19 Nov 039: Why We Need More Women In Film
Documentary filmmaker Luo Tong discusses why the film industry needs more women in film, what to do when your investor and director don’t see eye to eye, and how to benefit from job rejections.
THREE KEY POINTS
WHEN YOU DON’T GET THE JOB IN THE FILM INDUSTRY:
Of course, you will do research to get jobs and do lots of pitches. Nevertheless, you didn’t get the job. Certainly, it’s disappointing but as Luo Tong pointed out – in the end, it works out. How? She uses that experience to work on another project and she usually gets a better deal on the next job.
WHEN INVESTORS AND DIRECTORS HAVE DIFFERENT IDEAS
What do you do if your client/investor and your director have different ideas? To illustrate, Luo Tong says she has gotten very skillful at handling comments/criticism from the client. However, when relaying it to the director she makes sure there is a positive outcome for both sides. Evidently, this is a skill all producers need – wrangling creative people.
WOMEN IN FILM: WOMEN ARE UNDERREPRESENTED
We can see the film industry news ore women. Matthew brought up how women are underrepresented in key production roles (director, producer, DP, editor, etc.). Both Luo Tong and Matthew reiterated it’s a positive experience to have more female team members. In particular, they mentioned that their female editing staff can find that story (in a documentary for example) better than their male counterparts.
WE NEED MORE WOMEN IN FILM: SEXISM ON SET
With this in mind, Luo Tong told repeated a story she heard that in the past, on China film crews, the female crew were not allowed to sit on apple boxes on set. Why? Supposedly it would have a bad influence on the film. Obviously, that’s an old tradition and hopefully an outdated one. Is this just China? To enumerate, Matthew pointed out that sometimes a film crew will assume the female director or female DP is just a PA there to get coffee. This mindset of refusing to recognize women for their contribution – hurts the film industry – and every industry I might add. The film industry needs more women.
CHINESE STUDIOS WANT WESTERN DISTRIBUTION:
Chinese studios find it difficult for their films to find an international audience. The problem usually isn’t the production values which have improved greatly in the last few years. The challenge is in the script. How do you make your story appeal to a wider audience? See my blog post How Chinese Films Can Attract An American Audience.
TAP INTO THE CHINA MARKET WITH MORE WOMEN IN FILM
This term might unintentionally sound like a money grab. Namely, if you think China is a fountain of money to tap into – that’s the wrong attitude. Matthew pointed out China is more than just Wushu movies. Look at the China market as a culture, a community, and a talent pool you can benefit from being a part of. Above all, think of it as a collaboration, not a money grab.
Asia Hollywood Greenlight Podcast – Episode 039
Documentary Executive Producer, Luo Tong 罗彤
Host: Caryn McCann
Sister website: Christmas Movie Screenwriter
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How Chinese Films Can Attract an American Audience
Guest: Luo Tong 罗彤, Executive Producer
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Matthew Baren 马熊
Creative Director 创意总监