Most of my research appears on the blog but some topics spill over into standalone reports.
Cut Out Of The Picture: Gender in UK Film
You can read more about this study at stephenfollows.com/gender-inequality-in-the-uk-film-industry.
Section B: Why Are So Few Female Directors Hired?
Section C: Fixing the Gender Inequality issue
Gender in Hollywood film crews
To study gender within film crews, I created a dataset of the 100 highest grossing films at the US Box Office for each year between 1994 and 2013 (a total of 2,000 films). Additionally, in order to see how a film’s genre affects gender employment I created a second dataset of the 100 highest grossing films of each genre.
The headline findings are below…
- Women make up only 23% of crew members on the 2,000 highest grossing films of the past 20 years.
- Only one of the top 100 films in 2013 has a female Composer.
- In 2013, under 2% of Directors were female.
- The only departments to have a majority of women are Make-up, Casting and Costume
- Visual Effects is the largest department on most major movies and yet only has 17.5% women
- Of all the departments, the Camera and Electrical department is the most male, with only 5% women
- Musicals and Music-based films have the highest proportion of women in their crews (27%).
- Sci-Fi and Action films have the smallest proportion of women (20% and 21% respectively).
- The films with the highest percentage were “Mean Girls” and “The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants” (42%).
- The most male crews were “On Deadly Ground” and “Robots” (10% female).
- There has been no improvement in the last 20 years. The percentage of female crew members has decreased between 1994 (22.7%) and 2013 (21.8%).
- The three most significant creative roles (Writer, Producer and Director) have all seen the percentage of women fall.
- The jobs performed by women have become more polarised. In jobs which are traditionally seen as more female (art, costume and make-up) the percentage of women has increased, whereas in the more technical fields (editing and visual effects) the percentage of women has fallen.
Film Industry Survey
I interviewed 1,235 film industry professionals, all of whom have attended at least one of the three major film markets (Cannes, Berlin or AFM) within the past five years and asked questions on a variety of hot topics including piracy, the appeal of 3D, gender, and how optimistic industry professionals are.
The findings have also been split up into ten blog posts, which you can read via the following links…
- Has piracy affected business?
- Do film professionals illegally download films?
- Is film a sensible business investment?
- Do women have a harder time than men?
- Is 3D better than 2D?
- What are the average distribution fees?
- How do professionals pick their next project?
- How optimistic is the industry about the future?
- When will VoD pay like DVD?
- Where does film financing come from?
Gender in the International Film Business
I gathered data on participants of international film markets for the past five years and looked at their gender, split it by country and profession.
The findings include the following…
- Across the whole world, 42.5% of professionals in the film business are women
- Taiwan, China and Thailand have the highest percentage of women in their film business
- The only countries which have over 50% women in their film industries are Taiwan, China, Thailand, Russia, Hong Kong, Lithuania, Malaysia, Ukraine and Romania.
- 39% of UK film professionals are women
- Mexico, India and Iran have the lowest percentage of women in their film business
- Only 24% of the film professionals in Iran are women
- The only film sectors in which women are the majority are Marketing, Publicity and PR
- Women account for only a third of film professionals within Management
Film Festival Survey
I built a list of almost 10,000 film festivals which have run in the past 15 years and performed a quantitative study to look at patterns and trends. I then contacted the Film Festival Directors for whom I could find contact details and asked them to fill in a qualitative survey. The full results can be read on the following blog articles…
- Film Festivals Pt 1: The Truths Behind Film Festivals
- Film Festivals Pt 2: The Economics of Film Festivals
- Film Festivals Pt3: What Festival Directors Really Think
This was an illuminating study as (to the best of my knowledge) no-one else has ever performed such an exercise. The study also lead me to discover the secret to why Withoutabox is so unpopular and yet largely unrivalled.