 1B is cross.

She edges round to look at the screen.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Natalie Wreyford: Radical Academic


Natalie Wreyford has a unique perspective, as an academic who was deeply embedded in the UK film industry for many years and is also politically very active. She held a senior role at the UK Film Council; commissioned one of the first reports into the lack of women screenwriters; read, advised on and script edited hundreds of film scripts; and worked with Academy Award-winners and those trying to get their first break.

Natalie is now Research Fellow on Calling the Shots:Women & Contemporary UK Film Culture, at the University of Southampton, where she co-authored Calling the Shots: Women working in key roles on UK films in production during 2015 (2016), and is the author of ‘Birds of a feather: informal recruitment practices and gendered outcomes for screenwriting work in the UK film industry’. Her PhD thesis, The gendered contexts of screenwriting work: Socialized recruitment and judgments of taste and talent in the UK film industry is online here.



A couple of years back you initiated the #wewantleia campaign. Can you write a little bit about that and what you learned from it?