Female vs male writers. Is there a difference? Of course there is. Canadian vs. American scriptwriters? Yes, different perspectives of North America. Do women over 40 write different stories than men over 40? You bet. That is the point of art. An individual brings their unique experience to life and shares it with the world. The current problem is that the male perspective dominates the film and TV industry. But that is changing.
Meryl Streep is getting a lot of media coverage at the moment because she funded a US initiative to create a space where female scriptwriters over 40 could hone their skills and presumably get their scripts into the big Hollywood development pipeline.
When I read this I got excited until I learned it is only open to US citizens. It made me question what the situation is in Europe, and what opportunities there might be for me either in the UK or in Sweden. I can probably also tap into Canadian opportunities and funding. The great thing is that Meryl renewed the media’s interest about the issue of how few female scriptwriters there are in the moving picture industry, whether it is TV or film.
The New York Film Academy produced a fabulous infographic about the gender inequality in film. Statistics from 2012 show that only 15% of the top 250 (US) films are written by women. The UK Film Council did an extensive study in 2006 about the lack of female screenwriters in that market.
In the next five weeks I am going to explore the question:
Is it easier for new female scriptwriters based in Europe to break into TV rather than film?
I am collecting new Twitter contacts and researching opportunities for funding in Europe. I will contact as many women working in the TV script writing industry to learn about their experiences and get their advice. Those interviews will be published here.
Are you a script or screen writer? What are your experiences working in the industry? If you are a female script writer, do you think the industry is changing?
Update June 11, 2015
Four interviews written, two in the wings.
How do women tell stories differently than men?