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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    Contests - Screenwriting and Filmmaking  ›  American Zoetrope Screenplay Comp. Moderators: Don
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  Author    American Zoetrope Screenplay Comp.  (currently 4036 views)
eldave1
Posted: February 18th, 2018, 9:21pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dustin
He may have a point. As the comp are looking for specific people it stands to reason that the readers would have been aware of this. So any 'white' sounding male names may have been discarded with barely a read.

If they want to do things like this then be more transparent and stop white males from entering altogether. They won't do that because they would not only be accused of blatant prejudice but also lose lots of revenue. They're quite happy to take our money even though we don't have any chance of winning.


1. At least before Copolla gets involved it's a blind read - no name on scripts. After that (at the awards stage) - who knows.

2. Don't disagree with your second point - it could be clearer and probably isn't for revenue reasons.

My issue continues to be - if one wants to debate the merits of diversity based competitions - okay - makes sense. My problem with this guy was he seemed to be saying it's what's standing between him and his Oscar because his script was soooooo good.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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eldave1
Posted: February 18th, 2018, 9:24pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from AnthonyCawood
The diversity policy of this comp isn't why his script didn't place, that's evident after less than a page.


Just checked it out - Zeotrope isn't this dude's problem.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Dustin
Posted: February 19th, 2018, 3:23am Report to Moderator
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I did take a look at the script... and, no, he definitely didn't lose because his name sounds white. However, as was also pointed out, his writing strikes me as being from somebody young, so I don't want to put it down too much. I was there once and coming out of education he's probably been told his shit don't stink by countless teachers that recognise his talent. In terms of screenwriting though he definitely has stuff to learn and experiences to gain.

The anonymous part does put a dampener on my argument, however, it still stands. This diversity and fairness crap is everywhere and seems designed to only make it 'fair' for everybody that isn't a white male.


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Dustin
Posted: February 19th, 2018, 3:59am Report to Moderator
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If 80% of screenwriters trying to break in are men and only 67% are employed as pros, there's definitely something wrong with that.... and it isn't that we need more females.


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Heretic
Posted: February 19th, 2018, 9:12am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dustin
Thanks for all these figures. However, one key component is missing. How many professional female writers are there and how many pro male writers are there?

Then we need to go deeper as the argument that not as many women are employed by design is used. So, we need to look at how many amateur writers there are of each demographic trying to break in.


The WGA West has numbers for 2014 and 2016.

2014:

Percentage of total members that are male: 75.8% (percent of total employed: 75.3%)
Percentage of total members that are female: 24.2% (percent of total employed: 24.7%)

2014:

Percentage of total members that are male: 75.1% (percent of total employed: 73.7%)
Percentage of total members that are female: 24.9% (percent of total employed: 26.3%)


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colkurtz8
Posted: February 19th, 2018, 9:47am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Heretic
The WGA West has numbers for 2014 and 2016.

2014:

Percentage of total members that are male: 75.8% (percent of total employed: 75.3%)
Percentage of total members that are female: 24.2% (percent of total employed: 24.7%)

2014:

Percentage of total members that are male: 75.1% (percent of total employed: 73.7%)
Percentage of total members that are female: 24.9% (percent of total employed: 26.3%)


- Damning statistics for sure but, as Dustin said, I wonder if we went back a step in the process and tallied up the gender ratios of amateur writers trying to become pros what would that tell us. Take this site for example. Impossible to carry out maybe but just having the WGA figures doesn't tell the whole story either. Is there are disparity to begin with? Do males try their hand a screenwriting more than females? If so, why? Is it because females are put off before they even start because of stats like those above?


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Dustin
Posted: February 19th, 2018, 10:49am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from colkurtz8


- Damning statistics for sure but, as Dustin said, I wonder if we went back a step in the process and tallied up the gender ratios of amateur writers trying to become pros what would that tell us. Take this site for example. Impossible to carry out maybe but just having the WGA figures doesn't tell the whole story either. Is there are disparity to begin with? Do males try their hand a screenwriting more than females? If so, why? Is it because females are put off before they even start because of stats like those above?


