Jump to content

LA-based, FEMALE cinematographer comfortable shooting 16mm


Alexander Boyd
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Sustaining Member

If you're going to make a request for someone of a particular gender to fill a role, I think you should explain why that request is being made. Discrimination based on various protected characteristics is illegal in many jurisdictions, and will quite properly raise questions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well given that cinematography is the most gender biased job in the industry, with something like only 4% of the top 250 movies being lensed by women, the idea that specifically asking for a female  DP is somehow being discriminatory seems kind of laughable.

If anything it’s redressing a peculiar imbalance we have in this industry. 

I don’t know why it exists particularly in the field of cinematography; there are proportionally more directors and writers and producers who are women, but for some reason cinematography seems to be overwhelmingly a male pursuit, despite there being no reason for it to be so.

So bring on the job requests for female DPs I say. Cite the desire for a visual approach that might be different from the overwhelmingly common male gaze. 

Or if legality really is an issue, perhaps state that female DPs are encouraged to apply, and then choose someone based on what you want. 

Whatever the means, encouraging more women to be cinematographers is something that shouldn’t be shut down.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Dom Jaeger said:

 specifically asking for a female  DP is somehow being discriminatory seems kind of laughable.

So bring on the job requests for female DPs I say.

encouraging more women to be cinematographers is something that shouldn’t be shut down.

I don't disagree, Dom, but I would point out that positive discrimination is still discrimination. To be passed over for a job because of your sex is something that stings whether you're male or female. It's an unavoidable fact that the people who are disadvantaged by such discrimination are rarely the ones to blame for the original inequality.

Twice in the past 5 years I have interviewed for movies which I lost to female DPs, and found out later that production had always intended to hire a woman, but they'd interviewed a few men so as not to appear biased. It's hard not to feel a little bitter knowing that despite the time and effort that you put into pitching for a movie, you never had a chance of getting it. It's also easy for that bitterness to be displaced onto the female DPs rather than the producers who put them in that situation. Discrimination of any kind is never a good thing.

  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've sometimes seen adverts for Female camera op's that relate to the content. For instance documentaries that are are shot in spaces that aren't accessible to men. Or you can imagine a doc about sexual abuse, you might have a preference of crew gender for certain contributors. In those cases I think specifying is justified - if the role is gender specific and sometimes it is (but it's very rare). 

Same with casting actors, your not discriminating by advertising a role to specific gender. 

Women are massively under represented in the camera department, for no good reason and I do think its a good thing to encorage more diversity in the role. However us just having conversations in male spaces (such as this board pretty much) are only going to be able to express one side of the story.  

Personally, I don't like the idea of positive discrimination - but I have remember I'm looking  at the issue from the perspective of a white, middle class, male - so I'm looking at it from a privileged position. Something like a DOP role should be given on merits only, however the meritocracy isn't working currently in terms of diversity. 

I like to have more open ended job adverts that don't discriminate specifically, but you could say "We would particularly like to see applications from female DOP's..." then it's going to potentially encourage more women to apply or if you have more adverts that open to diversity, that filters down and encourages people organically. If you male you can still apply, but you'd be going in with the awareness that you might not be what they are looking for and either decide not to go for it or make a really compelling case to be hired. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Phil Rhodes said:

If you're going to make a request for someone of a particular gender to fill a role, I think you should explain why that request is being made. Discrimination based on various protected characteristics is illegal in many jurisdictions, and will quite properly raise questions.

I'm 100% on side with Phil on this one.  Of course hiring based on gender is illegal in all of the industrialized jurisdictions, even though in messed up places like Canada it is tolerated in the name of....righting a historic wrong.  What utter BS.

And Dom, I'm very surprised to see you make this argument, "with something like only 4% of the top 250 movies being lensed by women,"  That fact does not supersede employment law in any advanced jurisdiction, come on!

Just imagine me posting an ad looking for a "white male" cinematographer, the screaming would be loud and the admin would surely delete my job posting.

R,
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Phil Connolly said:

Same with casting actors, your not discriminating by advertising a role to specific gender. 

No it's not the name thing at all, not by a long shot.  The reasons are of course obvious.

