Hello My Fellow Blog Lovers and Supporters!
We are already well into July – Where is the time going!?
It has been a hot one here, not too much complaints from me, not a huge fan of humidity, but I will suck it up if the sun is shining that is for sure. As I have been getting back into the world of script writing, I am struck on the new wave of strong female leads and or action stars that have been hitting the big screen, with Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman doing extremely well at the box office and now with the new release of Atomic Blonde starring Charlize Theron (total girl crush for me) as a 1980’s super spy with MI6 who totally kicks ass – literally. I am fraught with the notion – Why has it taken Hollywood so freaking long to realize this untouched demographic? We want to see these stories and characters on the big screen and cheer them on or be intrigued or horrified by them for that matter, but yet ‘Hollyweird’ is still resisting this notion?
As you can expect I have thoughts on this and well here they are…
Hollywood is and always has been run by middle aged white men – There I said it! So logically they will want to see stories that are by and for them, who they mistakenly think is a general rule for all of society. For the most part, we as a society have just put up with it and have tried ways around it by creating specialty networks like The Women’s Network or BET. But, in my opinion it is not enough. Women and minorities are still sadly under represented in both above and below the line jobs in film and TV and even less as Directors or Directors of Photography! It still is by and large an ‘old boys club’ and basically they have closed ranks for any and all who try to break those stereotypical glass ceilings More importantly, we need to note the huge impact downloading movies online has had on the industry at large. Where we used to make and produce 100’s of films per year, we are lucky to see 10 to 15 from big studios now.
I am going to go a bit against the grain here and say, part of this is their own fault – More importantly their egos is what has gotten them into this hot water. Instead of getting ahead of it – The onslaught of illegal downloads and the rise of Android boxes going mainstream, and finding a way to use it or invert it for their own benefit, they instead did nothing, believing that no one would ever challenge or topple the great studio system. I mean come on did they not learn anything from the music industry and the whole Napster debacle!? Apparently not…
As a result, because of the rapid decline of ticket sales and green lighting projects, many studio execs are feeling the pressure to be ‘safe’ in the projects they do make – Projects that follow a tried and true formula or in the form of a sequel trying to ensure a sure fire WIN at the box office. This has made film and art in this vein much more vanilla or boring – Lacking risk and that spark to push boundaries and ultimately start a conversation, which in my opinion is what art is supposed to do in the first place.
So when we see those rare projects like Wonder Woman who use that system (comic book character) but subvert it by using a female lead, harolded by a female filmmaker, like Patty Jenkins of ‘Monster’ fame, audiences pay attention and do so by spending their hard earned money at the box office! People want to be entertained, but challenged with their own unique human story in all of its beautiful, horrific, depressing and or joyous journeys. They want to see themselves in the characters on screen and we can only do that if we tell ALL stories, not just the middle aged male whitewashed versions.
So for me, I hope that I can be a part of that solution and not just another cog in the already existing wheel. I too want to tell unique stories of the underdogs. Portray women in a more realistic but empowering role – Yes they can be superheroes who kick ass but they also can bleed, get hurt and get defeated sometimes in the process. Which is why I am so excited to see Atomic Blonde’s character of Lorraine Broughton played by the very talented Charlize Theron kick ass and take names while she takes care of who is killing her fellow agents during 1980’s Berlin. Not a femme fatale per say, just an action star who takes no prisoners. What I am finding so appealing is the obvious part of a female action star who really does kick ass (fast forward to a 10 minute fight scene done by Charlize herself all in one take no edits) but, also showcases the sheer brutality of it with bruises, blood and broken bones – which in most cases is non existent in most male centered action movies.
Action with a touch of realism is a great genre in my opinion! I hope that this new wave of women centered films continues to gain steam and garner possible spin offs of more minority or gay/lesbian or transgender projects getting green lighted as well. We all have a story to tell and it is about time Hollywood took notice and gave everyone, someone and something to aspire to!
Thank you all once again for your continued support and for coming along on this blog writing journey with me each week – noted and appreciated that I can assure you!
But before we go, let me ask you this – what changes in stories or types of films would you like to see more of in Hollywood? I can not wait to see your answers!
Until we meet again,
Love and Light Always,