Resources for Women in Production

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

My work sits square in the crosshairs of two industries dominated by men: production and tech startups. Part of this is because at Mighteor, we are trying to reinvent how we think about producing video content for the web. The other part of it is that the workforce in these industries have traditionally been dominated by dudes. Luckily, every year there are more and more resources available for the ladies in the production world.

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LISTEN:

You know when you have to spend an entire afternoon working up a storyboard? And music is just not inspiring you? Well, there are plenty of things you can listen to that will help with this:

She Does Podcast: A fun new show that interviews real women working in media. They share their stories, their path and their goals.

BBC 4’s The Film Programme: The incredible Francine Stock talks with producers, directors, writers and actors about movies new and old. She also provides the most concise and thoughtful reviews anywhere, ever.

Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan:  This show, among everything listed here, is the most resource driven of the set, largely because Robin has an incredible resume. She is the award-winning author of over 20 books, a political analyst and the former editor-in-chief of Ms. Magazine.

JOIN:

There are so many groups for filmmakers, producers, art directors, writers – it can be totally overwhelming. Over the years, I’ve found that the groups that focus on helping women are the most productive and have led to amazing networking opportunities.

Women in Film and Television International: WIFTI is a global organization and a local one, which is key. The local chapters of WIFTI are so great, because you’ll meet other women facing the same things as you. You can find your local chapter here.

Women’s Media Center: This incredible organization has so many resources, it’s mind boggling. Training. Networking. Expert directories. But perhaps the most important thing is the unbiased reporting they do on sexism in the industry. In fact, you can even file a sexism report through WMC and they will help you out.

Women Make Movies: WMM offers both workshops and grant funding, two of the most important things for getting your skills honed and then getting your projects made. They also occasionally host webinars with other female filmmakers.

WATCH:

As a creator, I know my list of things to watch is epically long. I expect your list is equally as long. But despite this, you should really check out some of these valuable films, series and shows.

MAKERS/ART: Ever wonder how Christiane Amanpour became one of the first women to report on war for television? Or how Shonda Rhimes got her start in screenwriting? These are the kinds of stories that will help remind you that every successful woman had to start somewhere.

Tiffany Shlain and the Moxie Institute Films: I’ve admired Tiffany Shlain for a long while, not just for her films, but for the way she has used the web to modernize how we tell our stories. Her YouTube channel, which is part of the AOL Originals Series, is full of amazing stories about how technology changes how we approach our lives.

Meryl Streep and Nora Ephron Conversation with Charlie Rose: This four part interview is really fascinating. Not just because these women were frequent collaborators, but because they have broken stereotypes long before we started talking about it on the world wide web.

READ:

My passion for books goes a long way back and the quiet moments you can share with a book can create long-lasting improvements in your work as an artist. These books will inspire you and help you get motivated:

Lovely: Ladies of Animation: This is one of my favorite books ever, ever, ever. Why? It’s beautiful. And, it proves that women can work in all facets of production and experience wild success.

Crazy Salad and Nibble Nibble: Some Things about Women and Notes on Media by Nora Ephron: It’s not shocking to most people who know me that I love Nora, but this book is one of my favorites. It’s full of fantastic anecdotes and stories about her career from writer to filmmaker.

A New History of Documentary Film by Betsy McClane: If you want to work in documentary or news OR you just love the raw honesty of producing in that medium, this book is an enlightening history. Now in it’s second edition, it’s just focused on storytelling and finding truth.

The Art and Flair of Mary Blair: Many would argue that the women who created Lovely (above) wouldn’t be where they are if not for Mary Blair. She is a little known genius who created much of the iconic imagery that we associate with Disney in the 1960s.

Where do you find great resources? Where do you tell fellow women to go for help? We want to hear from you!