What percentage of film producers are women?

Last week, I looked at producers’ careers and this week I am going to use the same data to look at how the picture differs between male and female film producers.

This research harnesses my dataset of every feature film released between 1949 and 2018 inclusive. This includes 631,365 producer credits across 274,991 films and 269,385 individual producers.

For today’s article, I’m going to assume that readers are familiar with the different types of producing credits.  If you would like a quick primer then head over to last week’s article, entitled On average, how many films does a producer produce? In the opening section, I have detailed the different credits and what they mean.

What percentage of film producers are women?

In 2018, 26.4% of all …

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Are women less likely to direct a second movie than men?

Last week, I looked at the average number of films a director is likely to make in their career, and also how many directors work on the average film.

Today I am taking into account the gender of directors and looking at how the experiences of male and female directors differ.

As a quick reminder, my dataset is of all fiction feature films produced around the world between 1949 and 2018 (over a quarter of a million movies).  You’ll find more detail on this in the Notes section at the end of the article and in last week’s piece using the same dataset.

What percentage of film directors are women?

It should come as no surprise to anyone (least of all readers of this …

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Is Jason Blum right that there is a shortage of female horror directors?

Last week, horror super-producer Jason Blum got himself in hot water after a comment he made during an interview with Polygon.

Blum said “There are not a lot of female directors period and even less who are inclined to do horror”.

When I first read this, I was horrified!  How could he say such a thing?  Doesn’t he know that the right thing to say was “fewer who are inclined to do horror”, not “less”?!

Ok, grammar pedantry aside, the quote made him the target of a number of negative comments and articles.  I’m not seeking to add commentary to the debate, nor to support or chastise Blum for this.  Rather, I wanted to take a look at the data behind his assertion and use it to discuss female directors …

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Major new study into gender inequality among UK film and TV writers

Almost exactly two years ago, Alexis Kreager and I published a big report into the gender inequality faced by film directors working in the UK film industry.

Soon after it was published, we were approached by the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) about studying the plight of screenwriters, both in the film and television industries.  This led to the WGGB (along with the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society – ALCS) supporting us in carrying out a deep data dive into the experiences of UK writers.

The full 177-page report can be downloaded here, and I have written a brief summary in the article below.

Download the full report

You can read more about the Writers’ Guild and ALCS’ campaign connected to the report at writersguild.org.uk/equalitywrites

The report covers both …

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How does the use of the terms ‘cinematographer’ and ‘director of photography’ differ?

When I was starting out in film, I always heard the head of the camera department being referred to as either “DoP” (pronounced dee-oh-pea) or “DP” (pronounced dee-pea), both of which are short for director of photography.  As I met more filmmakers, I learned that the same role is often called the cinematographer (pronounced… well, the way it’s written).

Today, I thought I’d take a look at these two job titles and try to make sense of where each is used.

What is a cinematographer / director of photography?

In most real-world situations, the two job titles are interchangeable. Simply put, this person is responsible for crafting the film’s visual style, or ‘look’.  They report directly to the director and have a large number of people answering to them.  …

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How has the average Hollywood movie crew changed?

In the past, I’ve looked at how big a movie crew can get, for both UK films and Hollywood movies. But I was recently asked by a reader how the composition of such crews has changed over time. Which departments are getting larger? Which jobs are on the rise and which are waning?

To answer this, I looked at the credits of the top 200 US-grossing movies of each of the past 20 years (1997-2016), giving me a dataset of 4,000 movies.

The big picture

In the past two decades, the number of crew members on a top-grossing movie has grown by 77%, from 350 in 1997 to 620 in 2016. If we group those crew credits into stages of production, we …

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A major new study into gender inequality in the UK film industry

As regular readers will know, for the last nine months I’ve been working on a deep and comprehensive study of gender inequality in the UK film industry.  Today I’m pleased to be able to share the results (although less pleased with the content of the results!).

Download the full report

You can read the full report by clicking on the button above and I have summarised the key findings in this article.

The report is broken down into three main sections…

  • Studying the current situation. We studied every feature film shot in the UK between 2005 and 2014 inclusive, looking at the gender of directors as it related to genre, budget, audience reaction, critical reviews and box office performance. We also looked at the gender of other crew on those films, …
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    UK films with public funding hire more women

    Today’s article is an offshoot of two strands of research I’ve been working on over the past few years – gender in the film industry and UK films with public funding.  I looked at the percentage of female writers, producers and directors within UK films, focusing on how the female representation changes between films supported by a public body and those that are not.

    In summary…

    • 20% of UK films shot 2009-13 received some form of public funding
    • Across all UK films 2009-13, women accounted for 14% of directors, 27% of producers and 15% of writers
    • On publicly-backed films, women account for 20% of directors, 32% of producers and 24% of writers
    • The BFI fund a disproportionately large number of dramas, biopics and period dramas
    • The BFI …
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    Are men in romantic movies older than their female co-stars?

    Last week, Oscar-nominated actress Maggie Gyllenhaal was widely quoted as saying that (by Hollywood standards) she is already “too old” to play the on-screen love interest of a 55-year-old man in romantic movies.  She’s 37.  Following this, I have been asked by a few regular readers to crunch the numbers and look at whether there has historically been an age gap between male and female actors in romantic films.

    So I built up a dataset of 422 romantic films (“rom coms” and romantic dramas) that grossed over $1m at the US box office and were released between 1984 and 2014.  I then determined which two actors were the main heterosexual on-screen couple (details of the methodology is at the bottom of the article) and looked …

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    The most employed women in the British film industry

    Last week I looked at the most employed people in the UK film industry.  This week I thought I would merge this approach with a topic I have written a lot about previously, namely gender. I took a look at the women in the British film industry who have the most credits over the last 10 years across all UK films budgeted over £500k. In summary…

    • 11% of the people who have directed two or more UK films 2003-13 are women
    • Women in the British film industry are far better represented in producing than in writing and directing
    • 25 of the top 104 UK producers are women
    • Novelist J.K. Rowling is the woman with the most writing credits in UK film 2003-13
    Directors

    Just 11% of the people …

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