This year- Days two hundred thirty seven and eight. (women in film)
2010-02-22/2:46 a.m.

Last Monday I went to an awesome event in memory of Sarah Jacobson, a lady filmmaker who died in 2004. It was inspiring and made me wonder why I spend so much of my time in pajamas, watching 16 and pregnant instead of making my own stuff anymore. It was also inspiring seeing the ladies at the screening/event who were so awesome and energized and wanting to make stuff immediately. I am going to apply for the film grant given in her name every year and I am making Sharon and Kathleen do it too.

In the program, Mikki had found some zine pieces that Sarah had written years ago, so she put them in. They are hilarious.

Here are some of her guidelines for lady moviemaking:
- At least one of the main characters is a woman
- The main woman character does not die at the end, especially if she flaunts moral and sexual conventions
- The main woman character does more than be helpless and/or sleep with the main man character.
- No shopping montages
- No makeovers
- Must have at least one guy in the cast who straight girls would want to French kiss
- No rapes against women (unless it deals with the consequences)
- No glamourous female naked corpses
- No dissing of fat girls
- No male fantasy lesbian makeout scenes
- Beautiful girls only fall head over heels with the ugly loser guys if he's rich or gives good head
- The main woman character must have one real friend who doesn't f**k her over at the end because of jealousy over a man
- A woman must be either the writer or director of the film

Another thing is about what it takes for a woman to get a movie made (a particular thorn in my side for most of my teenage and college years).

One thing said in it:
"Because distributors don't pick up films made by women and critics don't champion girl-friendly movies that do get released. (Can you name any female-directed, critic darling movies where a woman doesn't die at the end?)"

Kelly Lynn and I were discussing this last night and she said the first example she can think of is "Lost in Translation" (a movie that she didn't like).

I could think of "Something's Gotta Give" and "It's Complicated" but I'm not sure how "girl-friendly" those two are. They're more woman friendly I guess. No woman dies at least. Or is punished for her sexuality (a-la, the Twilight series). I have not seen the new Jane Campion movie but it's supposed to be good. It's about a historical love story though... does that count?

I'm not sure if she'd be happy or sad about the progress made in the six years since her death. The LA times says "Of the 250 top-grossing American movies in 2007, only 6% were directed by women, down from 7% in 2005 and 9% in 1998."

"You can name the women directors in our business by their first names -- that's how few there are," says DreamWorks Co-Chairman Stacey Snider. "It's flattering that they have such instant notoriety, yet it speaks to the larger issue that there just isn't a very wide pool of talent to choose from."

And yet! Sharon, Kathleen and I have a difficult time getting any directing work. Kathleen has watched guys do the same work as her, direct big music videos like a year later because their same boss championed him and got him the job while asking her to art direct it instead.

I did just direct a bunch of segments for tv so I am trying to be positive about everything but it is very disillusioning to work in this industry as a lady (yes, I am claiming to be a lady for the purposes of this rant).

And with that I throw myself into my pitching and new reel. It's so hard to work on that stuff when I'm not working because I become so wrapped up in the job search / feeling like a failure but I have to do it. When I'm working I think "why aren't I selling my own stuff?" but when I'm not working I'm thinking "ugh, I'm too much of a loser to work on this crap, better take a nap."

It's a vicious circle that gets me nowhere.


A note I found in a drawer.
The Extra Lens and Adultery.
Books are beautiful.
Ira Glass made me feel better about things.
Something that happened yesterday.