Friday, August 17, 2012

Martha Coolidge believes women filmmakers should be bullies--just like men.

8. As a culture, we should embrace women in command. We should accept their eccentric behavior, and at times, the tantrums that come along with the extreme pressures of producing great work. Most women directors learn to walk a delicate line between being "difficult" and wimpy. Male directors don’t waste time or energy on this.
The above comment comes from veteran filmmaker Martha Coolidge, who is best known for directing the films VALLEY GIRL, REAL GENIUS, RAMBLING ROSE and THE PRINCE AND ME.  It's taken from a NEW YORK TIMES op-Ed article about the eternally-prevalent underuse of talented women as directors, cinematographers, etc.  And it's the kind of Industry sexism that will continue as long as corporate-owned studios are favoring superhero franchises and other guy-centric large and medium budget product.

But I strongly take issue with Ms. Coolidge's fervent belief that women who direct must be as obnoxious as possible (like men) to produce "great work" and make the shooting schedule/budgetary trains run more or less on schedule.

I worked between 1988 and 1997 as an extra and stand-in--becoming a member of SAG in late 1991.  And during those nine years, I encountered nice people and jerks--of both genders and some were/are A-list talent.

Sydney Pollack was once quoted in Mark Litwak's book REEL POWER saying something like "Millions of dollars make grown (people) act like five-year-olds."

In my opinion, greater courtesy from directors, ADs, cinematographers and other crew members--regardless of gender--just might make the environment of a working film set turn into a place where people are all on the same page, eager to help the director produce "great work" without the manifestations of "difficult" behavior (yelling, verbal and/or physical bullying).

No comments:

Post a Comment