The Producers Guild of America (PGA) Women's Impact Network and respected industry website, Women and Hollywood, announce the launch of "The Ms. Factor: The Power of Female Driven Content," a toolkit created to raise awareness among entertainment decision makers on the commercial viability of investing in female producers, directors, and female-driven storylines. The Ms. Factor debunks the myths that perpetuate gender bias by providing a compilation of analytics, statistics, and action steps which offer filmmakers the pitching tools they need to demonstrate the power of female audiences and how female participation can lead to profitable outcomes.
"Market data regarding movies and television dramatically supports the fact that female-driven content is profitable, yet women working on both sides of the camera remain severely underrepresented. The toolkit will provide producers and directors pitching female-driven content with the proof they need to combat a prevalent resistance to female storytelling," says co-author and producer Lydia Dean Pilcher, Vice President of Motion Pictures for the Producers Guild of America and Chair of the PGA Women's Impact Network.
Melissa Silverstein, founder and editor of Women and Hollywood and co-author of The Ms. Factor adds, "There are gender barriers at each step of the pipeline from development, to financing, to marketing, to distribution and exhibition. The lack of a critical mass of women decision makers at all levels of the industry has created a very one-sided business."
To counter industry misperceptions about female audiences, The Ms. Factor highlights such facts as:
•Female moviegoers in US today outnumber male moviegoers.
•Women are the majority of mainstream network TV audience.
•Women make upwards of 85% of all consumer-spending decisions and by 2018, wives will out earn husbands in the US.
•US women watch more content on all digital platforms than men.
•Women represent the majority of the online market and use the top social media channels more than men in almost every network.
The Ms. Factor toolkit argues that the best way to appeal to the female audience is to produce more content with female perspectives. "There are women who have amassed power in the industry and are supporting female creatives. We see that having a woman at the helm affects the kinds of stories being told. Female producers, directors and writers are more likely to feature girls and women on screen, and promote gender equality behind the camera as well. Research shows that female leadership features more female writers, producers, cinematographers and editors behind the camera - a 21% increase in narrative films and 24% increase in documentary films," states Silverstein.
Pilcher and Silverstein urge producers and financiers to look at hiring and financing practices across the board encouraging decision makers to create standard policies for studio and agency director lists, actor lists, and crew lists to be balanced in gender and diversity.
"We hope that producers and filmmakers will use these statistics as tools when creating financing proposals to counter those who see gender as limiting their commercial prospects. When they say, 'less money is made with female leads, female stars, or female-driven properties,' or 'women aren't our target audience' - you can now be armed with the stats that show that female audiences are powerful, and that female participation can lead to profitable outcomes," says Pilcher.
A co-venture between the PGA's Women Impact Network and Women and Hollywood, The Ms. Factor is a web-based toolkit accessible via both organizations' websites:
ABOUT THE PRODUCERS GUILD OF AMERICA (PGA)
The Producers Guild of America is the non-profit trade group that represents, protects and promotes the interests of all members of the producing team in film, television and new media. The Producers Guild has more than 7,000 members who work together to protect and improve their careers, the industry and community by providing members with employment opportunities, seeking to expand health benefits, promoting fair and impartial standards for the awarding of producing credits, as well as other education and advocacy efforts such as encouraging sustainable production practices. For more information and the latest updates, please visit ProducersGuild.org, www.PGAGreen.org, and www.PGADiversity.org, and follow us on Twitter @ProducersGuild.
Lydia Dean Pilcher (@queendean) is Vice President of Motion Pictures for the Producer's Guild of America and Chair of the Women's Impact Network of the PGA. She is founder of the New York based production company, Cine Mosaic, and producer of over 35 features with directors including Mira Nair, Wes Anderson, Barry Levinson, and Gina Prince-Bythwood. Active internationally with business relationships in the US, India, Turkey, Africa and Middle East, her recent films include the upcoming "Queen of Katwe"; "The Reluctant Fundamentalist," directed by Mira Nair; "The Lunchbox," directed by Ritesh Batra; and the Academy Award nominated "Cutie & The Boxer," directed by Zachary Heinzerling.
ABOUT WOMEN AND HOLLYWOOD
Women and Hollywood educates, advocates, and agitates for gender parity across the entertainment industry. The site was founded in 2007 by Melissa Silverstein. http://blogs.indiewire.com/womenandhollywood/
Melissa Silverstein (@melsil) is a writer and speaker with an extensive expertise in the area of women and Hollywood. She is the founder and editor of Women and Hollywood. She is the co-founder and Artistic Director of The Athena Film Festival. Athenafilmfestival.com