R,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe I should apply....as a woman.  Here in Canada you need only declare yourself a woman, in order to legally be one.  I can walk into any driver's license bureau in Ontario and change my gender from male to female in about 10 minutes, hey this is the law here in Trudeau's whacky whacky Canada.  So once I am legally a woman, good luck not hiring me, I will sue you into the ground, and win!!!

Men are competing in women's sports as women, and mopping the floor with the women athletes, this is being done all over the globe.  No idea why cinematography should be any different?

R,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

For the percentages used in discussions like this to be meaningful, you'd need to know how many people were applying and being rejected, not just the people who were being accepted. We would also need an up-front decision on exactly what percentages we would expect.

Yes, that sort of statistic is very difficult to tease out in an industry where the employment is very ad-hoc, but that is not an excuse to treat people unfairly.

If people just aren't applying, in my view, that's their problem. I suspect the counterargument would be that somehow people are being discouraged from even applying, though I have not seen much evidence of that. Claims of an unseen conspiracy to keep certain people down recall McCarthyism. Even if that is the case then it's better solved by an education campaign than by discriminatory hiring practices.

Just to make it extremely clear, if anyone has evidence of someone being treated unfairly on the basis of anything about themselves that they can't change (whether or not they'd want to) then they will have no greater friend than me. However, the current approach is likely only to create bad feeling. It lends credence to the claims of really unpleasant people - actual racists, homophobes, misogynists and so on - that they are being treated unfairly, because they prima facie are. It risks making good-willed people into enemies by treating them as scapegoats for wrongs they did not commit. Without adequate attention to the statistics, it creates what might be an endless treadmill of attempts to achieve 50-50 representation in fields where the desires of the population simply may not support that.

This stuff is a really, really bad idea. I don't think it has been adequately considered, and that's why I'd like to know why a female DP is being sought.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interestingly enough, there are zero women that post on this forum.  So the ad can't read, "please women DOPs send in your resumes," there aren't any here to read it.

Which goes to Phil's point, how many women actually apply for these jobs as a DOP in the first place?  If I enter the cinematography class at USC and I see all men sitting there, whose fault is that?  You can hardly blame men if women don't even sign up for the production classes in any significant numbers.

And of course there are zero barriers to women posting on this forum, all they have to do is sign up.  Why don't they?

R,


 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member
42 minutes ago, Richard Boddington said:

And of course there are zero barriers to women posting on this forum, all they have to do is sign up.  Why don't they?

Quite a few women have in the past, and I’m sure some are currently reading without posting. As for why more women don’t post regularly? Perhaps because of posts like this? 

1 hour ago, Richard Boddington said:

Maybe I should apply....as a woman.  Here in Canada you need only declare yourself a woman, in order to legally be one.  I can walk into any driver's license bureau in Ontario and change my gender from male to female in about 10 minutes, hey this is the law here in Trudeau's whacky whacky Canada.  So once I am legally a woman, good luck not hiring me, I will sue you into the ground, and win!!!

Men are competing in women's sports as women, and mopping the floor with the women athletes, this is being done all over the globe.  No idea why cinematography should be any different?

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Phil Rhodes said:

it creates what might be an endless treadmill of attempts to achieve 50-50 representation in fields where the desires of the population simply may not support that.

I think Phil raises an important point here. While we should all support equal opportunities in any department on a film crew, I've yet to see anyone complaining about the under-representation of men in the make-up department. I know that sounds glib, but it may well be that there is a simpler answer than sexism to the question of why there aren't more female DPs. In my experience, the camera department today is more open and less male oriented than at any time since I started in this industry, yet the number of women working in it has not greatly changed. I know many very talented female ACs, and a couple of female DPs whose work is enviable, but the truth is that there are simply not that many women who choose to work in camera. Now, that might be due to an historical perception that the camera department is a man's job, but it may also be that women just aren't drawn to camera in the same way as men are. I don't know, and I'm happy to be proved wrong

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Richard Boddington said:

Which goes to Phil's point, how many women actually apply for these jobs as a DOP in the first place?  If I enter the cinematography class at USC and I see all men sitting there, whose fault is that?  You can hardly blame men if women don't even sign up for the production classes in any significant numbers.

