Chipping Away

Miss Representation

One of the biggest lessons I learnt from 2012 was how people power can influence the media. Through harnessing the power of social media controversial DJs like Alan Jones were finally slapped on the wrist. Sponsors pulled advertising from shows and the mainstream media are no longer the authorities they believe themselves to be.

Movements such as Destroy the Joint and Everyday Sexism are more than twitter accounts and hashtags. They are growing numbers of people saying ‘enough is enough’. While they work hard at bringing sexism through the media and everyday life to our attention the wave of change can take some time to reach our shore.

I believe for meaningful change to happen we need true equal participation in the media. Anyone who knows me or is familiar with my work knows I am passionate about women working behind the screen. I have written about it for women’s mags and on my own blog.

My commitment to get more women working behind the screen solidified when I watched Miss Representation. Miss Representation is a documentary about women’s representation on screen and its impact on how we perceive ourselves personally and politically.

In my review of the documentary I note that it is a very American story and we could really do with the same analysis here in Australia. However some statistical analysis of what goes on behind the screen does give an insight in to what type of influence we have on screen.

Sadly, the numbers of women in key creative roles of cinematography and editing are lacking however we are increasing as producers. Here is where we can have a real impact.

As a producer I see my job as more than just number crunching and administration but also the creative keeper of the director’s vision. In keeping to their vision we can also question their judgments and make sure we have women working in key creative roles. That’s why I think every female producer should see Miss Representation.

However seeing Miss Representation is not as easy as downloading it (in Australia) from i-tunes or hiring it from your dvd store. The filmmakers encourage independent screenings followed by panel discussions about women’s representation on the screen.

This has meant waiting for a screening to come to your town. At the time of writing my review for Discordia a screening was held in Sydney, thankfully almost a year later, a screening is coming to my home town of Adelaide. Not once but four times.

So this is a call out to the producers of South Australia, especially the women. If we want to see a change, then we need to make it happen – not just in front of the screen but behind it too.

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