Women In Entertainment Panel At USC – Telling It Like It Is…

On September 22nd I participated in a panel of industry women to discuss what our experiences are like working in entertainment. The panel was created by Women & Hollywood‘s Melissa Silverstein and I was in the company of Melissa Daykin (Creative Executive at Mandalay Motion Pictures), Emily Abt (director) and Jacqui Schock (lawyer at UTA).  Though we all face different challenges in our respective fields, there was one thing that stood out for me about what we all shared that evening.  None of us had a single complaint about the grueling hours, tough deadlines, occasional male chauvinism / old boys networks that we are up against, or lack of “normal” lifestyles because we are all incredibly passionate about what we do.  There’s no question that we all bring our skills to the table, but without the innate dedication to our respective projects / clients, none of us would be as valuable and effective as we are.  So, there’s at least one good reason for all the smiles…

L-R, Melissa Silverstein, Emily Abt, The Angel, Jacqui Shock, Melissa Daykin

Sadly there are fewer women composing for film and TV than in probably any other field within entertainment – and hopefully that will change. As you can see below, there aren’t even any statistics regarding female composers registering on anyone’s meter because worldwide there are so few of us getting hired.

Quoting Melissa… “This year we witnessed the first female recipient of the Academy Award for Best Director, Kathryn Bigelow.  While it may seem to the outside world that women have broken through the entertainment industry’s glass ceiling, we know that women continue to be largely underrepresented in all areas of the business.

In fact, of the top 250 domestic grossing films released in 2009, women comprised 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors.  This is 3 percent less than 2001.  The numbers break down as follows: women directed only 7%; wrote only 8%, were only 17% of all executive producers, were only 23% of all producers, 18% of all editors and only 2% of all cinematographers.”

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