It's not about ascribing blame - but something must be putting women off from the camera dept. There are gender biases in all sorts of jobs. But in movies Directing and DOPing are really under represented and I think that's a shame if there are some amazing female filmmakers that have been put off from doing it for some reason. 

Its not something that needs to be politicised to the level of Trans altheate's - that's a proper ethical minefield  from both sides of the fence. 

Personally positive discrimination is potentially illegal and also patronising to the people it benefits - e.g did you get the job because of meeting a quota or your ability? But I don't think the status quo is good idea. I teach undergrad cinematography - I have a lot of female students that are interested in the subject. So there are women that want to pursue a photography/directing career  hopefully this is a positive trend. But it could be there were always women that wanted to cinematography and have been put off for some reason. The current stats aren't great. I've only directed three project's with a female DOP's, in the last 10 years. That's not due to any biases on my part but limited women applying for those roles.

But I get Stuarts point about some roles are gender skewed - e.g make up etc... 

I guess the best you can be is open and inclusive and in my teaching I try to do my best to not include gender biases and include case studies with both male and female DOP's. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks for hijacking my request everyone. seriously, you guys need to take it elsewhere!

 

All I was asking for were some names of cameraWOMEN, because the project I‘m working on asks for it (for reasons I at this point no longer feel to share here except with the camerawomen themselves).

 

So if you can think of anyone I‘d be happy for any names/links, otherwise don‘t post. Thank you.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, Stuart Brereton said:

women just aren't drawn to camera in the same way as men are. I don't know, and I'm happy to be proved wrong

Check any web forum on quilting, you won't find a single male member, why is that?  Shouldn't it be 50/50, isn't that discrimination?  It goes on, and on.  It is clear that there are jobs, and hobbies, that are more attractive to each of the genders.  The reasons why, nature vs nurture, etc, can be debated for the next 100 years.

Even in acting, there is always a vast over supply of girls in the 11-13 year old category vs boys, the girls heavily out number the boys.  Why? I dunno? What I keep hearing is that boys in this age group would rather play sports.

R,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Alexander Boyd said:

you guys need to take it elsewhere!

Actually, no, when you make such a request as yours, one that is quite possibly illegal in the state of California.....this is the reaction you will get.

R,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You should of done a little reading before making your post Alexander:

 

1. Is gender discrimination against the law in California?

Gender discrimination in employment is a violation of California state and federal law. Under California law, the California Fair Pay Act, California Equal Pay Act of 1949, and California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) make it illegal for an employer to discriminate based on gender.1

Under the FEHA, it is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate against a person because of his or her sex, gender, gender identity, or gender expression. This includes:

  • Refusing to hire
  • Firing or discharging an employee
  • Refusing to select a person for a training program
  • Discriminating against a person in compensation or conditions of employment2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, Satsuki Murashige said:

Quite a few women have in the past, and I’m sure some are currently reading without posting. As for why more women don’t post regularly? Perhaps because of posts like this? 

So you're saying it's my fault there are zero women posting here, emphasis on zero, not even one??????????

My argument about men becoming women, is fact based, and therefore not out of line.

R,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, Alexander Boyd said:

thanks for hijacking my request everyone. seriously, you guys need to take it elsewhere!

 

All I was asking for were some names of cameraWOMEN, because the project I‘m working on asks for it (for reasons I at this point no longer feel to share here except with the camerawomen themselves).

 

So if you can think of anyone I‘d be happy for any names/links, otherwise don‘t post. Thank you.

Post's trigger discussion, it happens organically.

If your upset about be "hijacked", you need to read the room. This is cinematography.com - it mostly go's down weird rabbit holes and is better for it.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

18 minutes ago, Phil Connolly said:

Post's trigger discussion, it happens organically.

If your upset about be "hijacked", you need to read the room. This is cinematography.com - it mostly go's down weird rabbit holes and is better for it.

 

 

if you wanna have a chat about gender equality/opportunities, then go open your own thread. this was posted in the jobs/reels section. what’s the point in these sub categories if one just posts whatever/wherever? 

 

I guess I wrongly assumed that people would be more helpful on here. being lectured instead really helps, thanks!

Edited by Alexander Boyd
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...