AMD 2.1

#PostChat: Women in post

In celebration of International Women’s Day, this Wednesday’s #PostChat @postchat on Twitter was about women in post production. Guests included editor Kylee Wall (@kyl33t), Creative Cow editor-in-chief Tim Wilson (@metropolitim), Creative Cow (@CreativeCOW) editorial manager Stefani Rice, long-time industry writer and Creative Cow contributor Debra Kaufman (@MobilizedDebra), and  myself (@postperspective). Of course, Jesse Averna (@Dr0id) was  there helping keep things moving in the right direction.

Here is a transcript for those who missed it:

Wall (pictured), an editor at Biscardi Creative Media in Atlanta, recently finished editing season three of the PBS series This American Land. She relocated from Indianapolis last year, where she worked primarily in industrial corporate video by day with some independent narrative film work at night. “Right now, I primarily spend my days in Adobe Premiere Pro CC with dashes of After Effects and a willingness to jump into whatever is necessary. I’m fairly NLE-neutral.”

She finds being a woman in a male-dominated industry fascinating and occasionally disheartening. “Most of us, whether we realize it or not, work extra hard to prove our worth (which remains less than our male counterparts). Sometimes it’s demanded of us outright, sometimes it’s a part of the longstanding culture. In either case, it’s completely wrong. Many men in the industry don’t see this as an issue because they ‘hired a girl’ or ‘know lots of female editors’ but the numbers don’t lie that ‘among 2012’s top 250 domestic grossing films women represented 20 percent of editors.’ We need women (and men) to lead the path for more women to enter our industry. It’s not that they aren’t interested, it’s just not a traditional path for ‘girls’ … yet.”

In the chat, Wall enjoyed talking about how different women got into the industry and what their experiences have been, “about how men are NOT the root of all evil, and how we all can help change the state of the industry to continue to inspire more women to explore post production as a career.”

Rice, from Creative Cow, which was co-founded by a woman (Kathlyn Lindeboom), points to an article by Debra Kaufman. “After attending meetings with Hollywood Post Alliance and participating in their (as of last year) new committee, Women in Post, Debra felt the need to reach out to the community as not only a voice for women already in the industry, but as a beacon and call for women to add their creativity and beauty to the world of post production.”

States Kaufman in her Women in Post feature article “Women have notably been a minority in film/TV, and especially in post production and other technical fields. I began my career working in post houses in Los Angeles and New York, and when I switched to writing about the industry, in 1989, I discovered just how few of us there were. Whether it was a press conference at NAB or another technical conference and meetings, I was often the only woman in the room.

“Times have changed, but female participation on the technical side, especially in the higher echelons, is still not very robust. I used to sit in at the HPA Tech Retreat and count how few women were in attendance, especially as speakers. Apparently, I haven’t been the only one wondering where all the women are.”

At last month’s HPA Tech Retreat in Indian Wells, California, I attended my first HPA Women in Post luncheon, sitting at the same table as Debra Kaufman as a matter of fact! It was a welcome respite from the very male-heavy conference.

Join the conversations on Wednesday evening (6pmPST/9pmEST) during #postchat.

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