I have committed to posting one interview with a screenwriter or industry insider per week during 2013.
52 weeks. 52 interviews. Or at least that’s the idea.
Why? I believe there is some special insight and understanding one can only get by hearing from professional writers talking about their craft.
So it’s all good, right?
Well, as has been pointed out to me recently: Where are the women writers among the interviewees?
I see the point. If the only writers I interview are men, that perpetuates the perception women need not apply, exacerbating a frankly atrocious employment situation in Hollywood.
Honestly it is something I raised last year with Franklin, but I just got too damn busy with other projects to pursue interviews with any frequency.
This 2013 initiative forces the issue.
Any of you who have followed this blog for any length of time know I’m all about creating opportunities: new writers, established writers, male writers, female writers, writers of color, I don’t care as long as they’re talented writers. To wit: I promote independent filmmakers. I push Kickstarter projects. I run the Movies You Made series. I retweet your projects.
Specifically regarding female writer interviews, here’s the main issue: Most of my writing contacts are males. Not surprising, I suppose, because most professional screenwriters are male.
Here’s another thing: Believe it or not, this blog is pretty much… um… just me. Sure, I get amazing IT support from Dino. And Franklin is a great ally. Jason Cuthbart has been a trooper, providing guest Great Character posts for the last several months. But push come to shove, when its finger-on-keyboard and time to post, it’s basically just me and my MacBook Pro. So a second issue is the amount of time and resources I have.
That said I am happy to announce I have three interviews with women screenwriters in progress:
* Julia Hart who wrote the 2012 Black List script “The Keeping Room”. That interview series will run the week of February 24.
* Nikole Beckwith who wrote the 2012 Black List script “Stockholm, Pennsylvania” for which she also won a Nicholl Fellowship.
* Ashleigh Powell who wrote the 2012 Black List script “Somacell” which sold last year to Warner Bros.
Obviously I would love to interview as many notable screenwriters as possible — men, women, white, black, gay, straight, whoever. But I’m just me. I do what I can to reach out to screenwriters I meet through social media. I work on contacts provided to me by other writers. Sometimes writers are kind enough to reach out to me from reading the blog and offer to do interviews.
Beyond that, it would be pretty cheezy of me to do a blog post and say, “Hey, working female screenwriters who have made the Black List or had successful movies, would you please agree to do an interview with me for the blog?”
Whoops. I guess I just did that.
But pretty awkward, right?
As I’ve been interviewing writers this last month or so, I have been surprised by how many of them actually know and follow the blog, so perhaps there are at least some female screenwriters out there who might follow GITS and be willing to do an interview. If so, please email me.
Other than that, what suggestions do you have?
While we’re at it, which women screenwriters would you like to see interviewed? No reason we can’t create a target list and try to reach out to them.
Please bear in mind I aim to interview writers who have written scripts that have made the Black List, won the Nicholl Fellowship, sold spec scripts, written notable movies, and/or have had a sustained career in Hollywood. This is not to diminish the creativity or accomplishments of other writers, but rather simply an acknowledgement that I’m trying to generate content that appeals to the widest number of GITS readers.
Finally let me say as time-consuming as this commitment to interviews has been, it has been a wonderful experience. Every single writer with whom I’ve talked has been terrific — generous with their time, thoughtful in their responses, and passionate about the craft. I can’t wait to roll out these upcoming interviews, following up on what have already been some incredible conversations. I am convinced more than ever that screenwriters are a special breed, bound together by a shared love of story. It makes me proud to be able to say I’m part of the screenwriting community.
So onward and upward. I’m happy to hear whatever suggestions and ideas you have, and how to make the GITS interview series something really special.