Girls on film
.lane I Iumphries examines the role of women in film.
Browsing nonehalantly through the I‘llmhouse broehure it beeame apparent that only two out oHll lilms on show ltay‘e been direeted by women; it appears it‘s as dil'lieult to Iind a woman dir‘eetor in the lilrn industry as it is gathering enough Seottish 'I'ory Ml’s to run the Seottish ()l‘l'iee. Notorious as a bastion ol ntale preser'y'e. where men the jargon is blatantly sexist —- Best Boy. (ialler. Red l leads and Blondes ~- perhaps it's not surprisingthat the men are ealling the shots. II the mainstream industry rel'leets a relatiy‘ely small number oI'womcn eaptaining the erew. the fact is that w omen are and hay'e always been aetiy'ely irtyoly‘ed at all ley'els oi produetiori. 'Ihe problem is that due to male representation women‘s eontribution is uric“ Hecrlnukcd When the lumiere bt‘othgrs mm
toyed with the moy'ing image. (Iermaine I)ulae worked with them. Aliee ( iuy'-I3lanehe w as the lirst person to direet a narratiy'e I'ilm alter light experiments and in the l‘Blls Dorothy Ar/ner w as gaining a reputation as a direetor in the
I Iollywood dream l'aetor‘y .
In Seotland. women hay e also been working alongside the men. .Ienny‘ (iilber‘tson set the reels rolling and was mueh admired lor her doeumentar‘ies about erolting lite on Shetland. espeeially by John (irier‘son who had two sisters. Ruby and Marion. w ho eontributed to Seottish lilrn eultur‘e. And whilst .‘ylaleolm Mel .ar‘en is publieised as an innoy'atiy'e animator. his eollaborator. Ilelen Biggar. is olten ignored. Iind ol history lesson.
\Vhy is it that rttost ol these pr‘olil'ie pioneering women hay'e been edited out ol the relerenee books as easily as Iraq erased Kuwait lrorn sehoolroom maps‘.’ .‘y‘Iale eonspiraey or a simple historieal I'Iaw‘.’ And w hat is the situation for eontetnporar‘y women lilm-makers'.’
Ilertake. the International \Vornen‘s I’ilrn I5estiyal held in (ilasgow‘. br‘oaehed these questions among others: the aim being to highlight the diy'ersity ol'w'omen‘s work. encourage diseussion and form a network. A panel ol‘w'orneri
established in the industry shared their personal experiertees. olle ring adyiee on subieets Ir‘om how to obtain training to aetruir trig Iundirig.
'I'he lirs't lesson is that there is no blueprint l'or‘ entering the Industry. ‘Wlten I baby -sat lor the ( ir‘rgor ehildren. one didn‘t know what one knows now .‘ states I’enrty' 'I hornson. thI)HeelUtHllheSeHlehlahn I’roduetion I’und. the main linaneial sour'ee m Seotlarid. :\t the tender age ol sey'enteert. she worked at the International I-‘ilm I’estiy'al and w as ‘kidnapped’ to work lor' Murray ( irigor' and the late I’atr'iek I Iigson‘s I’r'oduetion ('ompany. ( )y er a deeade later she is eur'r'erttly‘ responsible lor iuggling the annual SI'I’I" budget [ZRIHIIIII ( a pittanee in liIm-rnaking terms). betweert independent produetions. lr‘om animation to features and deeiding what other y'errtur‘es tnerit grants.
I’addy' I Iigson. now a drama pr'odueer' l’or~ ISIM ‘ Seotland. had no l'or'rnal training. bringing the skillsol domestie management to the shop ﬂoor. In the past. she worked as a produeer with Bill I'ttl'sy th. bought lilaek (“at Studios. ‘a kamika/e mom“. and reeently pr‘odueed the moy ie .S'r/e/zi Stream.
I5or Dianne 'I'ltammes and I)iaitlie Barry. both direetor eamera the training has been more speeilre.
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'\II the women hay expt run.
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