I've put some thought into this already and I believe it's down to societal evolution. Women have it harder than others, blacks, gays, anyone you care to mention... women have, throughout history, suffered more. This is because they are evolving from a natural position of inferiority, of veritable enslavement to men. Women have been told that they're not good enough for as long we've had language.

Chess is a fine example. Women are only just proving that they can compete with men... not because they couldn't before but because they didn't believe in their ability to. Even today there are separate sections for male and female chess. Females are considered GM level some 200 elo points behind men. Considering there aren't any physical attributes involved and it is all mind and often just memory, this in itself creates a psychological inequality. Women are told, by this action, that they are not as good as men.

But they are... and this was proven by the Polgar sisters, whose father deliberately chose chess in an effort to prove that anything can be learned, that there isn't any such thing as natural ability. He also inadvertently showed that women can be just as good at chess as men. Judit managed as high as number 8 in the world. Yet still there is this barrier. The reason more women aren't like Judit (and a few others) is that they are told they can't be.

As these illusions are dispelled, more women will recognise their ability, and as more try to become screenwriters, more of them will inevitably become pros. I don't think there is anything wrong with the old system and it was running along smoothly. Trying to force things by possibly putting weaker writers in place just to fit a statistic is just another lie.


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eldave1
Posted: February 19th, 2018, 10:58am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dustin


I've put some thought into this already and I believe it's down to societal evolution. Women have it harder than others, blacks, gays, anyone you care to mention... women have, throughout history, suffered more. This is because they are evolving from a natural position of inferiority, of veritable enslavement to men. Women have been told that they're not good enough for as long we've had language.

Chess is a fine example. Women are only just proving that they can compete with men... not because they couldn't before but because they didn't believe in their ability to. Even today there are separate sections for male and female chess. Females are considered GM level some 200 elo points behind men. Considering there aren't any physical attributes involved and it is all mind and often just memory, this in itself creates a psychological inequality. Women are told, by this action, that they are not as good as men.

But they are... and this was proven by the Polgar sisters, whose father deliberately chose chess in an effort to prove that anything can be learned, that there isn't any such thing as natural ability. He also inadvertently showed that women can be just as good at chess as men. Judit managed as high as number 8 in the world. Yet still there is this barrier. The reason more women aren't like Judit (and a few others) is that they are told they can't be.

As these illusions are dispelled, more women will recognise their ability, and as more try to become screenwriters, more of them will inevitably become pros. I don't think there is anything wrong with the old system and it was running along smoothly. Trying to force things by possibly putting weaker writers in place just to fit a statistic is just another lie.


The chess example is a compelling one. Nurses vs. Doctors as a similar one. Women always had an interest in medicine as evidenced by the fact that they comprised 95% of the nursing positions for decades while the inverse was true to Doctors. Some of this certainly had it's genesis in them being taught/cultured that Doctors were for men, nurses for women. That is changing of course.

For me, whether we are talking gender or economic status, the key has been removing barriers to entry. I am for it. Like you I am not a fan of preferences once the barriers have been removed. A ridiculous example to illustrate the point - if there is a gate at a pool that keeps women of certain ethnic groups out, I want the gate removed. If they are not aware that the pool exists,  I want them informed otherwise. If they are told there is something about their skin color or gender that keeps them from floating, I want them to be educated otherwise.

Once they're in the pool - I don't want to tell them their swimming when they're in fact drowning.  


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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PrussianMosby
Posted: February 19th, 2018, 5:41pm Report to Moderator
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It is far more complex I believe, in many areas. F.i. Don't forget, women are also established as the attractive gender for many centuries, probably more. How does it play into this debate, for the future: Will it be seen as a superficial downgrading? Does it lead to a change, when thinking of woman as attractive, what society does call a "gentleman" regarding male, today, into seeing those men as chauvinists then? This stuff is old, I know, but I see wide room for dangerous ideologues there who might position themselves within these topics and build people through politics, just to follow their own interests in case of gaining power. In the end imo it's about finding the balance between anarchism and dictate, as hard as it sounds.


In the Head of the Driver (3p - drama, sports, SF)

Those Infinite Wolves  (8p - psychological horror)

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MarkRenshaw
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When I realize I have all this white male privilege and I'm still not a successful, famous writer...I feel like even more of a failure.


