“Writing is becoming the rat in your own laboratory.”
Sandra Bullock’s box office take over the last five years is as good or better than most male leads. The same can be said of Melissa McCarthy, who also has the attention of about 10 million viewers a week on Mike and Molly when she’s not on the big screen. Both of them have been integral to the marketing and promotion of their films, so it’s clearly not that moviegoers won’t watch a blockbuster with a woman in the lead.
But in very specific terms, Gravity was marketed as a co-headlining movie from Bullock and George Clooney, but anyone who saw it knows that it was Bullock’s film. Clooney was perceived as being necessary to market the movie in spite of the fact that since 2008, his movies have generated about $634 million total at the domestic box office, compared to Bullock’s $891 million. During that time, Clooney made nine films to Bullock’s six, meaning that the per-film average is even more heavily skewed in Bullock’s favor.
During that time, the total budget for Clooney’s films came to a minimum of $307 million and the budget for Bullocks clocked in at $214 million. That means that for every dollar spent producing a George Clooney film, the studio saw $2.07 back. That isn’t half bad, really. You know what it is half of? The $4.15 they saw on every Sandra Bullock dollar they spent during the same five-year period. Each of them had a couple of low-budget indie films and a couple of failures during the five-year period, but Clooney–the name Warner Bros. was convinced was necessary to promote the film–averaged just over $70 million per film during that period while Bullock averaged upwards of $148 million.
Really though. The problem isn’t that women don’t sell tickets, or that women don’t buy tickets (50% of all tickets at the US domestic box office were bought by women last year). The problem is that Hollywood wont let them and wont modify its thinking to match new information.
I connect this with the belief that while women will go to “men” films, men won’t go to “chick flicks.” So from a business perspective, you’re better off making a guy movie that everyone will see than a woman’s movie that only half the population will by tickets for. Is this true?
In my personal life, it was true for a while — I’d go to the movies my boyfriends wanted to see with them, and then I’d take girlfriends or go alone to the romcoms. Is this actually a common pattern, or is it just a passing phase everyone goes through in their 20s while they’re trying to be the Cool Girl?
Certainly looking at the things my kids read and watch, both my son and daughter are exposed to more male-led entertainment. This means that they’re both being trained to see males as the heroes of the story from a very young age — from an age when they will accept cartoon animals as heroes but apparently not girls?
I can’t help but think this is an expectation that’s set up young and persists in most of us, and especially in the people who make and market movies.
Why are equal rights the greatest, and seemingly the only, commercial product for so-called black film coming out of Hollywood? Does this imply that mea-culpa-slavery-films are an artistic perennial for a predominately white audience? Why are there few films about African American heroes, produced by Hollywood, as opposed to African American victims? Why has there never been a film about Nat Love or William Pickett (African American cowboys), Bass Reeves (the first African American lawman in the west who, if Reeves were fictional, would be a combination of Sherlock Holmes, Superman, and the Lone Ranger) or The Exodusters (African American pioneers who ventured west)? These are stories about people who took charge of their own destinies and were only victims of their individual circumstances, like their white counterparts. These are characters that are heroic, not victims.
"If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?"
“If something can be destroyed by truth, it should be.”
“I like that. Where’d it come from?”
“I’m not sure exactly. But it’s really just another way of stating the scientific method. We shouldn’t be clinging to hypotheses that are contradicted by observation.”
The incredibly talented and super smart Evan Rachel Wood called out the MPAA on their misogynistic, sexist crap after seeing the new cut of her movie and she ain’t wrong.
For most of us, there’s a fear that if we embrace how we are, we’ll never become who we think we should be.
- Tara Brach (via meanmisterdharma)
I was reserved and I was shy. I had it in me but wasn’t quite sure how to bring it out yet. I wanted people to hear me so bad and I wanted to do my shit but it was like, you know, them jitters. I’m scared, I’m not scared. That whole struggle and everything, especially early on for me…
I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed.
Get along with the voices inside of my head.
You’re trying to save me, stop holding your breath.
And you think I’m crazy yeah you think I’m crazy…
More than half the questions I am asked are about the politics of the way I look. What it feels like to be not skinny/dark-skinned/a minority/not conventionally pretty/female/etc. It’s not very interesting to me, but I know it’s interesting to people reading an interview. Sometimes I get jealous of white male showrunners when 90 percent of their questions are about characters, story structure, creative inspiration, or, hell, even the business of getting a show on the air. Because as a result the interview of me reads like I’m interested only in talking about my outward appearance and the politics of being a minority and how I fit into Hollywood, blah blah blah. I want to shout, “Those were the only questions they asked!?
Your job is to see people as they really are, and to do this, you have to know who you are in the most compassionate possible sense. Then you can recognize others.
People do not seem to realise that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (via creatingaquietmind)
Become a writer, they said. It will be fun, they said….