I think this will be popular in hollywood but maybe not with all movie fans
How about summarizing the new rules in your post? (Sorry, “go read this link to actually see what I started this thread about” is one of my pet peeves here.)
You need women/minorities/LGTB/disabled people as actors, producers and other postions to be considered.
To summarize, two of the following four standards must be met:
STANDARD 1. One of the following must be true:
A. At least one lead or major supporting actor must be from a non-white racial/ethnic group.
B. At least 30% of minor roles must be filled by such ethnic groups or by women, or
C. The primary storyline must centre on women, a non white ethnic group, LGBTQ people, or people wth disabilities.
STANDARD 2: At least one of these three things must be true:
A. Two major creative leadership positions ( Casting Director, Cinematographer, Composer, Costume Designer, Director, Editor, Hairstylist, Makeup Artist, Producer, Production Designer, Set Decorator, Sound, VFX Supervisor, Writer ) must be women, from non white ethnic group, LGBTQ, or disabled, and one must be the ethnic group category.
B. Six other major positions are from the above noted groups, or
C. 30% of the entire crew is from the above noted groups.
Standard 3: Substantial internship or training opportunities must be offered to minority groups
Standard 4: Substantial representation from above mentioned groups in senior executive leadership in studio or film company.
Whatever. It’s their party, and if it means studios rush to hire people who otherwise might get screwed, great.
Trumpists are going to lose their shit.
NFL has the “Rooney rule” but that just means teams have to interview minority candidates for jobs like head coach, GM ,etc. It has led to more black NFL coaches. This goes way beyond that type of rule.
Seems like the lowest effort path would be to hire a female Hairstylist, a female Makeup Artist, and a bunch of black interns (bonus: you don’t have to pay interns).
That should be enough to fake inclusion.
I wonder how this will sync with people who prefer not to say what their ethnicity, orientation, or gender is? Is it typical for the all the cast and crew have to fill out forms where they state that information? I imagine there will be a lot of pressure from producers for people to start identifying certain ways.
I think this is a key point. I’ll admit I’m not comfortable with standards being imposed upon studios.
But they’re actually pretty low standards. I’m a lot less comfortable with the awareness that studios haven’t been meeting these low standards all along.
Based on the forms I’ve seen, declaring your gender/race/ethnicity/sexual orientation is voluntary.
When you apply for a job legally you can skip race, sex, age, etc. When people answer those questions they compile that data and possibly send it to the feds,
I thought interns had to receive pay now in the US.
I guess there’ll be a swath of remakes with all female casts now. I’m a feminist, but still, …barf.
I’ve been a Camera Operator for 40 years. Everything from “The Sopranos” and “Sex & The City” to commercials to sporting events to the Emmy Awards to The Olympics, etc.
I’m a 58 year old white male.
I see this as a vital shift- but the time compression will make for mediocre product while folks who have been excluded/ marginalized get up to speed.
In some of the many COVID-19 Zoom visit with fellow Operators, this issue has come up. Should women, people of color, other severely underrepresented professionals get their shot? Hell yeah they should.
Should they be fast-tracked into jobs and levels of responsibility that they are in no way prepared for because they’ve not learned the nuances of their craft? ( Yes, all crafts. Hair/ Makeup, Directing, Camera Operator, Gaffer, 3rd Grip, Boom Op, all of the crafts ). No they should not.
Because you are setting people up to fail in their newly minted roles and these are people who LOVE MAKING MOVIES.
I’m in no way suggesting 7 years of service before advancing. I am seriously advocating for the insistence that everyone get their shot, everyone learn their craft fully and everyone who can physically do the job be permitted to learn the job.
( I say this so that the wiseacres out there who insist that someone wheelchair-bound has every right to every job, even if it entails climbing up 5 levels of steel scaffolding to hold on by one hand while clamping a light onto the scaffold with the other. )
You cannot legislate experience. You SHOULD demand and legislate change.
Just be prepared for a bit of a dip in some areas… and in 4-6 years, crew experience will rise and the crew photos will look quite different than they did 20 years ago.
The industry ain’t lily-white any more. But it sure has a long way to go.
I was the Steadicam Operator a few years ago on a network talk show that will remain nameless.
Director: White Jewish guy from Philly.
A.D.: White Woman
Technical Director ( T.D. ) Alternating white guy, black woman.
Graphics Operator: Black woman.
Associate Producer in Control Room: White woman.
Audio Engineer ( A1) Latino Man.
Floor Crew: 5 Cameras. 3 White, 2 Latino men. Now and then a woman would fill in.
Stage Managers: 1 White man, 1 white woman. Black man would sub in when needed.
A2 ( Floor Audio Technician ) Asian woman.
And so on. This is the norm in New York City. Now, when working on certain jobs with certain clients, I as the white male was in the severe minority. ( Spike Lee movies- 2 of them, etc. ) -Shrug- Go in, get the gig done, meet and work with crew I’d maybe not met before. What’s not to like?
The Academy is doing the right thing.
I can see what you mean, but a lot must depend on the definition of “other major positions” in point B of Standard 2:
If “other major positions” includes “tailor” or “locations scout” or “craft service” or “set decorator” or the like, these would of course be jobs requiring certain skills, but they wouldn’t be at the level of Cinematographer or Editor or other “creative leadership positions”—so there’d be less chance of sub-standard productions happening.
On the other hand if “other major positions” is more-strictly defined, finding six people who belong to the noted groups might be more challenging. There’d certainly be a lot of competition among various productions to get the people who would satisfy the requirements.
I’m bringing this up because I’m wondering if you know how they’re defining the terms in question—and by the way, thanks for your post, which is very illuminating.
Not if the intern is considered a trainee and the actual beneficiary of the internship. State rules may vary. The idea is that interns must get paid if they actually produce something as an employee would.
It doesn’t seem hard to meet these requirements, I think any studio production will automatically qualify. Unfortunately it has the look and feel of taking an extreme measure to solve a problem before trying anything less heavy handed. This will be done because the business will do it voluntarily, but it will create unproductive controversy at the same time. The industry could have created this result without holding hostage awards that were meant to be based on technical and artistic merit.
There must be a better way to package this idea that wouldn’t feed controversy to the trolls.
It’s a shame it has to be laid out in such a stark way, but soon enough it will become second nature to populate casts and crews like this anyway, which is the point they’re trying to aim for, of course. I welcome it, it’s an encouraging move.
Though I still think awards shows are a big faff we could all do without too. They reward pretentiousness and punish popular culture.
I’m a little confused by some of the comments here.
- I expect these standards to be popular with workers in Hollywood, but not with management. Management are the folks who have created this problem, and no management likes having additional rules.
- Management doesn’t have to follow these rules. They only have to follow them if they want to enter a specific contest run by a private entity. True, it’s an enormous contest run by a powerful entity; but that doesn’t make the rules compulsory.
- I don’t have the stats in front of me, but I’m pretty sure that most movies wouldn’t automatically qualify. The white-male dominance of Hollywood at all levels is pretty well documented; and these rules wouldn’t be implemented if they’re already being followed.
- I’m reminded of this article from a few years back, Creating the Next Bechdel Test. It sets higher requirements, but also gives a sense of how badly movie studios fail to hire diverse workers.
Honest question - This is all well and good for Hollywood produced content, but how will this square with non-US based content? Academy Awards are not just decided on Hollywood productions.
Will a stunning Romanian abortion drama be out of the running because it didn’t check the proper boxes? Will a Chinese martial arts epic get points because everyone involved is non-white (because they are all Chinese, yah)?