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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Heretic
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Quoted from colkurtz8
Damning statistics for sure but, as Dustin said, I wonder if we went back a step in the process and tallied up the gender ratios of amateur writers trying to become pros what would that tell us.


I agree, but I'm not sure how one would go about finding those numbers -- a poll of some sort?

I think the basic point is pretty clear, though. Women make up a third of the WGAW, and while they're marginally overrepresented in employment, they make 68 cents on the dollar compared to men, which presumably means that the bigger/more expensive (and therefore more widely distributed/more prestigious) a project is, the less likely it is to hire a female writer. Which, again, seems accurate -- women wrote 13% of the top 500 films in 2016, the same as in 1998. So -- membership/employment getting slightly higher, but still barely over a third; relative pay decreased since 2014; no change since 1998 in the small likelihood of being involved in a big project. I don't think that sounds like the good side of the deal.


Quoted from Dustin
Trying to force things by possibly putting weaker writers in place just to fit a statistic is just another lie.


This is a reasonable argument against quotas in many other parts of society, but I don't see what it has to do with screenwriting, where objective value is hard to assess (and perhaps irrelevant to boot). Certainly there's no reason to assume that any of the scripts that won this Zoetrope contest, for instance, are weaker than the competition. Unless you think Mr. Ward's script is so good that it must have been passed over by slimy Hillary donors or whatever.


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Dustin
Posted: February 20th, 2018, 11:57am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Heretic


I agree, but I'm not sure how one would go about finding those numbers -- a poll of some sort?

I think the basic point is pretty clear, though. Women make up a third of the WGAW, and while they're marginally overrepresented in employment, they make 68 cents on the dollar compared to men, which presumably means that the bigger/more expensive (and therefore more widely distributed/more prestigious) a project is, the less likely it is to hire a female writer. Which, again, seems accurate -- women wrote 13% of the top 500 films in 2016, the same as in 1998. So -- membership/employment getting slightly higher, but still barely over a third; relative pay decreased since 2014; no change since 1998 in the small likelihood of being involved in a big project. I don't think that sounds like the good side of the deal.


As usual with stats they can imply things that aren't true. These figures are averaged out over the entire workforce and are so because there are less women that have managed to work up to the higher positions.

That's like saying women aren't as good at chess as men because statistically they are, on average, lower rated... simply because not as many have made it to the top.


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colkurtz8
Posted: February 20th, 2018, 12:00pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Heretic
I agree, but I'm not sure how one would go about finding those numbers -- a poll of some sort?


- Yeah, I acknowledged above that this would be near impossible to do accurately in the overall sense but in terms of taking a sample size from this site, I guess a poll would be your best approach.



Quoted from Heretic
they make 68 cents on the dollar compared to men, which presumably means that the bigger/more expensive (and therefore more widely distributed/more prestigious) a project is, the less likely it is to hire a female writer.


- Again, the statistics you posted are not pretty but wouldn't studios be all over hiring someone cheaper? As valid as some of the criticisms levelled at Hollywood about being #sowhite and sexist, it is, first and foremost, a business. Thus, driven by money. If you can draw the crowds, you will get work.


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colkurtz8
Posted: February 20th, 2018, 12:07pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dustin
because there are less women that have managed to work up to the higher positions.


- Which will be quickly countered by "Because they're not given the same opportunities as men" Which, as an outsider, I'm not in a position to attest to its veracity. This is just what one hears all the time.



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Dustin
Posted: February 20th, 2018, 12:10pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Heretic

This is a reasonable argument against quotas in many other parts of society, but I don't see what it has to do with screenwriting, where objective value is hard to assess (and perhaps irrelevant to boot). Certainly there's no reason to assume that any of the scripts that won this Zoetrope contest, for instance, are weaker than the competition. Unless you think Mr. Ward's script is so good that it must have been passed over by slimy Hillary donors or whatever.


I haven't assumed anything, only suggested possibilities. The competition is looking for diversity. They're not looking for stories per se, but the writers of those stories. It's reasonable to accept the possibility that better scripts were passed over because they were written by somebody that can't tick the diversity box.


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