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November 25 at 11:25am

Add Five Female Characters To Your Script

By Ted Hope

Less than 30% of all speaking characters in the 100 top-grossing films are female. “If filmmakers just added five female speaking characters to their current slate of projects (without taking away or changing any of the male characters) and repeated the process for four years, we would be at parity.”

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  1. Joe Orlandino / Nov 25 at 11:25am

    What a crock.
    Wouldn’t better advice be to always develop great characters…important characters, in your story? Fully rounded, compelling characters that advance the story? As opposed to jamming in characters to a story because of some commitment to diversity? You owe it to your STORY to have characters that mean count. Characters that mean something to the story. Not tokens thrown in to fulfill some quota. Ask yourself if you really want to spin a good, believable story or you want promote a social agenda.

  2. Georgette Hayden / Nov 25 at 11:25am

    I support only some of your comments. I believe that the story is key to any good film and creating compelling characters to drive the storyline is essential. But often there are times where a few of those characters are not written as gender specific, or for that matter, ethnic specific, so why not cast those roles with female actors, or actors of color?

  3. John Carstarphen / Nov 25 at 11:25am

    I’m all for it if at least half of those women are Women of Color. Talk about being under-represented in major roles! Alas, I feel this is just another White power grab in the film industry.

  4. Joe Orlandino / Nov 25 at 11:25am

    Fair enough. But I would add that the addition of this type of character must be believable. If so, yes, go for it. Otherwise, use caution becasue the viewer could be taken out of the story. How many times I see a scene with a token, whatever, thrown in. (Perhaps to meet some SAG monetary incentive?) And, boom, my focus goes to that implausible situation and away from the story.
    Mixed-race street gangs? Really?

  5. Ted Hope / Nov 25 at 11:25am

    Joe & Georgette,
    Thanks for considering this. The fact is — and what this suggestion is aiming to address — that when no thought goes into it, when we just “write” or “cast” or “produce” or “direct”, we create false worlds. The world is more female than male, more diverse than we generally portray it. Characters are only 17% female in film, and that generally holds true for crowd scenes too. We have to act to get back to reality.

  6. Peggy Sloin / Nov 25 at 11:25am

    We have an incredibly funny script through our group. It is relevant, edgy, and fully female-centric. People love it, actors want to be in it, and we do not have funding. So, no matter how many tips you offer, do you want to give new filmmakers a leg up through funding? There is the real tip or solid offer to be made.

  7. nru / Nov 25 at 11:25am

    I found a lot of useful and interesting information!

  8. Jonas Fleming / Nov 25 at 11:25am

    Yea this is bogus. I have no problem elevating more qualified women into larger roles, but forcing the issue doesn’t help the industry. I see it all the time in different occupations when the standards are lowered and the quality of work falls. It’s too bad women won’t come work as a concrete concrete contractor in Baton Rouge with me.

  9. index / Nov 25 at 11:25am

    Thanks. I really like your site. Great points you make in your post.

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