Geena Davis has been increasing awareness on Hollywood sexism for over ten years with her foundation, the Institute on Gender in Media. The research-based institute has commissioned the largest body of information on gender in film and television ever gathered. And recently she took to the Hollywood Reporter's Women In Entertainment Power 100 issue with a guest column on the ways the film industry can improve itself and the world around it, published today on the Hollywood Reporter website.
After an explanation of her work on feminist research and the disheartening statistics on women in film, she offers two simple and smart pieces of advice on how to make any script more female-friendly:
Step 1: Go through the projects you’re already working on and change a bunch of the characters’ first names to women’s names. With one stroke you’ve created some colorful, non-stereotypical female characters that might turn out to be even more interesting now that they’ve had a gender switch. What if the plumber or pilot or construction foreman is a woman? What if the taxi driver or the scheming politician is a woman? What if both police officers that arrive on the scene are women — and it’s not a big deal?
Step 2: When describing a crowd scene, write in the script, “A crowdgathers, which is half female.” That may seem weird, but I promise you, somehow or other on the set that day the crowd will turn out to be 17 percent female otherwise. Maybe first ADs think women don’t gather, I don’t know.
Whether this advice is heeded by film execs in the future remains to be seen, but in the meantime, we now have another reason to be grateful for Davis and her fellow cool women in Hollywood.
Thanks to Hollywood Reporter
Image via The Place